Indian vintage

Photo from the 1968 advertisement for “Pageant of Fire Mountain” on the Russian River, Guerneville. Provided by Russian River Historical Society. It was an annual event held from 1947 to 1977 (absent 1965) put on by the Guerneville Chamber of Commerce.

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 — 1919

Analy’s New Shop

One of the most interesting and instructive branches of work is the practical manual training shop. Byron Nason, the instructor, outlined the courses that will take place in the newly expanded building on campus. The courses shall include wood working, mechanical drawing, tin smithing, soldering, plumbing, forging, machine work, elementary electricity, gas engines, and automobiles and tractors. “We are trying to fit this course to the needs of boys who come from the farms, for most of Analy’s boys do. Everything will be in relation to this fact.”

75 Years Ago — 1944

Grammar school receives $66 per pupil

State support for the Sebastopol Union Elementary school district $66.40 per pupil in average daily attendance. This is more than double the $30.60 provided by the state for 1932-33. From 1920 on, the state constitution required that the state provide a fund of $30 per pupil; in 1933 it was increased to $60 per pupil; for 1943-45, the legislature raised the sum to $66. In 1932-33, the total state apportionment was $20,862,809; for 1943-44 it amounted to $46,651.293.

50 Years Ago — 1969

Fire Mountain Flames Again

The 22nd annual performance of the Russian River Pageant of Fire Mountain will be presented in two shows. Tom-toms will beat and flames will leap skyward on the Russian River. Pageant of Fire Mountain re-tells an old Indian love legend involving Pomo and Lake county tribes and the love of Princess Pale Moon and Prince Fleetfoot. The famous Wasichu Indian dancers are featured. Authentic American Indian dancing has been included since 1959. At the climax of the pageant, the mountain, known as Fire Mountain, bursts in flame. The event draws many locals as well as out of town folks yearly.

Happenings at West County Museum:

Tickets for the 17th annual Barbara Bull Cemetery Walk held Oct. 4 and 5, are now on sale at This is always a sellout event so get your tickets early.

Mark your calendars for the Archive Crawl happening October 5, 1 to 4 p.m. at the West County Museum. This is a rare, inside and behind-the-scenes look at the operations of the museum. Look for more information in the Sonoma West Times.

The Museum is always looking for volunteers interested in local history or who have a few hours to spare. If you have interests or talents to share we welcome; docents, researchers, archivists, photographers, genealogy buffs and gardeners. Please call the Museum or Farm at the numbers below and leave a message; we will get back to you, I promise.

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 the museum at 707-829-6711 or the Burbank Experiment Farm at 707-829-2361.

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