In the 1980s there were two hardware stores in downtown Mill Valley: Varneys was at 57 Throckmorton and Tamalpais Hardware was at 30 Miller Ave. In 1919, World War I veterans Tony and John Varney bought the plumbing business of August Muntz at 67 Throckmorton. They renamed it Varneys and moved it to 57 Throckmorton.…

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Between the spring of 1918 and the summer of 1919, 25% of the US population became sick from the so-called Spanish flu—675,000 died. In November 1918, Mill Valley counted 84 cases or about 3% of the population.  In San Francisco the rate was about 4%.  In San Anselmo, 70 out of 120 orphans were down…

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In 1900, the Filippi family emigrated from Italy to San Francisco.  Frank was 8 years old. In the 1920s Frank owned a garage in San Francisco with many employees causing lots of problems. He wanted to get a little garage off by itself with just one or two men working for him. In 1928 he…

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In 1904, john Dias purchased 20 acres in Homestead Valley between Ridgewood Ave. and Homestead Blvd. He built a four-bedroom, one-bath house and named it Hill Ranch.  He also constructed a bunkhouse for hired hands, a cookhouse and barns for dry cows, calves and bulls.  Hill Ranch was the headquarters for the extensive Dias Ranch…

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In early presidential elections Homestead voters were more liberal than Mill Valley voters. In 1908, democrat William Jennings Bryan received 32 % of the vote in Homestead vs. 23% in Mill Valley. In 1912, Homestead voted 50% for democrat Woodrow Wilson and 13 % for Socialist candidate Eugene V. Debs.  Mill Valley voted 49% for…

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In 1835, the Mexican government ceded Rancho Sausalito, about 20,000 acres in southern Marin, to William Richardson.  By 1900, considerable development had occurred:  in the north, two towns, Sausalito and Mill Valley; in the south, Fort Baker, Fort Barry and Fort Cronkhite; in between, several dairy ranches. Of major significance was the Point Bonita Lighthouse…

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