Six Firsts

A Homestead Headlines Article by Chuck Oldenburg

July, 2002

Homestead’s first school opened in January 1908. On Sunday June 16, 1907, Alexander G. Eels, Franklin B. Worley, and William C. Mahoney, the architect, staked off the site for the new schoolhouse.

On July 15, 1947, the Homestead Progressive Club approved the first uniform house numbering system. It called for use of 0 to 100 in the first block on Montford, Evergreen and Reed between Miller and Ethel; each successive block was assigned a subsequent 100 series. Numbers were assigned to each 25 feet of frontage – owners were given some choice. Even numbers were on the right.

January 1, 1948 was the first day of city mail delivery for Alto, Almonte, Homestead, Tamalpais Valley and Marin Heights. No more RFD (Rural Free Delivery). The Post Office Department would henceforth consider these communities as part of Mill Valley. All mail had to carry a street and house number.

Mill Valley’s first fast food appeared in 1954 when Caesar Taverna opened C’s Drive-In on Miller below Reed, which is in Homestead. Hamburgers cost 19 cents. Tam High students hung out there. On Saturday nights, hot rods filled the parking lot. In 1970, when Jack-in-the-Box opened on the next block up Miller, Taverna’s business declined. In 1971 he sold out to Pete Harmon of Utah who replaced C’s Drive-In with a Kentucky Fried Chicken.

In the 1950’s, the Homestead Chorus rehearsed and gave concerts in Brown’s Hall. Words to the first rendition of The Whiffenpoof Song with lyrics by Biz Kibbee (on Montford) were: “To the tables down at Brown’s Hall, Where of potluck we partake, With the dear donated wines we love so well … We are poor little sheep, From the Two Ay Em, Baa, baa, baa.”

The first page of Cyra McFadden’s 1977 best seller, “The Serial – a Year in the Life of Marin County.” included the following: “…they too belonged to the ACLU and the Sierra Club and went to the Mozart festival at Stolte Grove every year with the picnic of the month from Sunset in a Cost Plus hamper…” Each of the 52 chapters had previously appeared as installments in the Pacific Sun. In 1980, Paramount made a movie entitled “Serial” based on the book – the screen play neglected to mention the Mozart festival at Stolte Grove.


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.