2015

VIGNETTE > The Great Fire of 1929

On an unusually hot day, July 2, 1929, a column of smoke was reported at 2:45 pm near the Garden of Allah, home of Ralston White on El Capitan Ave. Although it was not far from the Mountain Railroad, the cause of the fire was never definitely established. Mill Valley’s volunteer firemen responded to fight…

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VIGNETTE > Reed Grist Mill Stones

Who knew? The gristmill stones in the garden of the Outdoor Art Club are probably the oldest historical artifacts in Mill Valley, dating from mid-19th century rancho life in the Mexican territory of Alta California! Found on the property of Irish-born “Californio” John T. Reed’s adobe home site near what is now Locke and LaGoma…

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VIGNETTE > School Closures

In 1957, the Mill Valley School District opened Marin Terrace School on a ten-acre site in Almonte. In 1962, the school was enlarged. Enrollment topped out at 300 students. In 1978, when enrollment had decreased to 141students, the School District closed the school. Fifty students were sent to Homestead School and the rest to Tamalpais…

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VIGNETTE > World’s Fair

Throughout 2015, San Francisco is celebrating the centennial of its world’s fair, the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition (PPIE) held in the Marina.  Homestead Valley’s Helen Eells, attended the fair when she was 11 years old and described the experience in an oral history when she was in her eighties. “It was the most beautiful fair!…

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VIGNETTE > Homestead Terrace

A block up Montford from Miller is Homestead Terrace, Federal Public Housing, Elderly/Disabled. Residents are generally at least 62 years old with a very low annual income.  The complex consists of 5 buildings with 27 studio apartments, each 374 sq. feet, plus a community building. Construction was completed in February 1969.  It received the 1970…

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VIGNETTE > Shopping in 1910

Early on a spring day in 1910, Rose and Ida met at the Mill Valley depot on Tuesday to go shopping in the city. Rose had walked down the Madrona Lane steps from her home on Tamalpais and Ida had walked down the Miller Lane steps from her home on Ethel. They boarded a train…

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