Navarro in the 70s: The Hippie ‘Renaissance’

For those of us lucky enough to live here in The Valley one of the enjoyable pieces of reminiscence among friends and neighbors is the “who was the first hippie” discussion. The first settler, the first Italian, German, Finn, Arkie, post-World War II City Person, Mexican question framed the discussion. The “hippie” category is perhaps […]

Navarro, 1971: The Rest of the Cast

Though in my last I described The Store as the geographical, economic and social center of the town in 1971, my consort and I soon learned to value the rest of the local inhabitants for what they gave us in the way of insights into their heritage and the craftsmanship of daily life in rural […]

Navarro, 1971: Betty, Osana & Cynthia

As one of my previous articles noted, the actual population of the 1971 village was not too different from what the State Highway sign declares today, Pop. 67. And that would include Russian Hill, the Salmela Ranch and two other dwellings, inhabitants there Pop. 4. By the time my consort and I got to know […]

Bill Witherell: Friend & Neighbor

This reporter and his consort arrived in Navarro on 31 March, 1971. Over prior months we had rented a small cabin above the dump on Pine Mountain, Cloverdale and spent the winter exploring Sonoma and Mendocino counties looking for raw land to plant grapes on. The Ingram Ranch, Navarro, was the only piece of ground […]

Navarro, the Milltown in the Redwoods

I wonder how many isolated rural milltowns there were in California when the Wendling mill started production in 1907. I say dozens, perhaps hundreds along the redwood belt alone. Think of Aptos and the Santa Cruz mountains forests, Redwood City, Mill Valley in Marin, The Russian River mouth in Sonoma, Gualala River north to Big […]

A Brief History of Navarro

Your remarks about the Navarro Ice House in the May 27 AVA Valley People provoked my own reflections about the place and a multitude of memories of the characters and activities inhabiting the Deep End when I first settled here almost fifty years ago. Navarro’s birth, like that of many other rural American towns, was […]

Where Are The Old Timers When We Need Them?

There is a timelessness to Marshall Newman’s recollections of the “way it used to be” in pre-urbanized Anderson Valley (not The Anderson Valley you and Jed Steele imagine exists). His perspective, however, on the rarity of the California Nutmeg and Incense Cedar differs from mine and from other ramblers about the Valley’s woods and pastures. […]

Research And The River (Part 4)

One of the ways this reporter has lived the Navarro River is visiting its swimming holes on those steamy hundred degree days in August when there’s nowhere else in the Valley to be after 11 AM. Bobby Glover, the renowned Navarro historian and last of the Guntlys to live here used to recite a mantra […]

Who Uses What? Research & The River (Part 3)

This week’s inquiry attempts to identify the other major kinds of water usage in the Valley beside irrigated agriculture the community needs to acquire information about in order to understand the extent of its water resource available to residents and businesspeople today and in the future.

Research & The River (Part 2)

These articles were begun in early February this year in an atmosphere of deep anxiety from the driest thirteen months this reporter had ever seen in 43 years in Anderson Valley. Since then, at least at my station, the gods have smiled, over seventeen and a half inches of rain at our end of the […]

Research & The River

Almost a year ago an important document about a primary resource sustaining the Anderson Valley community was published with little local notice or comment. A report called Meeting Agricultural Water Needs In The Navarro River Watershed is the work of the University of California Cooperative Extension Service Mendocino County office research team of seven under […]