By Mark Read
First horse show big success
(Editor’s note: This feature highlights the history of Marin through the pages of the Novato Advance, courtesy of the Novato Historical Society.)
100 Years Ago
— A new gate has been installed in the levee near Novato, which will drain out a great deal of stagnant water that has been trapped here for some time. As a sewer empties into this basin, however, the water from this will give trouble until the sewage is carried down to deep water.
75 Years Ago
— The first annual horse show of Novato Horsemen, Inc., Sunday on their grounds on the Bugeia ranch was a brilliant success attended by some three thousand spectators. The magnificent display of horses with agility and grace of their riders, many in colorful costumes to make the show something to be long remembered by those present. The events lasted until nearly sundown, and all were vigorously applauded. A.W. Bowman has leased the Paterson building, corner Grant and Machin Avenues, to Harry Hale, auctioneer and livestock dealer, and eldest son of W. Hales, long time Novato ranchers, who announces that he will remodel the building into a grocery store and meat market. Bowman also state that he has received priorities for the rebuilding of the nearby Pini department store destroyed by fire.
— Mr. and Mrs. Tal Lyons have sold their grocery store and service station at Black Point to Mr. and Mrs. Michael Shea, of San Francisco, who have rented the Boney home at the point.
— Novato sanitary board met and accepted the resignation of E.J. Erler as president, who has left town. Frank Jaques was appointed to fill Erler’s unexpired term.
50 Years Ago
— County Clerk George H. Gnoss, a native of Novato, has seen many changes in the clerk’s office since he first went to work as a deputy under the former county clerk, the late George S. Jones, 27 years ago. Gnoss was reelected to his office, unopposed, yesterday. He had been appointed to the office in March 1962 following the sudden death of Jones, and has run unopposed for the office in June of 1962, ‘66 and ’70. He is the youngest brother of Supervisor William Gnoss, who is retiring from office in January after serving four terms. George Gnoss was born on Olive Street ranch where he still lives. He attended San Rafael School, graduating St. Mary’s College and after attending Hastings College of Law. In 1936 he opened an appliance business at the northwest Grant and Machin which he operated until he was drafted into the Army for World War II. He served as president of the Novato Chamber of Commerce, and a director of the Young Businessman’s Club of which his older brother Bill was once president. In 1935 he became a member of the Novato Volunteer Fire Department of which he is still an active member, having attended his last fire only three weeks ago. He was once president of the Volunteer Firemen’s Association and has served as its treasurer for 15 years.
— The Novato fire commission has called for bids on new hose. Bids on 3,200 feet of three- inch hose, 1,000 feet of 2-1/2 inch, and 1,800 feet of 1-1/2 inch will be opened at the commission’s June 24 meeting. The hose will be used to equip a new pumper truck and to replace worn hose. In other items the commission: 1. Paid salaries for the last half of May and monthly bills totalling $22,138. 2. Appointed Fireman Richard Valentine to be an assistant mechanic under Assistant Chief Al Buttl. 3. Authorized a pay raise from $760 to S790 a month for Fireman Raymond Cleary. 4. Okayed having the snorkel truck on display Saturday at Novato Fair Shopping Center during the Little League pancake breakfast. 5. Okayed having a fire vehicle stand-by at the Horsemen’s Arena during the June 21 rodeo.
25 Years Ago
— Mrs. Turner, the wife of former Novato Mayor Hugh Turner passed away at the age of 79.
Mrs. Turner was born Juanita Louise De Wall on Oct. 17, 1915 in Albany, Ore. She grew up there and in Portland, where she graduated from Commerce High School and met her future husband in 1933. They were married in July 1938 in Roseburg, Ore. Her husband began his radio career in Roseburg, then came to the Bay Area in 1940. He worked briefly at KLS Radio in Oakland before joining KGO in San Francisco. The Turners made their home in San Francisco’s Sunset District. In Oakland, Mrs. Turner, an extremely proficient office manager, worked as bookkeeper and office manager for the Williams supermarket chain. In 1948, the Turners purchased an interest in KTIM Radio. Hugh Turner was on the air and so was his wife, who hosted the Turner Time interview program. She also served as office manager and bookkeeper for the San Rafael station, where news, information and sports took precedence over music. The Turners moved to Novato in 1948 and Mrs. Turner became active in community life. She was a den mother for Cub Scout Pack 56 and was one of the founders of Boy Scout Troop 56. She organized the Novato Guild of Sunny Hills Children’s Services, was the founder of Soroptimist International of Novato and was very active in the Pastel Lane Association. She and her husband hosted the neighborhood block party every summer until 1994.
In the 1960s, Mrs. Turner served on the Personnel Commission of the Marin County Office of Education. The couple operated the KTIM until 1974, when they purchased KPLS Radio in Santa Rosa. Mrs. Turner worked as station manager until 1980.
She was an inveterate reader and loved to travel; over the past eight years, she and her husband explored the Pacific Coast from Canada to Mexico. She also loved cats.
Mrs. Turner is survived by her husband of almost 57 years, Hugh Turner of Novato; her sons, Richard Turner of Ukiah and his wife Donna, and Ronald Turner of Vienna, Va. and his wife, Anne Page; her daughter, Irene Amodei of Portola, Plumas County, and her husband, Frank; her 10 grand- children and six great-grand- children; and by her sister and brother-in-law, Lois and Dwight Koyl of Petaluma.
— Caltrans, under public and political pressure to transform Highway 37 into a divided highway, is expected to submit its decision to a state Senate Transportation Committee tomorrow or Friday. The state transportation department was, however, keeping mum on just what its proposed solution is. In recent weeks, the public — at hearings held in Novato and Vallejo — has added to the legislative clamor to divide the roadway, which has claimed the lives of 28 people in the past five years. The state Senate and Assembly have called for a concrete barrier, as have the boards of supervisors of Marin, Sonoma and Napa counties.