Saturday, Jun. 15, 2019


Trivia expert at the Novato Branch of the Marin County Free Library, 1928

In response to your interest in our local history trivia challenges at recent community events, and  a follow-up to our previous round of trivia, we thought you might enjoy a few more.

Answers will appear next week.


1.  What...

Jim Sam

Without a doubt the most colorful character in Nicasio history is Jim Sam. His story is unique, and he left an imprint on generations of Nicasio residents. Jim Sam was a cowboy, cook, jockey, gambler, and for many Nicasio youngsters, the only...

White's Hill, late 1940s

The question, “Who was the White of White’s Hill”? is rarely given a satisfactory answer. There isn’t much information on Mr. and Mrs. White’s days in San Geronimo Valley, yet their name has been affixed to the Marin...

Sterling Hayden 1953

Sterling Hayden and Marin Railroads



Sterling Hayden (1916 – 1986) is best known as a Hollywood actor and was active from the 1940s to the early 1970s....


Marin Trivia: Answers

By Carol Acquaviva · November 30, 2018

Joseph McCauley as Rip Van Winkle in the Mountain Play Association's 1915 production

Here are the answers to last week's trivia quiz.


1. Which of these is not one of the original 21 Mexican Land Grants in Marin?

c. Rancho San Raphael.  Check out our rancho map for more about Marin land grants.


2. What was the original...


Marin Trivia

By Carol Acquaviva · November 22, 2018

Hotel Rafael (see question #3)

Answers will appear next week. Good luck!

1. Which of these is not the name of one of the original 21 Mexican Land Grants in Marin?

a. Rancho Canada de Herrera

b. Rancho Angel Island

c. Rancho San Raphael

d. Rancho Laguna de San Antonio


2. What...

Sunset Magazine, November 1903

George Washington first proclaimed Thanksgiving Day as a national holiday on November 26, 1789. Abraham Lincoln revived the custom in 1863. Although the turkey became a symbol of the Plymouth Colony feast, Americans have long taken their own...

Point Reyes baseball team, circa 1920s

Last week’s article by Robert L. Harrison—and the current World Series contest—inspires more “baseball talk” and expansion of the local theme. Mr. Harrison noted that, over the years beginning in the 1860s, there were...

Mount Tamalpais Cemetery, 1909, George M. Dodge, Surveyor

Before Mount Tamalpais Cemetery

Prior to the establishment of Mount Tamalpais Cemetery in 1879, San Rafael employed a public cemetery located on the west side of E Street, between Third and Fourth Streets. In 1850, a Mr. Poindexter purchased the...

Women representing Marin as part of promotion of Greyhound commuter service, San Francisco, November 27, 1940

Two recently acquired photographs in the Anne T. Kent California Room collection presented a mystery: Who was this group of women, where were they standing, and when and why were these photos taken?

The background was not a familiar Marin locale,...

Marin Journal, October 3, 1918

We’ve all seen those online advertisements. Worded and designed to look like an impartial news article, they are disguised, sandwiched among legitimate news items on mainstream news outlets. These "articles" promise to show you how to trim...

September 24, 1938 ribbon cutting of SFD Blvd. after realignment

We use the phrase farm-to-table to describe the trend of eating locally-sourced food, connected directly back to its farmer or producer.

Similarly, in the 1920s and 1930s, a farm-to-market highway was a way to better connect produce-rich West...

Dalessi Family in Cavergno, Vallemaggia

Teresa and Olivia Dalessi saw a lot of San Rafael history in their long lifetimes. As teachers, they watched their Marin County students grow up and have children of their own. Both devoted their entire careers to education. Teresa worked for...

San Rafael Improvement Club

Ladies of the San Rafael Improvement Club rid the city of mosquitoes, planted thousands of trees and made their historic clubhouse a community center.

At the turn of the 20th century, the mosquitoes infesting San Rafael made gracious living...

Main House Violet Terrace 1885

For over 50 years the wealthy Gerstle and Schloss families spent summer retreats at their neighboring San Rafael estates.

Lewis Gerstle

Gerstle Memorial Park, a popular recreation area near downtown San Rafael, is named for Lewis and Hannah...

San Rafael Chinese Mission School

China Camp comes first to mind when we think of the Chinese in Marin County’s past. 

Yet Chinese workers also built the county's infrastructure and tended to its wealthy inhabitants. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Chinese...

Henry A. DuBois as Union officer

An early San Rafael village resident, Dr. Henry Augustus DuBois, Jr. settled in San Rafael in 1869 after serving as a surgeon in the Civil War and in the Indian Wars of New Mexico.

Born to a wealthy East Coast family, Yale-educated Dr. DuBois was...

Whitey Litchfield in front of the Bermuda Palms,1959

The Litchfield sign at 737 East Francisco Blvd looms large near Highway 101. In the 1950s, the big bands who played at Litchfield’s Bermuda Palms loomed larger: Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Lionel Hampton and their orchestras made the...


Anita Dolcini Googins (1916-2015) grew up in West Marin speaking the Swiss-Italian dialect. Her great-grandfather Carlo Martinoia (Charles Martin) was one of many Swiss-Italian immigrants who left their small villages in the Vallemaggia,...

November 8, 1952: Dedication of the Willis Linn Jepson memorial at Tomales Bay State Park

The California Room recently acquired a photograph depicting an event in what looked like a clearing in a forest.  With no other information at hand, such as a caption or other related materials, or even to whom the photo originally belonged...