Posted by Cathy Gowdy on Saturday, March 04, 2006 at 05:47:13 :
Point Reyes Light
Thursday, July 22, 1971
We all said goodbye to Jess Adams last week – those of us who have known him a lifetime, and those who knew him only as the hired hand in Grandi’s storehouse, the last job he had.
The one picture we all carry of this West Marin pioneer was of a courteous, chuckling and uncomplaining gentleman.
It all began 85 years ago at Olema, where Jesse was born. His father, Jerry Adams, ran a store at Olema – the same Jerry who put Corte Madera on its feet (not only was he that town’s first postmaster, but it was named Adams for a while).
From Olema young Jesse moved to Bolinas. Here, a crony of the schooner captains, he did sentry duty on the sandpit on dark nights, waving a lantern to tell his friends where the channel was.
And it was at Bolinas he met the girl he married 57 years ago – Lavinia Nott, granddaughter of Hiram Nott, one of the town’s first residents. When they moved to Point Reyes Station, and Lavinia became librarian in the old Northwestern Pacific Railroad coach, it was Jesse who kept the car shiny outside and in.
For a while Jesse owned a store of his own – the big Palace Market at Third and A streets, in partnership with Scilacci. It didn’t last and it is as an employee of the Grandi Co. that most of us remember him.
Here no service was too menial, no kindness to great for Jesse to perform for a customer. In the old days he drove the truck out to the Point with coal and sundries. The stories he used to tell were windfalls for a local historian. Like the time his coal truck got stuck in the mud at the lifesaving station. When the chief bosun ordered his men to put their shoulders to the truck, they refused. The bosun got his shotgun, Jesse recalled, and shouted: “Now, move!” and they did.
Jesse lived 55 years in Point Reyes Station. Wife Lavinia still lives here. There are three children, Jesse Adams Jr. of Drake’s view Drive, Mrs. Charlotte Panholzer of Novato and Mrs. Betty May Koenig of San Rafael; five grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
Jesse died Wednesday, July 14 after a long illness. Funeral rites were last Friday at Keaton’s Mortuary in San Rafael.
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