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Valley People (Aug 24, 2016)

BRONWEN HANES of Anderson Valley was in court Tuesday on a violation of probation charge. Ms. Hanes was on probation for diversion to herself of some $25,000 from the Anderson Valley PTA.

OLD TIMERS will be saddened to learn that Marlene Marie McIntosh, nee Dellinger, has died. Mrs. Dellinger was a graduate of Anderson Valley High School, class of 1954. The sad news was brought to us by Mrs. McIntosh’s sister, Wilma Witherell, also a graduate of the old high school and newly returned to the family property on West Fitch Lane, Boonville.

OLD TIMERS will also want this evolutionary account of Ham Canyon, and you don’t qualify as an Old Timer if you don’t know where Ham Canyon is. Take it away Joan Burroughs:

“I know you are curious about the naming of Ham Canyon so I am sending you some information you might find interesting. I found a pile of old deeds regarding properties within the area while doing some June family research a few years ago.

The land purchases and deeds involve a lot of the old pioneer families in Anderson Valley. When reviewing the old deeds I discovered the June Ranch acreage at one time consisted of many separate parcels, some less than an acre.

The first recorded deed in the area was dated January 12, 1878, when J. J. Smalley deeded land to J. D. Ball; another parcel from J. J. Smalley to Joseph Rawles; two separate parcels recorded in 1889 from William Fry to Ida F. Ham. This parcel became known as Ham’s Canyon, Ham Canyon, Ham’s Region or the Ham Nook, depending on your Boontling.

The combined parcels including the Ham property were purchased by Harwood and Blossom June with a five-year promissory note to John Edward Singley (Fly). The names on the old deeds, Quit Claims, and boundary adjustments are noted pioneer families:  J. J. Smalley; J. D. Ball; Joseph Rawles; Mary Jane Fry; Ida F. Ham; S. M. Ornbaun; Nellie Slater; Mary Estes; Henry Wightman; George Jeans, and Clarence L. St John. When the loan was paid off Harwood and Blossom June owned all the parcels and the combined acres became H. J. June Ranch.

One of the early maps shows the location of the Ham family cabin so apparently the family resided there for a number of years before selling the property.”

GEORGE JEANS had been a slave, made his way west and homesteaded Ham Canyon. He cleared the land and helped build the Little Red School House. The late Dick Day said he remembered as a child Jeans showing him and other small boys the whip scars on his back. Day said Jeans always boasted he could outwork any three Boonville louts.

HAM CANYON is due west of the Elementary School. You can drive in off Ornbaun Road but the present owner of the property, Janes June is a crack shot and not what you would call welcoming.

LOCAL CONTRACTOR KIRT MORSE has overseen the remarkable rehab of the Live Oak Building, Boonville. The Mullins family of Balo Winery, Philo, now owns the Valley landmark.

RE-LIVE the Jimi Hendrix Experience by the great Randy Hansen, 6pm Saturday night, Navarro Store, another great show brought to us by Mendocino County’s lead live music presenter, Dave Evans. Get your tickets while you can. Dave says they’re going fast. And you’ve got the Thorn Petals as opening act.

INTRIGUING photo of an elk near Elk in the Galletti's even more intriguing purple wheat field. I thought elk were herded up much farther north, like on the Lost Coast and a few around Laytonville. The photo of course appeared on the essential and always eclectic Facebook newspaper page published seemingly round-the-clock by the indefatigable Mr. McCarthy.


READERS KALFSBEEK AND WEDDLE promptly identified the purple wheat under cultivation on the Galletti Ranch south of Elk. It's quinoa, kinda like buckwheat. Sold in bulk at the Co-op, Ukiah and at CostCo for about $12 for a ten pound bag. Take it away, Rick: " re: ‘…purple wheat…’ in Elk… The pic shows what I think is quinoa — or a very close relative — which grows over a lot of central California that I know of. The purple cast that this plant and other grasses get seasonally is a perfect match for the bluish hints in deer’s coats, ground-birds’ plumage, and so on."

UKIAH has set aside five trees for landmark status. Anderson Valley has some impressive trees, not counting Hendy Woods, and here are three I nominate for permanent protection.

The Laurel Bay to the rear of the Farrer Building, central Boonville. It’s at least a hundred years old, and as perfectly shaped and as stately an old fellow as can be found in the Anderson Valley.


Iconic fir at the Little Red School House, and synonymous with the school in the fond memories of generations of local students. One of my prized possessions is a handmade tableau of the old school and its eternally vigilant fir created by the late Mick Bloyd.

There are more impressive madrones hidden away here and there — a grove of giants at the top of the Y Ranch, Yorkville, is a sight to behold — but this one on Anderson Valley Way, for pure girth, gives us a clear look at how large at their feet these trees can get. An old timer told me that he knows of at least two drunks who’ve collided with the tree pictured.

SORRY to see Mendocino High School cancel football this season. I've thought for years that the small schools of the County should form one team to play up a league with Fort Bragg, Cloverdale, Willits. O yeah? How would that work, Mr. Wizard? One simple, basic playbook. Get together for group practice once a week, practice separately, play Friday nights and Saturdays. There's always a few kids in the small schools who really want to play and can play, but not enough of their classmates share their enthusiasm anymore.

AIRPORT DAY at the Boonville International was a big success, according to Airport Manager Kirk Wilder. Not only did our local flyboys and girls garner modest contributions from appreciative visitors, they sold almost $400 worth of T-shirts. And about 120 people were thrilled to get free rides over the beautiful Anderson Valley.

ACCORDING TO Community Services District Board Chair Valerie Hanelt, Anderson Valley Fire Chief Andres Avila has declared both the high school and elementary school "indefensible" for fire protection because neither school has sufficient on-site water at sufficient pressure. If a fire broke out at either school, water would have to be supplied by water tenders and pumper trucks. School superintendent Michelle Hutchins has said that she wants to be included in the planning for the possible Boonville municipal water project. Ms. Hutchins' request has complicated the planning process, however, because Ms. Hanelt thinks that there should be separate grant funds available for school projects. The Elementary School is more than a mile from downtown Boonville. Piping water to it would be a major project and probably beyond do-able. The high school, however, is at least in the potential water service area.

(NOTE: ‘Elementary School’ always appears in caps because that’s its name in the utilitarian spirit of a rock is a rock and the sky is the sky. We think it should be named after the late Blanche Brown, the Anderson Valley’s remarkable self-trained botanist, founder of the Wildflower Show and a long time teacher who began her long career commuting on horseback to the old Peachland School from her home on Indian Creek. But in the context of no historical memory and less reverence, an Elementary School re-name is unlikely.)

SPEAKING of our schools, two same-subject rumors said the basketball signed by President Obama and donated to Boonville High School by Robert Mailer Anderson was missing. It isn’t. Superintendent Hutchins said it was right where it’s always been, in the school office. Obama signed it during a visit to Anderson’s San Francisco home after the two of them had shot some hoops on Anderson’s indoor court painted, by the way, in Panther brown and gold.

SPEAKING OF FIRE PROTECTION WATER, CSD trustee Paul Soderman, a retired engineer, has designed an ingenious  rainwater catchment system for the new Philo firehouse opposite Jack’s Valley Store. The system would capture roof run-off from the firehouse estimated to be well over 20,000 gallons per rainy season. The run-off would be stored in a series of interconnected 3000-gallon tanks to be installed behind the firehouse. A pumping system would put it in the tanks and then deliver it to fire engines when needed. Soderman estimates the system will cost upwards of $25k (for materials — most of the labor will be donated). But the ground behind the firehouse needs to be leveled to make room for the (upwards of) ten 3,000 gallon tanks. Any local who can provide grading equipment and an operator for a couple of hours for this purpose should call Fire Chief Andres Avila at 895-2020 to make arrangements to get ‘er done.

RENTAL WANTED. Local with references since 1987. John Terwilliger currently resides in Philo in a small cabin but has to move out to make room for the landlord's family. "I am 62 years old, my Irish setter is 12-1/2. We are both gentle and loving souls who need housing by September 1 or soon thereafter. I rely on my retirement, Social Security, for most of my income. I always pay my rent on time on the first of the month. I can provide DirecTV for the household. Willing to caretake, rent a small space or cabin with electricity a must. I'd be happy to be your roommate. Thank you. Anywhere from Anderson Valley to the coast, I can afford to pay $500-$600 per month. Call 707-353-0125 or my current landlady Jackie Carmody at 895-2711."

WE’VE met Mr. Terwilliger and would move him in with us no problemo if we had the space. Modest, quiet, handy. Perfect tenant type of guy.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 27: “GREAT DAY IN ELK”: parade at noon, followed by afternoon carnival, food, activities and live entertainment. barbecued tri-tip or veggie dinner 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. benefit for the Greenwood Community Center in Elk. For more information go to or email No dogs please.


  • Avenue Helianthus
  • Heirloom, Early Girl & Cherry Tomatoes
  • Corno di Toro, Gypsy, Bell, Pimento Sweet Peppers
  • Padrons, Jalapenos, Anaheim, Ancho, Criola Sella Chilis
  • Italian & Asian Eggplant, Zucchini & Patty Pan Squash
  • Walla Walla Onions, Garlic, Cucumbers, Basil, Parsley
  • Strawberries, Asian Pears
  • Sunflowers & Zinnias

Blue Meadow Farm, 3301 Holmes Ranch Rd, Philo 707-895-2071

KZYX old-timer, Diane Hering, is functioning as interim station manager in the wake of Lorraine Dechter’s sudden departure. A smart and genuinely nice person, Ms. Hering will get 'er done in station mean time, a very mean time if history is precedent.

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