The following snippets of history are drawn from the pages of the Healdsburg Tribune, the Healdsburg Enterprise and the Sotoyome Scimitar, and are prepared by the volunteers at the Healdsburg Museum & Historical Society. Admission is always free at the museum, open Wednesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
100 years ago – February 12, 1920
Natural Gas Found On Boshford Ranch Harry McCallon, well borer who was drilling for water on the Boshford ranch, just west of Santa Rosa, on the Dry Creek road, discovered an unpleasant odor issuing from the well when he had reached a level of 204 feet down in the earth, a day or two ago, and upon applying a match to the mouth of the well, was surprised when a flame leaped into the air and continued to burn a few hours with a roaring noise. Sufficient time was given the flame to prove that it tapped a supply of natural gas of large volume, and then with some difficulty it was extinguished and the well was left undisturbed for a few days. Investigation then showed that the flame was entirely out, and Mr. McCallon piped down past the flow of gas and is now going forward with the drilling, expecting to strike a large body of the gas.
50 years ago – February 12, 1970
Campbell wins shearing honors Bruce Campbell, son of Dr. and Mrs. Charles Campbell, local vet, continues to win farming honors. Bruce, who won many Future Farmers of America awards, last month took fourth in the National Western Stock Show's Junior sheep shearing contest. Bruce’s photos however, were the ones selected both by the Denver Post and the Rocky Mountain News to use in featuring the contest. Dr. and Mrs. Campbell learned of Bruce’s award shortly after the competition was over . . . when they were in Las Vegas, attending a meeting of the Rocky Mt. Veterinarian Society. “We were sitting next to a couple from Arvada, Colo., and the talk got around to the fact Bruce was attending Colorado State University and in the sheep shearing competition and the woman said something about seeing a terrible picture in a paper the day before ... 'a boy was holding a naked sheep’ ... I asked her who it was and she answered, ‘Oh, some big blond boy.’ I said it just had to be Bruce,” Dr. Campbell said.
25 years ago – February 15, 1995
Lake Sonoma opens up for boaters again Lake Sonoma was re-opened for boating activities last Friday when repair crews and equipment were cleared out after attempting to fix a flood release gate that malfunctioned 250 feet under water. Water releases were stopped Jan. 25 at Warm Springs Dam when a maintenance gate malfunctioned and blocked the flow of water through the dam. At a cost of about $500,000, a team of deep-sea divers, specially equipped to handle extreme depths, had to be contacted to try to fix the gate. The damaged flood gate has since been removed and the next step in the repair is being discussed.