Mill Valley Historical Society proudly presents what has come to be affectionately known as the “First Wednesday” program. On the first Wednesday of each month, we invite a guest speaker to present to MVHS members. Generally, the talks focus on Mill Valley or Bay Area history.

Past speakers and topics have included: Local historian Barry Spitz on the history of the Dipsea Race; railroad historian Richard Torney on the many ways railroads have touched Mill Valley; historian Betty Goerke sharing her expertise on the coastal Miwoks and Chief Marin; beat poets/authors Locke McCorkle and Al Young on their early days of living and writing in Mill Valley with counter-culture icons Jack Kerouac, Alan Watts, Jack Cassady, and Allen Ginsburg.

These events are free of charge. The First Wednesday talks begin at 7pm and are held in the Mill Valley public library or held virtually during the Covid 19 pandemic.


Group photo from left to right front row is on the far left, slightly bent over is musician David Getz , Debra Schwartz and Doug Ferguson. Back row from left to right Huey Johnson, Martin Griffen, Robert Preatzel, musician/singer Darby Gould and musician Chris Smith. ©2020 Mill Valley Historical Society

Upcoming Speakers

October 2023 First Wednesday Talk – This is Home: The Story of World War II Marinship and the Legacy of Marin City, with Felicia Gaston

THE MILL VALLEY HISTORICAL SOCIETY PRESENTS This is Home: The Story of World War II Marinship and the Legacy of Marin City, with Felecia Gaston Wednesday, October 4th | 4:30pmOutdoor AmphitheaterJoin us for a conversation ...

First Wednesday Speaker Program Director
Debra Schwartz

A member of the MVHS Board of Directors since 2015, Debra Schwartz is program director for both The First Wednesday Speaker Series and the Oral History Program. Her insatiable curiosity has led her to find great speakers for her series, and her empathy and persuasive skills have led to greater diversity in our oral history archives. Debra specialized in Native American Studies at UC Berkeley, graduating with High Distinction and membership in the Phi Beta Kappa Honors Society. A lifelong hiker and nature lover, she owns Tam Hiking Tours, a guided hiking service that blends cultural, natural and historical information with scenic hikes on Mt. Tamalpais and other Marin Open Spaces. She is a fourth generation Californian and a Mill Valley resident since 1979. Debra relishes being “a tourist in her own hometown” and experiencing the world through the lens of time, space and place.



Explore Past First Wednesday Lectures

  • All
  • Past 1st Wed Talks 2017
  • Past 1st Wed Talks 2018
  • Past 1st Wed Talks 2019
  • Past 1st Wed Talks 2020
  • Past 1st Wed Talks 2021
  • Past 1st Wed Talks 2022
  • Past 1st Wed Talks 2023