Mark Read/Pages From The Past
(Editor’s note: This feature recalls Marin’s history through the pages of the Novato Advance.)
100 Years Ago
— Captain Leon Hiribarren, pioneer resident of Novato died in San Rafael on October 6 at the age of 81 and 6 months. In early days here Captain Hiribarren operated a freight and passenger boat between San Francisco and Novato, touching at Corte Madera, which was at that time on a navigable stream. Captain Hiribarren was born in France. He was the husband of the late Marie Hiribarren and the father of Augene Hiribarren and the late Mrs. Wellington Gregg of San Francisco. The funeral will take place from his late residence at Novato thence to St. Mary’s church where a requiem Mass will be celebrated for the repose of his soul. The interment will be in Mount Olivet cemetery.
75 Years Ago
— HELP drink up our Novato grape surplus. Freshly crushed juice only $1.50 gal. Bring it to a quick boil & it will keep indefinitely. Leave it alone & you will have vintage wine. Pick your own grapes at 3c lb. & crush them free on my crusher. Paul Brindel, Hilltop Ranch, end Wilson Ave.
— Mr. and Mrs. Henry Braun have purchased for an investment the former Jennie Fields property on Railroad Avenue, now occupied by her sister, Mrs. Morris, at one time the county home for underprivileged children and adjoining the office and home of Dr. Kuser, Marin county health physician.
— Mr. and Mrs. Otto Gerhardt have sold their property on Eucalyptus Avenue, consisting of a residence and three acres, to Tony Sapello. Gerhardt has resided in Novato for 34 years and was engaged in the poultry business until some years ago when he sold a portion of his ranch. He had one of the largest chicken ranches in Novato prior to his retirement.
50 Years Ago
— The news is not little for Doolittle Paint Mart, which is doubling in size at 1431 Grant Avenue. When expansion is completed by next Wednesday, Doolittle will have 2500 square feet, acquiring about 1200 square feet from adjoining Hobby Land. Dick Doolittle opened the store six years ago and is turning over its management to son Jim Doolittle, who will be assisted by Dick Doolittle Jr. and Mike Doolittle. A second Doolittle store was opened last year in Petaluma. Says Jim Doolittle, “Increased sales volume necessitates more space because we have to accommodate expansion of existing departments as well as to provide areas for new items the firm will carry.”
— Joe Fury has purchased half interest in Novato Automotive Service, 862 Vallejo Avenue, and is now an active partner with V. Baldwin, who has operated the business for the past two years. The new partnership is offering all around service on all makes of cars. Fury previously worked for Dexter Pontiac in San Rafael.
— Since the Cinerama people which absorbed the Blumenfeld organization have abandoned plans to build a movie house in Novato in the Downtown Shopping Center, next to Lee Bros store, there is now some speculation that maybe the empty Lee store can be transformed into a theatre or even a “dual theatre.” which means two houses in one structure, showing different films at the same time, of course. There’s a nibble along this line. The Cinerama firm gave up Novato when it decided that to build a mansard pool around the theatre, as insisted upon by the city to harmonize with the prevailing roof motif of the shopping center, was too expensive. In the meantime, there’s apparently nothing cooking in the empty former Mark-It Warehouse operation (once Purity) in the Nave Shopping Center, except lawsuits. Ever eaten a well-cooked lawsuit?
25 Years Ago
— The new publisher of the Novato Advance is a veteran newsman and editor. John Burns, former editor of the Sebastopol Times & News, took charge of the Advance on Monday. Bums, 39, will take charge of the business operations of the Advance. But his strong experience as a reporter and editor will also influence the newspaper’s coverage and direction. Jack Morgan, vice president for Scripps League Newspapers, which owns the Advance and the Petaluma Argus Courier, said the key factors in selecting Burns were his experience with community newspapers and his real interest in working with community organizations. “As publisher, John will be good for the Novato Advance and good for the City of Novato. His selection furthers the Scripps commitment to maintaining the Novato Advance as a vital part of the community.”
— Novato took a shaky step closer to getting a new hospital Tuesday night when the City Council appeared ready to approve construction of the facility in the Golden Gate Business Park near Vintage Oaks shopping plaza, but stalled on questions of transportation, waste disposal and the building’s ability to withstand a major earthquake. After reviewing the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) prepared for Novato Community Hospital’s planned new 100-bed, 114,000 square foot facility, councilmembers had to decide if issues like a lack of public transportation to the hospital and possibly-unstable building ground were enough to delay approval of the construction.
— When Marie Davalos became executive manager of the Novato Chamber of Commerce, she felt she would be able to step over and around the various political land mines for five years. That was 13 years ago. Now it is over. Davalos announced last week that she will be leaving the Chamber at the end of this year to devote time to her next project — herself. “I want to get in a better position with my health and then I’ll consider what I might do,” she explained. “This job requires a minimum of 50 hours a week and a lot of energy. It is very demanding. I’m going to stay involved in the community, I just don’t want to do it full time.