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VIGNETTE > Telephones

In 1884, Mill Valley’s first telephone was installed at the Blithedale Hotel owned by Cushing. In1893, the second phone was installed at the Eastland home in Cascade Canyon. A switchboard was installed in a hardware store downtown. By 1902 there were 88 numbers listed in the telephone directory. By 1910 there were 329 subscribers.  The…

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VIGNETTE > First Flight Over Mill Valley

On December 19, 1911, hundreds of people waited near the Locust Station on Miller Ave. to see a flying machine. Weldon Cooke had taught himself how to fly that summer. Two young men with no experience in flying built the unusual plane, named “The Diamond.” Cooke sat in a chair in front of the engine…

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VIGNETTE > Encountering an Automobile

The oral history of a resident born in 1904 documents an experience on the road to San Quentin in 1910. “My big sister went ahead on her pony, heard the putt-putt of a car way far away, came dashing back, laughing with joy, and said, ‘An automobile is coming, Papa.’ My father got red in…

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Vignette > AMARANTH

In 1971, twelve families formed a housing cooperative with a vision of living lightly on the land, reducing consumption of resources, and creating an interdependent community.  The land would be owned in common, each family would live in a separate house, and a central lodge would provide such functions as laundry, cooking and dining. There…

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VIGNETTE > Commuting in the 1920s

This photo of the house on the corner of Molino and Janes was taken in 1926.  The house was built in 1904 for State Senator King. It is still recognizable. There are scalloped shingles near the peak of the roof. The dirt road is Molino, dusty in the summer and muddy in the winter.  In…

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VIGNETTE > Tam Canyon Tragedy

The Mill Valley Record called it the most spectacular disaster in the area since the fire of 1929.   David S. Murdoch, 68, and William F. Shores, 72, were killed at 2 PM on Friday, April 4, 1941 when a slide caused three redwood trees to fall on a cottage on Laurel Way in Tamalpais Canyon…

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