E-NEWSLETTER May 2018
SAUSALITO VERSUS THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE
First envisioned in 1909, engineers laid the last quarter mile of Route 1 from San Rafael to the Sausalito ferry in 1937, establishing Sausalito as a crucial connection in the California intrastate highway system.
With the Golden Gate Bridge’s opening that same year, Sausalito’s prideful position as the link from Marin to San Francisco was crushed by nearly ninety thousand tons of steel.
Click here to read how Sausalito responded to the bypass and the risk of becoming a “forgotten city”.
IT’S FUN TO BE FIRST!
While many know the Golden Gate Bridge opened in May 1937, the bridge’s other firsts remain less familiar. In 1935, while the bridge was still in construction, a group of Berkeley students danced on top of the bridge’s 746-foot Marin tower as part of a publicity stunt organized by Californians’ Inc. of San Francisco.
Source: Golden Gate Memories, Villa Marin Retirement Community
The first accident relating to construction took place in February 1937 when scaffolding collapsed three months before opening. Eleven men fell into the water, only one survived.
The weeklong opening celebration generated more firsts. The bridge opened to its first pedestrians, roller-skaters, bikers, and poker players on May 27, and to its first cars on May 28.
Advances in lighting technology brought more firsts over the past eighty years. One year after the bridge’s opening, sidewalk lamps were installed. In1972, high-pressure vapor lamps replaced the original sodium roadway ones. Surprisingly, the tower lighting planned by Irving F. Morrow, the bridge’s designer, only flashed to life in 1987. Three years later, aircraft beacons were added for security reasons.
Traffic forced other changes. In May 1938, the first pedestrian was charged for crossing the Golden Gate Bridge, but the fee was reversed in December 1970.
Winds reaching 69 miles per hour caused the bridge to close for the first time for two hours on December 1, 1951. Reversible lanes came into use in October 1963, and a moveable median barrier was installed in January 2015 causing a 52-hour closure to all but pedestrians and bus traffic.
When the bridge first opened, regular ferries from Marin County to San Francisco ceased. It was only in 1973 that that regular ferry boat traffic resumed because of the estimated 100,000 cars a day crossing the bridge.
The bridge quickly became one of the Bay Area’s grandest cultural icons with its first movie cameo appearance in The Maltese Falcon (1941.) Its first staring role was in Dark Passage (1945.)
Click here for more movies starring the bridge. By Claire Hendren
Peter J. Andersen
June 26, 1912 - February 21, 2003
Born in Tversted, Denmark, Peter immigrated to the United States with his mother and two brothers in 1933. Three years later, Peter and his brother Chris took jobs as carpenters on the nascent Golden Gate Bridge. The brothers felt privileged to have jobs during the depression, especially on such a significant project.
On February 17, 1937, at 9:20 a.m., tragedy struck. Peter watched his brother fall to his death when the Golden Gate Bridge’s safety net failed. Chris, and ten other men, plunged into the icy waters. After Chris’s death, Peter continued to work in construction going on to supervise significant projects including the Pearl Harbor Dry Docks during World War II, Hunter’s Point Naval Shipyards, Collie Dam, and portions of Highway 80 through Sierra Nevada. As a member of the Merchant Marines, Peter saw action at Pearl Harbor where he helped rescue those wounded in the bombing and in the Vietnam conflict.
Peter settled in San Rafael in 1955. He passed away in 2003, survived by his wife Irmgard and son Peter J. Andersen, Jr. who donated the tools his father used on the Golden Gate Bridge to the Marin History Museum.
By DC Koenig
Wednesday May 2 7-8:30 pm
Creekside Room, Mill Valley Library
It Happened in Marin with author Jim Holden
What makes Marin County such an enjoyable place to live and such a unique part of the American landscape? In It Happened in Marin, author Jim Holden brings us a wealth of answers.
Registration recommended. Click here to register.
Friday May 4 10-12
The Dominican University students spent many hours with Marcie Miller at the museum going through Marin Independent Journals to find the information for their project.
Saturday May 5 11am-2pm
Bon Air Center
Kentfield/Greenbrae Historical Society and Bon Air Center
Community Heritage & History Day
Friday, 11 7:00 Sausalito Library
The Sausalito Historical Society
No Name Bar Stories.
The Sausalito Historical Society invites you to a special program at the Sausalito Library celebrating the "wonder years" of the No Name Bar from 1959-1975. The event will feature a welcome from Neil Davis, former owner of the No Name Bar, and stories from bar patrons and staff. Speakers will include Greg Baker, Margo St. James, George McDonald, Steve McNamara, Michael Stepanian, Ian Swift, and Dana Upton. The program will be followed by the grand opening of "No Name Bar: The Wonder Years 1959-1974" in the Exhibit Room of the Sausalito Historical Society. The exhibit will feature photos and memorabilia from the No Name Bar.
Monday May 21 6:30 – 8pm
California Room, Marin County Library
Levi Strauss: The Man Who Gave Blue Jeans to the World
Lynn Downey, former Levi Strauss & Co. Historian and author of Levi Strauss: The Man Who Gave Blue Jeans to the World, presents this illustrated lecture, followed by a book-signing.
Levi Strauss is most famous for helping to create the world’s first blue jeans. He was also a savvy businessman, civic leader, and generous philanthropist. But thanks to the loss of his company’s records in the 1906 earthquake and fire, he has become more of a figure of myth than historical fact.
PLEASE NOTE LOCATION: Anne T. Kent California Room Special Collections & Map Annex, 1600 Los Gamos, Suite 182, San Rafael. Enter through Lobby B.
Saturday May 26 9:00am San Anselmo Historical Commission
Stroll Through History Seminary Area Montgomery Chapel (Richmond Road & Bolinas Avenue).
This year, the Historical Commission will sponsor "A Stroll Through History" in one of San Anselmo’s oldest neighborhoods—the Seminary area. The tour will highlight the quiet beauty of San Francisco Theological Seminary, its history, and fine architecture.
RSVP at strollsananselmo.eventbrite.com
IN THIS ISSUE:
Museum News, Events, Feature Article, Faces of Marin, 100 Years Ago, Community Events
Thursday, May 24
Elks Lodge,1312 Mission Ave.San Rafael
The Swiss-Italian Connection: From Ticino to Marin and Back
Featured author and guest speaker: Marilyn L. Geary
Since first arriving in California to find fortune in the Gold Rush, Marin’s Swiss-Italian pioneers have made lasting contributions to Marin’s agricultural and cultural heritage.
By taking us on a virtual visit to the ancestral home of Marin’s Swiss-Italian families, the Vallemaggia, in Ticino, Marilyn Geary will share the history of their departure and trace the paths of several prominent immigrants, including the founders of the Marin county Bank. Their stories include both dairy ranchers and entrepreneurs, the ancestors of those who help make Marin what it is today.
$10 admission. Free entry for Elks with ID card
Please RSVP: email@example.com or 415-382-1182
IN THE NEWS - 100 YEARS AGO THIS MONTH
Marin Journal May 1918
SPEEDERS GIVE TO RED CROSS AT COURT'S SUGGESTION
Judge Helmore and Speed Officer James Sinnott were a little Red Cross committee by themselves last Friday in Sausalito, and through their efforts Sausalito's subscriptions were increased by $40.
Sinnott arrented four speeders, and broght them before Judge Helmore...
After hearing their stories Judle Helmore said that he didn't feel like punishing them severely, and then he consulted with Sinnott. They talked and nodded their heads.
" I will dismiss the charges," the court said. The defendants smiled happily. "Provided," the court continued, "you donate $10 each to the Red Cross."
We're tickled to death," the four men said, and they immediately deposited the amounts with Judle Helmore, who turned it over to the Red Cross committee.
VOLUNTEER JOB OPPORTUNITIES
We can use your help! Have a little time on our hands and looking to help a local non-profit? Below is a list of some of the volunteer positions we need to fill.
Please let us know if any of these look interesting to you by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 415-382-1182. We would love to hear form you!
We are starting to create a lot of content for our eNewsletters, social media sites, and future traveling exhibitions and publications. If you like to do historical research and write short articles, we could use your help.
Along with writers, we need editors to give the final article its blessing before it goes to print. This volunteer job can be done from home or on site. Let us know if you have that required eagle eye and grammatical tenacity to tackle this job.
We need a few strong individuals to help move heavy shelving units within the Collections Facility. If you have few hours to spare during the week and could help us move our shelves, we would love to hear from you.
Special Event Assistant
If you enjoy hosting or attending a well-planned party, you’ll be a natural at during the Museum’s special events. We would love to see you help create the party, greet guests who attend, and keep that friendly and festive feeling going for the whole evening.
Capture the moment for us! Your photos of the Museum’s special events and exhibitions will be invaluable for public outreach, future fundraising campaigns and our institution’s historical record. We could use your help documenting our history!
Are you a student looking for community service hours? Know a student who needs hours before graduating? The Marin History Museum is a 501(c)3 and can grant students their community service hours.
Let us know and we’ll take care of it!