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Vignette > Time Capsule

The big rock in front of the Mill Valley City Hall has a brass plaque that reads, “In memory of those who gave their lives in defense of their country—dedicated by the citizens of Mill Valley—1953.”  In a hole in the rock behind the plaque is a time capsule to be opened in several hundred…

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Vignette > Rhubarb Review

The Community Center at 203 Marin Ave. in Tam Valley is an excellent venue for meetings, lectures, parties, concerts, etc. It is also now home to the famous “Rhubarb Review”, Northern California’s longest running variety show. The first performance took place in 1954 in another venue. The show often uses the talents of as many…

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Vignette > Two Playgrounds

Freeman ParkPathway 275 that connects Ryan Ave. with Nelson Ave. is the only access to a unique playground surrounded by houses. In the 1940s, developer George Goheen gave the ¾-acre site to the city. In 1947, the city decided to proceed with its development including cleaning, grading, construction of bituminous paths, etc. Funding came from…

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Vignette > Decoration Day

Mill Valley’s Memorial Day parade is a lot of fun, but today it barely honors war veterans. In 1868, General John A Logan, commander in chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, designated May 30 as a day for decorating with flowers the graves of men who had fallen in the Civil War.  The…

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Vignette > Mill Valley Air Force Station

In 1942 the federal government leased land on Mt. Tamalpais. First came a radar site looking for Japanese ships, submarines and airplanes. Then came a Cold War-era air defense radar station with 62 buildings plus a radar dome tower. Recreational facilities included a tennis court, pool, bathhouse, theater, gymnasium and bowling alley. Isolated on the…

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Vignette > Swiss Club Tell

In about 1919, leading members of various Swiss organizations in San Francisco decided to establish a Swiss clubhouse. They had been renting places for their activities: Swiss band practice, gymnastics, singing [yodeling?], dances, and Swiss theatre. They bought several lots under individual names “in the wild hills on Mt. Tamalpais, above the small village of…

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