Marin County Genealogy

Marin Oral Histories - A

Hosted by permission of Cathy Gowdy of the Marin County Genealogical Society.

NOTE: Oral Histories for underlined names have been transcribed and are available on the net - click on the name to go to the Civic Center Branch of the Marin County Free Library page where they can be accessed.

Abbott Martha Foster San Rafael, Sonoma, Russian River Railroadman, Banker b. 8 April 1891 Daughter of Arthur William Foster (1850-1930) Philanthropist and early San Rafael pioneer businessman. Born April 8, 1891 at "Fairhills." the A.W. Foster (180 acre) estate, San Rafael. Warm reminiscences of her remarkable father and his career with Railroads, banking, etc., and "life" at Fairhills and vacations in Sonoma, Russian River. Describes in detail the interior of Fairhills and family celebrations at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Charming narration of a beautiful turn-of-the-century country California lifestyle. 27 January 1977
Abrams Rita Mill Valley Teacher b. 30 Aug 1943 Rita Abrams was born August 30, 1943 in Cleveland, Ohio. She moved to Mill Valley in 1969. Miss Abrams lived in Cleveland until age 18 then going to college in Cincinnati. She also attended school in Boston, Massachusetts and Michigan. After moving to San Francisco looking for a change in climate and scenery from the Boston area she randomly picked Mill Valley and got a teaching job. She began teaching Kindergarten at Strawberry Point Elementary School. She wrote a song for her students called "Mill Valley" which became popular around the country after being released by the third grade class at the school. It was released in June of 1970. August 1970
Adams  James D. Greenbrae Lawyer b. 1894 

d. Jan 1986

Age 87 (b. 1894) year old famous litigation lawyer, 50 year resident of Marin, son of a professor of History at Stanford. Educated at Stanford & Harvard. History includes WWI as a flyer; 60 years with law firm of McCutchen, Doyle, Brown & Emerson and his WWII experiences in Navy as XO & then CO of Acorn unit. Concludes this session of taping with his involvement in Marin with; American Legion; Pres. Boy Scouts; Pres. Meadow Club; Chairman - Save the Trains and Ferries; Trustee Katherine Branson School. Editor of "Old Marin With Love;" Juvenile Court Referee; Prison Ministry Episcopal Diocese of California; Marin County Historical Society. Truly a remarkable man. 16 March 1982 
Allen Winnifred Bridge Belvedere, Tiburon, Angel Island Historian b. 1893 

d. 1977

Age 81. Recorded at her home, 334 Golden Gate Avenue, Belvedere. Discusses early history of Angel Island, Tiburon and Belvedere. Very informative, historically. Husband was founder of the Belvedere Land Company. 13 November 1974
Allen Francis C. (Freda) Teacher b. 1890 Retired teacher. Recorded at the Tamalpais Retirement Residence, Greenbrae. 2 October 1974
Allen  Ida Johnson Mill Valley Pioneer Family b. 9 May 1893 Ida Allen was born in Mill Valley May 9, 1893. One of two daughters, she and her family, at one time, lived in Muir Woods. She recalls she and her sister riding one horse to school in Mill Valley. She tells of one incident in which her sister saved the teacher by hitting the boy who was choking on the back with a board. She recalls being acquainted with William Randolph Hearst when he lived in Sausalito. Her father was born in Mill Valley before the town got its name. She talks about early Mill Valley and how the town looked when she was a child. June 1973
Allen Winnifred Bridge b. 1893

d. 20 October 1976

Age 81. Recorded at her home, 334 Golden Gate Avenue, Belvedere. Discusses early history of Angel Island, Tiburon and Belvedere. Very informative, historically. Husband was founder of the Belvedere Land Company. Born 1893, died 1977. 13 November 1974
Anderson Harvey James Tiburon Butcher b. 6 June 1906 

d. April 1979

Son of the town's butcher. Owner of "Pioneer Meat Market" on Main Street, followed his father into the business which was purchased in 1898 (over 40 years in business). Reminisces about Tiburon, a close-knit community of 500; its people, businesses; the big fire of 1921; the NWP Railroad; "Dago Flats;" Dr. Florence Scott; Belvedere Hotel; early dairy ranches; how butcher business was run, i.e., skimming calves, rendering talon, delivering with horse and wagon, charge accounts, etc. Colorful tales by a knowledgeable "old timer." 7 February 1979 
Andrade Delpha Atkinson Farallon Islands Lighthouse Keeper (daughter) b. 19 Feb 1927

d. 26 Nov 1993

Daughter of "The Keeper of the Light," Farallon Islands. Rare distinction of being the only person born on Southeast Farallon Island, February 1927. Describes her years at various light house stations in California; i.e., Point Vincente; Humboldt; Point Cabrillo. Loved the light house atmosphere. Describes her daily life and how she happened to be born on the station. Delivered by assistant Keeper's wife, who was a registered nurse. 24 January 1977
Ansel Valerie San Anselmo Principal, Teacher b 1 Jan 1892 

d. 28 March 1988

Marin teacher and principal for over 46 years. First job in Tomales for one year, June 1913 - June 1914, then teacher of grades 1-8 at the San Anselmo School, 1914-1959. A rich narrative of a woman who gave her life as a dedicated teacher of the three "R's." From her first assignment at $75.00 per month and in West Marin, she shares her warm reminiscences of teaching many of today's prominent Marin residents. Comments on how teaching has changed and makes a plea for the return to basic instruction. 12 July 1976 

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