The big rock in front of the Mill Valley City Hall has a brass plaque which reads, “In memory of those who gave their lives in defense of their country—dedicated by the citizens of Mill Valley—1953.” The beautiful red chert rock came from Wolfback Ridge above Sausalito. Following an extended period of rain, the rock rolled down the hill and blocked Highway 101 near the Waldo Tunnel. The CHP hired Tony Brabo, a local concrete
Rock on Truck—Almquist in Bus Stop Shelter – [click to enlarge]
contractor, to remove the rock. The CHP also had Hamilton Air Force Base send airmen with a crane to the site. The airmen had lifted airplanes before, but never a large rock. They tried but failed. Tony and his crew took over and after considerable effort they managed to load the rock onto a flat bed truck. What to do with it? Mill Valley City Manager Allen Almquist was present at the scene. He was following the operation with great interest and decided that the rock should be taken to the city hall. The CHP was delighted with this suggestion. Under the watchful eye of the city manager, Tony set the rock in place in front of the City Hall in exactly the desired orientation. The rock is estimated to weigh about 9 tons. Tony Brabo’s name is engraved in several downtown sidewalks which he poured. He died in 2011 at age 99 a few weeks after he and his wife Mary celebrated their 82nd wedding anniversary. She died a few weeks later at age 100. Both were born in Mill Valley. On July 3, 1929, they had eloped and married in Alameda where they nervously watched the smoke across the bay from the great fire on Mt. Tam and Mill Valley.
Rock at City Hall—Almquist in doorway
[click to enlarge]
Want more info? Read the History of Homestead Valley article:
Rock with Plaque – [click to enlarge]