Four Questions

A Homestead Headlines Article by Chuck Oldenburg

January, 2003

Who named Pixie Trail?
On the LaVerne Heights development map of 1915, Marin Avenue is the main east-west road. Capt. Watson lived near its west end at the corner of Bolinas Avenue, which went up to Edgewood. Several decades later, Mrs. Hunsinger, an English woman, lived in a house near Capt. Watson’s. She frequently took several children with her on her daily walks to the east on the undeveloped part of Marin Avenue to Janes Street. They loved her stories about Wee Folk and were enchanted with the Pixie Caps of eucalyptus nuts. Mrs. Hunsinger saw to it that the name Marin Avenue was changed to Pixie Trail.

Who owned a chicken farm on Montford?
Harry Okubara was five years old when he came to the US from Japan in 1891. His wife Tora came at age ten in 1899. Sometime between 1910 and 1920 they acquired 2-1/4 acres on Montford where they raised chickens and sold eggs. Their son was born in 1916. Harry took an annual trip home to Japan. One year he brought back two girls whom he said were his daughters. The children attended the new school which had opened in 1920 right across the street. In 1942, the family was sent off to a Japanese internment camp. They returned after the war. Their descendants still live on Cherry Blossom Lane.

When was a freeway through Homestead proposed?
The 1967 West Marin General Plan adopted by the Marin County Board of Supervisors called for urban development for 150,000 people. Highway 1 would become a coastal freeway connected to the Golden Gate Bridge by a freeway through Homestead Valley. Environmentalists succeeded in preventing construction of an aqueduct to supply Russian River water to the area. No water, no urban development, no coastal freeway, no Homestead Valley Freeway.

What disaster befell Three Groves in 1966?
In the early 1930’s, two dams were built on Reed Creek in Three Groves. The result was a swimming pool near the house and a concrete-lined lake below it for swimming and fishing. A sandy beach was added. On the bridge across the dam was a diving board. The lake was stocked with fish. The swimming pool and lake were in service for several decades. During the rainy season, the flood gates on both dams were opened to allow silt to flow through. Unfortunately, during the stormy winter of 1965/66 (we now know it was an El Nino year), the flood gates remained closed. As a result, the swimming pool and lake were completely filled with mud washed down from the barren slopes of Flying Y Ranch.


If you have comments or questions about this article or other topics
pertaining to the history of Homestead Valley,
please feel free to e-mail Chuck Oldenburg.