(Editor’s note: The following highlights Marin history through the pages of the Novato Advance newspaper. To start a home delivery free trial of the Novato Advance, email your name and address to Publisher Sherm Frederick at email@example.com.)
100 Years Ago
— Chief of Police Flohr, received by express from Capt. Culliver of San Quentin, the overcoat stolen by Douglas Griffin from an auto truck owned by J. Corda of Novato. The coat was stolen in front of Corda’s home, which is on the Novato Lane, leading to Hicks Valley. Griffin took the coat while motoring to Petaluma after escaping from San Quentin in a machine.
Oct. 16, 1920 Daily
— Pini & Co. have bought the old Miller property for the purpose of erecting a reinforced concrete feed mill where chicken and dairy feed can be prepared. A sidetrack has already been laid out to the property which is now being cleared for the purpose of laying additional tracks. Work will be rushed on the construction of the building.
Oct. 21. 1920 Argus
— Mrs. Hattie Atherton Barber, daughter of the late ex-Assemblyman Atherton of Novato, died at her home at Stockton and was laid to rest at that city. The deceased was well known in Petaluma, where she often used to visit before her marriage, when the family occupied the beautiful home north of Novato.
75 Years Ago
— Due to the resignation of Miss Gertrude Lane, for over 18 years a 4-H club leader for the Novato club, and organized it and brought it to its present high standing, the local club has been for the present divided into a boys’ and girls’ section.
— Annexation of the additional territory bounded by Forth, Seventh and Vallejo Streets, Grant and Machin Avenues, to the Novato Sanitary District was voted by the Marin County Board of Supervisors.
— The petition of 26 Indian Valley property owners led by Mrs. Wm. Moorehead and Mrs. Lester Knutte for an extension of water mains by the Novato Utilities Co. to their properties, for which they had raised a cash fund of $11,000 to pay for pipes, etc., was denied by the State Railroad Commission for the present on the grounds of the present shortage of water in the dry season.
50 Years Ago
— Revised plans for construction of a Sambo’s restaurant submitted by Harold Millet, will be considered by the plan review committee tonight. The half-acre site on the northwest corner of Seventh and Novato Boulevard is zoned planned commercial allows a restaurant to be built there.
— Dick Miller’s VW Repair, occupying the garage portion of A-1 Tool Rental, has just opened at 879 Sweeter Avenue. Miller, a member of Novato High School’s first graduation class in 1959, is taking his first plunge into the car business.
— Beware, all you nudists and skinny dippers: The county is out to get you. Yesterday the board of supervisors passed an ordinance which makes it a crime to appear in the raw on any county owned lands, beaches, parks, streets, roads, alleys or wherever. The clout is up to six months in jail or up to $500 fine. Is it worth it? Especially now that the cold weather is almost here? The clutter of naked crazies on once family type Muir Beach brought about the ordinance.
25 Years Ago
— “All of those people who say they know what my aunt would have wanted done (with her trust money) are just talking a bunch of malarkey.” Lee Hamilton, a nephew of Beryl Buck, knows as much about the late philanthropist as anyone alive today and he said in a phone interview last week that his aunt would have approved of the Buck Center for Research in Aging. “I am convinced it fits with her wishes for a number of reasons,” said Hamilton, who lived with the Bucks as a young man and continued to visit his aunt frequently until her death in 1975. He explained that when Mrs. Buck made her will, she believed her estate would be about $10 to $12 million and spin off $500,000 to $600,000 a year. “There was no way it could have financed a big project (like the planned aging research center),” he noted. But when the price of oil skyrocketed, making the Buck oil stock a huge fortune, the trust swelled to more than $400 million and Hamilton said, had his aunt known, she definitely would have approved.
— Following the devastating wildfire that raged over the Inverness Ridge last week and was finally extinguished Tuesday, state and federal agencies and volunteers have already begun to talk of reclaiming the burned land and preparing it for replanting. The Mt, Vision fire, which began from an abandoned illegal campfire and went on to destroy 45 homes and more than 12,000 acres of pristine wildlands, may actually result in a cleaner, healthier forest once the land has had a chance to recover. National Park Service (NPS) officials are hoping.
— Sanchez Mae Rosalie Verissimo Sanchez who was born in Novato and was a part of the town’s life for more than eight decades, died Tuesday, Oct. 10, 1995 at her home after a long illness. She was 84 years old. Mrs. Sanchez was born on the Cornell Ranch on South Novato Boulevard on Aug. 15. 1911. Her parents. John Teixera Verissimo and Theodora Bettencourt Verissimo, had emigrated to the United States from the Azores. The Verissimo family purchased the “E” Ranch at Sutro Avenue and Vineyard Road in 1913. They also had dairy operations at the Reclamation Ranch on Sears Point Road and the Black Point Ranch on Atherton Avenue. Mrs. Sanchez attended grammar school at the old Grant Avenue School and went on to attend San Rafael High School, where she graduated in 1930. After graduation, she went to work for Carlos Freitas, a San Rafael attorney. During the World War II years, she worked at Hamilton Air Force Base and later at the First National Bank in Novato. In 1935, she married Joseph C. Sanchez. The couple lived in her family home on Machin Avenue for many years. They later built a home in Verissimo Valle, on a portion of the former “E” Ranch. Mrs. Sanchez was a parishioner at Our Lady of Loretto Church and a lifetime member of the Novato Historical Guild.
— The Rugani Family and their friends are once again ready to provide visitors with a hauntingly exciting Halloween. Through the years, the front of their Ming Court home has been transformed into a mansion, a hotel and even a castle. This year, this spooky old house will be the site for The Reading of the Will.” Visitors will experience the chills and thrills as they learn what is to become of the estate and fortune of the late Stuart Wesley, who passed from this world a year ago on Halloween. The reading will begin at 5:30 p.m. on Halloween, Oct. 31, at 175 Ming Court. As usual, the haunted house will be presented as a benefit for the Marin Community Food Bank. Canned food and cash donations for the food bank will be gratefully accepted but are not necessary for a delightfully horrifying Novato tradition.