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 wschs.com, or email comments or questions about this History Corner to Mary Dodgion at wschs.historycorner @gmail.com.
100 Years Ago — 1919
Sebastopol will have a new brass band
Plans were formulated at a meeting of local musicians that Sebastopol is to have a band of at least 20 pieces. Members of the organization believe they are filling a long-felt need of the community. Members are S. Clair Moore, Denman Barlow, Joe Brick, clarinets; Lewis Borba, snare drums; H.E. Ownes, bass drum; F. McDonald, tuba; Charles Vitale, Fr. Starr, James Richelieu, Wesley Benepe, cornets; Leonard Owens, W.S. Borba, Sidney Gressot, alto cornets, E.F. Jewell, baritone; J.E. Jewett, H.M. Lutgens, saxophones; Theodore Woolsey, Paul Chase, trombones, and A.B. Swain, flute and piccolo. John Pozzi, of the Gravenstein Café is instrumental in organizing support from local business to have a summer concert series in Sebastopol. Businesses and interested town people have contributed funds to help make this happen.
One would think from this 1919 article that this was the newest band organized in Sebastopol, but there are newspaper articles to the contrary. The Sebastopol String Band, the George Sanborn Band, Kahler’s Brass Band, and the Sebastopol Brass Band were performing at events as early as 1895.
75 Years Ago — 1944
City Planning Committee to be re-established in Sebastopol
Re-establishment of a City Planning Commission was decided upon at a meeting of the Sebastopol City Council. The city formerly had a planning committee, but it was discontinued early in 1940. The committee is composed of the city attorney, the city engineer, the mayor ex officio and five members chosen from among the townspeople. The need for such a committee is in order (so) post-war planning may begin.
50 Years Ago — 1969
Two new businesses open on Main Street
Main Street. One is a book store, the other a wig shop.
The Wig Wam, 207 No. Main St., owned by Mrs. Jerry Miller and Mrs. Dottie Tremblay, opened their doors and served three customers before installers could get the phone in. ,A block south at 133 So. Main St., Harry Strauss opened the Sebastopol Book Store. The book shop is planned to be a general shop, covering all fields, but features a strong section of occult, mystic and fine print volumes.
Little League New Field Ready
Due to overcrowded conditions at Ives Park, the field at Park Side has been in use for the past few years by the Little League teams, in spite of the fact that it has never been turfed. The Beta Sigma Phi Sorority of Sebastopol has raised and donated half of the $2,000 dollars required to turf the field. The Little Leaguers raised the remaining $1,000. Jensen Nursery installed the turf. Dave Stogner, with the Pargas Co., donated the time and equipment to install the sprinkling system, and the City’s Park and Recreation Commission provided water meters and the free use of water. The playing field will be maintained by the Sebastopol School District.
Happenings at West County Museum:
Take a look at the achievements of some of Sonoma County’s extraordinary women at the West County Museum exhibit running from Dec. 5 to March 15. Many women and children’s groups have already scheduled tours. Contact the museum if your group is interested in a personal tour of this exhibit.
The museum will be closed from Dec. 25 to Dec. 27. We wish you all a joyous holiday time. The museum reopens on Dec. 28.
We are always eagerly awaiting volunteers. Stop in or call to meet our crew.
The Museum Gift Shop has a number of new items to pique your interest. A new collection of railroad hats for adults and children have been added, as well as some adorable railroad-themed Christmas tree ornaments. We also have added custom suffrage buttons and Votes for Women T-shirts that are sure to be a hot item for the centennial celebration.
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.