Mike Read/Pages From The Past
(Editor’s note: This feature takes a stroll down memory lane through the pages of the historic Novato Advance newspaper. And you can still subscribe for home delivery to this very day. See details on page 3A.)
100 Years Ago
— The case of the State vs L. Lieb, charged with killing a dog, held in Community Hall, Novato last Wednesday, attracted considerable attention. District Attorney Greer appeared for the State and F.J. Burke of Petaluma represented the defendant. The case ended in a hung jury seven for acquittal and five for conviction. H.B. Hatfield was foreman. Judge Rudolff announces that the case has been dismissed and will not be tried again.
75 Years Ago
— Members of the Novato druids are enthusiastically selling tickets to the Druids Second Annual Carnival to be staged on the evenings of May 24 and 25. Special incentive for the sale of tickets is the fact that the Druids are not only preparing to make the affair exceed that of last year but are honoring their returned members who have seen service in all branches of Uncle Sam’s fighting forces.
— Work has nearly been completed on the baseball field at the corner of First and Vallejo Streets preparatory to the season soon to begin with the reviving of a Novato team sponsored by the Novato Fire Department. First practice has been called for “Monday evening at 5:30. Anyone wishing to try out for the team is invited to the practice session. Complete equipment has been purchased and it is hoped that Novato can come up with a good team. A game with Point Arena has been tentatively arranged for the Fourth of July. Those that attended these games with the northern village in the past will be sure to want to make the journey this year. Batter Up!
— Know All Men by these Presents; We, the undersigned, ALBERT ROBERT MILLER and RICHARD ALAN MILLER do hereby certify. That we are copartners transacting business in the State of California under the fictitious name and style of TOYON NURSERIES; that the principal place of business of said co-partnership is situated at SWEETSER AVENUE.
— Mrs. Josie Bobo, our popular postmaster, has tendered her resignation. Her determination to give up the office is due to her change of residence to Ignacio. The Post office Department is casting about for a successor and until someone is chosen, she must continue to serve.
50 Years Ago
— The $120,000 first phase of Stafford Lake Park most likely be will open in September, providing an entry road from Novato Boulevard, parking for about 50 cars each in two half completed parking lots, a sizable lawn area of 2 or 3 acres, and irrigation for native trees that will be planted (such as live oak, bay, willow and buckeye).
— John Silva, 90, a resident of Novato for more than 60 years at 825 DeLong Avenue, who died April 10 at Hill Road Convalescent Hospital after a long illness. Born in St. George, the Azores, Mr. Silva came to the United States as a young man and was a ranch worker for many years. His affiliations included memberships in the IDESI and UPEC Lodges of Novato. Survivors include a sister, Elvira Lacerda of Lisbon, Portugal. Another sister, Silvana, died in Novato in 1959. Rosary services were held at Redwood Chapel Funeral Home. Interment was in Mount Olivet Cemetery, San Rafael.
— Boise Cascade Building Co.’s precise development plans for construction of 215 townhouse units on the Oliva Ranch property will be the subject of a public hearing meeting of the city planning commission. The project, presently known as the Parkhaven development, is planned for construction on the north side of Novato Boulevard between Trumbull Estates Unit 2 and Regalia Drive, bounded on the north by Novato Creek. W.W. Cameron has asked for a use permit to open a retail and wholesale popcorn, drink dispensing and novelty shop at 822 Grant Avenue, which will require a public hearing Monday night. William H. Hints will seek a variance to permit construction of a machine shop and office with six off-street parking spaces (12 are required) on the north side of Vallejo Avenue east of Redwood Highway, to be known as 864 Vallejo Avenue.
25 Years Ago
— Lloyd R. Rodoni, a native of Novato and a longtime Novato businessman, died unexpectedly on Tuesday morning, June 4, 1996 at Kaiser Hospital in San Rafael. He was 79 years old. Mr. Rodoni, a lifelong bachelor, loved Novato. He was born on Dec. 29,1916, the son of Lindo Rodoni and Laura Bola Rodoni, who came here from Switzerland. He attended Grant Avenue School and graduated from San Rafael High School in 1934. Mr. Rodoni served in the U.S. Army in Europe during World War II. An infantryman, he was a survivor of the Battle of the Bulge. Home in Novato, Mr. Rodoni opened his first business— the popular 101 Town Club, a tavern. Some years later, he and a friend, Morry Quilici, went into business together. They started the Liquor Mart, also in Novato. Mr. Rodoni retired 25 years ago.
— Manuel George Almada, a Novato native and former longtime resident, died Tuesday, June 4,1996 at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco. He was 88. Mr. Almada was born on the old Deer Island Ranch in Novato on Dec. 8, 1907. He was the son of Manuel Almada, who had emigrated from the Azores, and Mary DeBorba Almada, a member of one of Novato’s pioneer families. He attended local schools and San Rafael High School. He served as an Army military policeman at the Pentagon during World War II. After returning to California, he went to work for the Railway Express in San Francisco. He was a truck driver and delivery man for many years. Mr. Almada was a longtime member of the Novato Historical Society.
— The Campbell Estate, owner of the Vintage Oaks shopping center, is suing the center’s developer seeking a remedy to structural problems threatening to drive out some of the area’s largest retail stores. Named as defendants in the suit filed June 12 in the U.S. District Court, Northern California District are the combined Hahn Company interests, including some geotechnical engineers who worked on the design and construction of the 576,947-square-foot mall. The Campbell Estate asserts it was misled as to how much the shopping center would settle after construction. Some of the center’s largest retailers, including Target and Costco, have complained of cracking walls and other structural defects caused by uneven settling in the foundation. Vintage Oaks was developed by the San Diego-based Hahn Co. in the early 1990s and opened for business in February 1992. The Campbell Estate, a Hawaii-based private trust with land holdings in 13 states and assets valued at $2.2 billion, purchased the center from Hahn in June 1994.