An Oldie but Goodie

I’m sure readers everywhere pick up a book they remember reading a decade ago, are interested enough to read it again, and remain firm in their belief that it’s STILL a great read. For example “The Last Days of the Late, Great State of California” by Curt Gentry written in 1968. Combining the history and […]

Searching for Limb Casts

“What’s a Limb Cast?” Any geologist or rockhound can tell you. If you bury any or all of a tree in hot volcanic ash the wood will burn away but leave a cast, or impression, that then fills in over the ages with agate. The agate can come in a variety of colors and the […]

Going to See the Planners

While not falling into the “Lost Cause” category, attending a County Planning Commission meeting when you KNOW your side is going to lose, eats up a day and leaves you disappointed. I have nothing but respect for the commissioners who sit through day after day of pleading and cajoling over whose side is right. Word […]

Book Sale for History Lovers

In what’s becoming an annual tradition the Kelley House Museum in Mendocino is hosting a book sale of history books Saturday May 25 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the west porch. Book donations come from excess materials in the archives combined with books donated by local historians Bruce Levene, Thad Van Buren and […]

Governor’s First Ladies in History

While praise and glory has been heaped on California governors and biographies written about them, standing behind almost every one of them was a First Lady supporting that man.  I picked up a self-published book recently called “The First Ladies of California” written by Lynn Cook and Janet LaDue, who were docents at the state […]

Winter Rail Escapade for 5,000 Miles

Every few years my husband and I save enough to go on a tour with our favorite travel group, Mountain Outin’. The tour director finds unusual and wonderful places to visit with rail travel to get you there and back. This year the Winter Rail Escapade was to Wisconsin. Wisconsin? In the snowiest winter that […]

Mendocino Geology for $1

You never know what you’ll turn up at a book sale. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. While working on the Mendocino County history I’m writing I was thrilled to pick up “Mineral Commodities of California” (1957) for $1. In it were 736 slightly musty pages of geology and geography and references to Mendocino […]

Sunday Drive Around Sutter Buttes

Spend 40 years driving by the same interesting-looking place along Highway 20 and saying “…Some year we should check that out…” and finally we got it together and took time to check out Sutter Buttes. Nicknamed the “World’s Smallest Mountain Range” the Buttes rise 2,000’ over the Central Valley and you wonder what the heck […]

Another Roadside Attraction

Anyone living in Anderson Valley or on the coast has driven by this location a gazillion times and probably noticed a small sturdy stucco building

What? Another AV Newspaper?

Don’t panic. We’re talking almost ancient history here. As I sorted through research materials acquired while writing a 150-year history of Mendocino County I look at some of it and think “Where the heck did I find this?” In this case it was a competitor publication called the Anderson Valley Advocate, from the early 1970s. […]

Making Money Writing a Century Ago

As an historian nearing the end of writing my first draft of a history of Mendocino County from 1852-2002 I can’t help but being intrigued by some of the people I’ve researched — like Aurelius O. Carpenter of Ukiah. First, let me say that anyone wanting to know more about this person can go to […]

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