berry's sawmill

CIRCA 1894-1902 — Black and white photo of Berry’s Sawmill in operation in an area called Freeze Out. Milling tasks were performed to produce lumber from sections of private forestlands.

The following snippets of history were prepared by volunteers at the Western Sonoma County Historical Society. For more information about local history, go to the WSCHS website at, or email comments or questions about this History Corner to Mary Dodgion at

100 YEARS AGO – 1918

Take precautions and protect against influenza

Yesterday notices were put up asking the public to take all precautions to protect themselves against the epidemic of Spanish influenza by wearing masks and refraining from congregating on the street to converse. These notices are a request, but if the public does not heed and comply with them, the request will become an ordinance law and will be enforced. It is hoped that everyone will be doing all they can to help stamp out the dreaded epidemic.

District attorney appeals to residents to protect themselves

The District Attorney’s office has been aroused by the large number of fatal cases of Spanish influenza and pneumonia throughout the rural section of Sonoma County and will take steps to protect the residents unless they take the necessary precautions for themselves voluntarily. Unless the public takes proper steps, Mr. Hoyle suggested the possibility of a general quarantine of the county

Flu ordinance is passed

Commencing today and until further notice, it is a law that everyone in the town of Sebastopol shall wear a mask for the prevention of the spread of the influenza epidemic. The law that was passed at a meeting of the Town Trustees goes into effect immediately.

75 YEARS AGO – 1943

New sawmill at Cazadero increases farm income

In answer to the nation’s increasing demand for lumber, a new sawmill in the town of Cazadero is now busily engaged in the production of Douglas fir and redwood lumber for Sonoma County war industries. Built and operated by M.H. Berry of Cazadero, the new electric band sawmill is said to be one of the best small mills in the bay area. They will soon boost the output to about 12,000 board feet a day so that additional lumber can be sawed for farm needs. Lorin Berry, son of the owner, who helped design and construct the mill, is now engaged in log production and mill operations. Now logs are being cut on the King and Walter McBain ranch above Cazadero. This gives farmers a chance to get an additional income out of their timberland and help ease the lumber shortage. The forestry project is administered by the US Dept. of Agriculture, which furnishes a forester to help farmers cut and market their timber products.

50 YEARS AGO – 1968

New pharmacy opens in Fiesta Shopping Center

The Fiesta Pharmacy, newest addition to the Fiesta Shopping Center, will be operated by Daryl Schloss, registered pharmacist. Sharing ownership with Schloss is Daniel Donovan, Novato, who operates a San Francisco drug store. Donovan will not be active in the store here. Schloss has for the past four years been a pharmacist with the Empire Drug Company in Santa Rosa. His wife, Joan, will be associated with him at the store here. Others on the staff will be D. Vandever, stock manager from San Francisco, Mrs. W.G. Robert and Mrs. Marshall Jones, both of Sebastopol. Daryl, Joan and their three sons, Michael 14, Kenneth 11, Danny 9, now live in Santa Rosa, but plan to establish a home here as soon as possible.

West County Museum Notes and Happenings:

The current museum exhibit all about Sebastopol and the 100-year-old train Depot building continues through December. If you haven’t seen it, get on down there. The next exhibit “Seats of History” should pique your interest. It will cover many topics in the West County. Each seat will tell a story of a person or industry specific to our area. Opens February 7, 2019.

We are still looking for a number of volunteers to help with docents, photography, exhibit presentation, data entry, volunteer coordination and a general maintenance man. Please contact the museum. Don’t wait, the need is now. Call 707-829-6711.

The Western Sonoma County Historical Society is a wholly volunteer organization and includes West County Museum and the Burbank Gold Ridge Experiment Farm in Sebastopol. Our mission is to preserve the west county’s historic past. We are looking for old photos and stories of families, businesses, farms, etc. Do you have photos or stories to share? Call 829-6711, 823-0884 or 829-1757.

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