Mike Read/Pages From The Past
100 Years Ago
— Constable DeLucchi is in a San Francisco hospital, where he is quite ill. His sister, Mrs. P. Nave also of Novato, who was operated upon at the Zion hospital, has recovered and returned home.
— Robert Trumbull has sold the Boiler place to W.H. Brown, who intends to install an up-to-date poultry plant on the property.
75 Years Ago
— Quite obviously the right-of-way for the new highway is being cleared. Workmen this week hoisted up the Village Inn and moved it to its new home at the corner of Vallejo and 101 Highway. All the buildings along the new highway route will soon be moved to their new location, and by mid-summer the new road should be through Novato.
— Many Novatoans attended the opening of “The Meadows” dining room on Wednesday of this week. “The Meadows” located at Ignacio, is operated by Al DeLucchi, recently returned from service in the South Pacific. Co-partner with DeLucchi in the dining room enterprise is “Pete” Peterson, also a serviceman. The establishment will be open every day and will specialize in steaks, chicken, chops ravioli, etc.
— The Novato Pharmacy is undergoing renovations this week in the form of a modern new soda fountain which will be able to accommodate more people. The new equipment should be completely installed by the first of next week.
— Announcement was made this week of the sale of the Hans Barkan Ranch on Novato Blvd., to Mr. and Mrs. Sil Oliva of San Francisco. Mr. Oliva is the owner of the Exposition Fish Grotto on Fisherman’s Wharf, and a well-known horseman. He plans extensive improvements, for the keeping of high bred horses. Dr. and Mrs. Barkan, who also reside in San Francisco, sold their holdings due to the fact that both their son and daughter are away at college, and they themselves plan a European tour soon.
50 Years Ago
— Attorney David Price Jones, 36, winner of the Novato Jaycees’ distinguished service award for 1970 and past president of the Novato Civic Foundation, was unanimously selected by the council’s four voters last night to fill out the unexpired term of Douglas Merrill until April 1972.
Carrow’s law partner, David Price Jones, was also propelled into the limelight last night: He was appointed to the city council to replace Mayor Douglas Merrill who resigned three weeks ago. His appointment answered what was rapidly developing into the town’s most boring question—who’s the next councilman? Anybody with his ear to Grant Avenue last week knew that David Price Jones Was the favorite to be elected. The report was that it would. be either Jones, Ed Ryken, or Lee Wise, with Jones the most likely to be named. Early leader John Schoonover, member of the city planning commission, lost out because of Councilman Wayne Womack’s violent opposition. Congratulations to Jones and let’s hope the council soon re- Covers its recent fall from dignity and recapture the sense of grace it possessed under the leadership of Merrill.
— Pini Hardware is celebrating its anniversary this week. Among the documents the store has inherited is this ledger journal, dating back to 1884. This is the first page and on it can be seen charge accounts of some of the historic names associated with the growth of Novato. Frank C. Delong, co-owner of the Novato Land Company, and Gumesindo Pacheco, son of the grantee of the Rancho de San Jose of Ignacio, who later was supervisor. The journal belonged originally to Scott Hardware, located in the Johnson Red Barn annex on Grant Avenue. Clarence Nelson, one of the former owners of Pini Hardware, found it there when Pini Hardware had to move into the building temporarily after a disastrous fire in 1945. Pini Hardware is an offshoot of a group of businesses organized by Henry Pini around 1918. Ben Young, one of the present owners, now manages the firm.
25 Years Ago
— Throughout his 37-year career in the Novato schools, Richard Melendy never forgot why he was there, say those who know him well. “He told me at my interview that Olive School is a place for children and adults just happen to work here,” said Anne Greenfield-Welch, who teaches kindergarten and first grade. Melendy, who is retiring after 16 years as principal or Olive School, still remembers that kids come first.
— The Novato Zoning Administrator will hold a public hearing on Thursday, June 27 at 2 p.m. to consider a use permit for the establishment of Noah’s Bagels and Peet’s Coffee. The two companies would be located in the Downtown Novato Shopping Center in a building to be constructed at the corner of Seventh Street and Grant Avenue.
— A restored Novato Theatre could become the focal point of a revitalized Downtown Novato, in which Grant Avenue becomes a destination in itself, a new study concludes. The theater, which saw its heydays in the 1940s and 1950s, closed for good in 1991, when it could no longer compete with the multiplexes. “This is fabulous. This is very exciting,” said Novato attorney Jean Price Lewis, a movie lover and president of the non-profit Novato Theatre Restoration Committee NTRC. “It’s nice to realize we’re in the mainstream of what people are doing all over the country.” Theaters are leading there rivals of downtowns in small towns and mid-size cities, as the study attests. The committee commissioned the $7,500 study, which was paid for by the City of Novato. Upgrading the 1945 Grant Avenue movie house, built by Al and Clara Bowman, will take about $2.5 million, the study concludes.
— June 30 will mark the end for Novato’s foremost pie place, when Baker’s Square closes its doors after more than a decade of serving Novatans desert and dinner, usually in that order. The competition from Lions and other nearby restaurants, coupled with the rising cost of renting a building at the corner of Novato Boulevard and Seventh Street, contributed to Baker’s Square’s demise.
— Oliver Automotive opened for business June 24 on Scown Lane in Novato. Owner Mike Oliver has nearly 10 years’ experience as a mechanic at Marin Mobile and Nave Motors. Scown Lane is half a block north of Grant Avenue, and can be reached from either Redwood Boulevard, or Machin Avenue.