In February of this year Michael Domer opened a restaurant in Novato and named it Muscio’s in honor of his grandfather who settled in West Marin in the late 1800s.
This reminded me of a newspaper article I had once seen in the Point Reyes Light which featured a photograph of Dante Muscio. More about that later…
The Muscio family originated in Switzerland. The Marin County Voter’s Registers show Guiseppe (Joseph) Muscio in 1875, and David Muscio, who first appears in the 1878 register. David was born on February 27th, 1842 and Joseph in October of 1846. In the 1881 History of Marin it states that David moved to Australia in 1855 and then to California in 1868, but didn’t settle on his western Marin ranch until 1877. There he engaged in dairying, sending the butter he produced to San Francisco for sale. He married Louisa Katzorke in 1866 and they had a family of six children. David naturalized in 1879 in San Francisco.
Joseph Muscio and his wife Marion were living in Bolinas in 1880 where they too engaged in dairying. Their eldest child was a son named Dante, born in 1876.
Dante was a partner in the Grandi & Co. store, and an agent at Point Reyes Station for Lewis, Simas & Jones, grain and feed dealers. In 1925 Dante won the “Great Moustache Tourney” sponsored by the San Francisco Examiner. The article in the newspaper claimed he had worked on the moustache for 14 years, and that it measured 22 inches. Dante said “Just tell the public that I shall try to live up to the trust reposed in me.”
Michael Domer, with whom we began this story, says his grandfather, Marion (son of Dante), ran bars and restaurants his entire life. At one time the Muscios owned The Old Western Saloon in Point Reyes.
Domer says he inherited the 'hospitality gene' from his family.