Monica and Yankee


September, 2013

Monica and Yankee > click to enlarge

Monica and Yankee > click to enlarge

In 1904, Michael and Winifred Maguire purchased a lot on Linden Lane extending from Montford to Evergreen, site of today’s Homestead Terrace. In 1942, their youngest son, Robert married Jean Mattos, Tam High class of 1938. Jean Mattos Maguire became a renowned cellist. She played with both the Houston Symphony and the San Francisco Symphony and co-founded the Marin Symphony. Their daughter, Monica was born in 1954. In 1961, her parents divorced. Her mother later married violist Lucien Mitchell.

In 1965, at age 11, Monica got her first horse, Paint, an old horse who was stabled on the Maguire property on Linden Lane. Kismet soon replaced Paint followed by Yankee who was stabled at the Flying Y Ranch on Sequoia Valley Road. This was a long walk from her home on Molino at Mirabel. Fortunately, a year later, Erik Krag allowed Yankee to stay on his ranch close to her home—the area is now the Cape Court development.

Monica was one of several Homestead Valley girls who rode horses. They often learned riding from Peggy Adams who had a stable which abutted Krag’s ranch. A typical one-hour lesson consisted of a ride on Pixie Trail to the horse ring on Edgewood at Ridgewood. Peggy would have the pupils canter around the ring and give them tips on posture and horsemanship. A typical two-hour lesson was a ride to an area on the Dias ranch south of Four Corners and west of Panoramic Highway. The route was across the valley to the old Dias Ranch headquarters and up the fire road to Four Corners.

Several Homestead Valley girls kept a horse in their back yard. Others benefited from Erik Krag’s generosity. He allowed their horses to live and graze on his ranch free of charge. Terrelita Maverick at 370 Montford and Robin Jackson at 330 Montford supplied water for the horses. Girls who owned these horses had to work hard to care for them: providing feed and water, cleaning up after them, currying them, exercising them, etc.

Monica attended Homestead School. For 7th and 8th grades she attended San Domenico School in Sleepy Hollow—her mother taught music there. For two years, Monica had the following chores on school days: get up at 5 am, feed and water Yankee; catch a 7 am bus at Alto—her stepfather drove her there; attend classes at San Domenico; after arriving home at 6 pm, feed and water Yankee; do homework and practice the cello. During the following four years at Tam High, the routine was not so demanding, but still arduous.

After graduating from Tam High in 1972, Monica studied cello at the New School of Music in Philadelphia. She later became principle cellist of the Santa Rosa Symphony Orchestra.


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.