Vignette > Six Heroines

Holtum Building – 1938

Holtum Buildibg – 2011

Women have played a significant role in making Mill Valley a city to be proud of.

Laura White
founded the California Club of San Francisco in 1897. In 1902, Laura decided that Mill Valley needed such a club. The Outdoor Art Club (OAC), designed by Bernard Maybeck was built in 1904. Edna Foster in 1938 bought the Holtum building, an eyesore across the street from the OAC. She had architect Gus Costigan make it beautiful. She and Gus then spent eight years from 1940 to 1948 developing El Paseo.  Myrtel Black in 1956 and again in 1967 convinced the City Council to abandon its plans to cut down her redwood grove to make a parking lot at Ravencourt, her home adjacent to commercialized Miller Ave. Lucretia Hanson Little, secretary of the Mill Valley City Council from 1951 to 1973, preserved a tremendous number of valuable historical documents. The material is now available for research in the Mill Valley Public Library History Room.  Lucy Mercer opened the 142 Throckmorton Theatre in 2003.  Today it attracts over 50,000 people each year. In 2002, Victoria Talkington began a revitalization of the steps, lanes and paths that had become largely ignored and forgotten. Many of the 175 SLPs that were identified have been upgraded and are key to the city’s evacuation plan.