Last Remnants

As I noted in my last article the Long Highway through six generations of The Town wound further than I imagined. This one, however, is definitely the End of the Road for me. Constable Reilly’s Gunny Sack So today let’s make one more visit to milltown Navarro in its heyday and explore the police protection […]

The Navarro Saga: More Memories

Well, it’s been a longer journey than I anticipated through my recollections and reminiscences warehouse 49 years of residence in Navarro has provided me. My original plan was three articles; this one is number ten. And to catalyze browsing through my own memories I have gone back to reread the Anderson Valley memoirs I have […]

The Navarro Saga: Random Reflections

It’s been an exhilarating two months recollecting and recording past and present times in Navarro. A French philosopher once said something like “…the more things change, the more they stay the same.” Does this metaphor fit the Navarro saga? Until two years ago the Highway 128 sign identifying our existence declared, “Elevation 272, Pop. 67. […]

Buzz & Barbara, Hippies?

After my last piece’s exploration of slow pitch softball in Anderson Valley and the Rest of the World two generations ago, it’s been a comfort to return to Navarro around 1975 during the hippie ‘Renaissance” and relate the story of another kind of Hippie who migrated to our town around that time. Here’s how Buzz […]

Hippietime Navarro: The Iteville Clams

No one among my early seventies local history educators ever mentioned town-wide sports in Navarro. In my generation the Navarro Clams slow pitch softball team evolved from  Valley-wide informal sports activities circulating around Boonville.  Formal sports activity, for men anyway, has been part of the American high school education system going way back in time. […]

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 […]