Three Historic Events


November, 2004

In 1903, attorney Alfred Worley and his wife Fannie settled in Homestead Valley. Alfred had come from England at age 2. Fannie was born in Duncans Mills (Sonoma Co). Their home was on the site of the recently built house at 235 LaVerne Ave. In 1909, they subdivided the 20-acre Worley Tract south of LaVerne Ave. into lots on Ferndale Ave. and the new Melrose Ave. The other part of Melrose Ave. was at that time called Avery Ave. Fannie Worley died in 1920 at age 54 after a long illness. She was the first woman to settle in Homestead and the first woman to die in Homestead.

Three Groves attracted famous friends as reported in the Mill Valley Record on December 3, 1927: “Mrs. George Creel, professionally known as Blanche Bates, a national favorite in drama, was recently the guest of Mrs. Lillian Ferguson at Three Groves. Mr. and Mrs. Creel and Mrs. Ferguson have been close friends for many years, having been closely associated in the field of journalism. The charming retreat in Homestead Valley has been the scene of many a feast of soul as well as outdoor luncheons, when the demands of the public would allow the participants to get away to enjoy quiet hours, after the manner of old-fashioned folks.” Blanche Bates was a famous Shakespearean actress as well as the star of the “Girl of the Golden West”, a 1905 play produced by David Belasco – Puccini turned it into an opera in 1909.

In 1933, Frank L. Maguire, who lived on Linden Lane, wrote the following “Special to the Editor” at the end of an article on the front page of the Mill Valley Record. “This is the biggest thing that ever struck Homestead. What a break for Homestead! I would that I had literary ability to put in words just what this does and will mean to Homestead! Pardon this slight burst of enthusiasm but it is only the consensus of the feelings of all Homestead on the eve of a great achievement!” The lengthy article concerned the announcement by the Homestead Progressive Club that ground would be broken within the next few days for the construction of a new scout hall for Homestead, to be known as Brown’s Hall, which was the center of Homestead’s community activities from 1934 to 1972.

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.