March, 2010

Chuck Oldenburg reflects on his life in Homestead Valley.

Chuck Oldenburg reflects on his life in Homestead Valley. –
click on image to enlarge

My first monthly history article appeared in April, 2000. After ten years, and 120 articles, I guess I should explain how I got started. On Feb. 3, 1999, a professional historian gave an illustrated presentation at the Mill Valley Historical Society’s First Wednesday Program entitled, “The Mountain’s Southern Shore: History of Tamalpais Valley.” A few months later, Don Seitas, the impresario of the First Wednesday Program, asked me to make a presentation on Homestead’s history. This required reflection.In 1963, Christina and I purchased the historic Stolte house from Kurt and Jo Schlesinger. Jo, who was president of the Homestead Valley Improvement Club, made it clear that the Schlesingers would sell us the house only if we agreed to be active in the community. A few months after moving in I was asked to report to Brown’s Hall and set up tables and chairs for the Candlelight Concert. Thus began 47 years of community service. Christina and I became board members of the Homestead Valley Community Association, the Homestead Valley Land Trust and County Services Area #14. We also served on various committees and continue to work on special projects.

After reflection, I responded to Don, “Why not?” After all, Christina and I were part of Homestead’s history.

I prepared for the talk by spending a great deal of time doing research in the History Room of the Mill Valley Public Library. I put together a presentation with several photos and maps. It was suggested that I write a book on the subject. Sounded like too much work — writing a monthly article for the Homestead Headlines turned out to be fun.

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.