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  May  2018

 E-NEWSLETTER                                                                                         May  2018


IT'S EASY  click here


           Museum News     


Last January, we launched our first online exhibition, entitled “History of Marin in 101 Objects”, which is currently available on both Instagram and Facebook. Inspired by the Smithsonian’s “History of America in 101 Objects”, this initiative is intended to show fans of the museum the range of our collection, as well as make our county’s rich history more tangible to a population who is eager to learn more.

            The dozens of objects posted thus far illustrate the sweep of our collection, including the first issue of the Marin Journal, a Miwok mortar and pestle, a trove of items and ephemera from San Quentin's reform-minded mid-century warden, Clinton Duffy, and a hard hat from the dedication of the Civic Center that had belonged to Vera Schultz, the first woman elected to serve as county supervisor.

            Some of the artifacts, like the county’s mid-nineteenth century book of dairy cattle brands or remnants of pre-statehood era, tell stories that may be unfamiliar to much of our current population. Meanwhile other objects have been particularly resonant for those who have direct connections and firsthand memories, such as the water conservation mailer dating from the 1977 drought, or the red-and-white beanie worn by freshmen at San Rafael high from the 1930s to the 1960s. One post that featured turn-of-the-century hand-cranked candy mold from Charles Stocking’s San Rafael store garnered a lot of attention from his descendants. 

            I have enjoyed the opportunity to collaborate with longtime museum librarian Jocelyn Moss whose knowledge of the museum’s holdings had made compiling this list, as well as researching, writing, and photographing these objects an exciting and sometimes immersive experience.

                                                         By Ian Sethre 



Edward Von der Porten, an admired nautical historian and archaeologist, passed away on April 8, 2018. An engaging speaker, Von der Porten captivated his audience at Marin History Museum’s event in May of 2017. Additional details including information on his upcoming book can be found at the San Francisco Chronicle website.


 Feature Articles 



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”.



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.

Source:  MHM

Source: MHM
(Note: Cowboy attire was the theme of the day.)

Source: MHM

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

       Faces of Marin        



                                Source: MHM

                             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.



                                                 Source: MHM

                                                               By DC Koenig 


Community Events of Interest

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 recommendedClick 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

Join the fun and see what community groups are doing to make Kentfield and Greenbrae the best place to live!
Over 30 Local Community Groups will be represented
Food trucks and box lunches will be available. 
Music from Kent Jazz Band, RHS Jazz combo and local Mariachis. Student projects from Bacich and Kent Middle School for children. And much, much more!

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  
Free Event. Space is limited.


Museum News, Events, Feature Article, Faces of Marin, 100 Years Ago, Community Events




Thursday, May 24 

7:00 pm

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: or   415-382-1182

Sponsored by:




  Marin Journal     May 1918


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.             



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 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.

Heavy Lifter

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!

P. O. Box 150727, San Rafael, CA 94915        415-382-1182    

Marin History Museum

Marin History Museum - Craemer Family Research and Collection Facility

45 Leveroni Ct Novato CA 94949

Please call for an appointment  


Mailing Address: PO Box 150727San Rafael, CA 94915

For more information:


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