Marin County Genealogy

Marin Oral Histories - G

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.
Gales Alfred P. (Frenchy)     b. 16 June 1901

d. 24 May 1992

Galloway Alan James & Mary Menzies        
Gardiner Samuel Larkspur Early Resident b. 1902 Interviewed by San Domenico Upper School students, 1 March 1989. Mr. Gardiner was born in Larkspur in 1902. He reminisces about growing up in Marin and changes in Marin during that time. 
Gattini Pearl Heckman Mill Valley Lumber business (daughter), Early Resident b. 25 April 1886 Pearl Gattini was born 25 April 1886 in Merrill, Wisconsin and moved to Mill Valley in 1904. One of eight children, she came by train with her family to live in Homestead Valley. Mrs. Gattini recalls her father's lumber business, having two cows for milk for their large family, and the local dance hall. She talks about watching the fire following the 1906 earthquake from a hill in Marin. She collected leaves from the Bible carried across the Bay by the wind during the fire. She also recalls going to the Panama-Pacific Exposition in 1915, and walking across the Golden Gate Bridge when it opened in 1939. July 1970
Gazzola Dr. Jack Sausalito Orthodontist, Sailor, CA Pioneer Family b. 1919 Sausalito raised Orthodontist (age 61) relates his early memories of his town, Sausalito, i.e., Boat yards, Yacht Club, hunting, sailing, schooling, etc. Also shares his Italian heritage, i.e., Grandmother Lydia Raggio born in Sheep Ranch Calif. in 1861, Mother Lode Country, gold mining background. Dr.'s daughters are 6th generation Californians through Gazzola line from Angel's Camp. His father worked for Sausalito Mill Valley Express Co. Family home on Main St. Father started small garage, later larger one, then bought Clint Mason's large garage (now known as the "Trade Fair"). Warm reminiscences of Sausalito from 1920 (pre GG Bridge before it was spoiled). 9 January 1980
Giddings Arthur S. Larkspur Railroad Electrical Engiineer b. 22 Mar 1903

d. Feb 1982

Electrical Engineer - relates his experiences with the Northwestern Pacific Railroad in Marin during the 1920's (the busy years of the railroad). Explains the importance of railroads as carriers and sets forth concrete plans to re-activate the railroads in Marin County and utilization of roadbed terminating at Larkspur Ferry Terminal. His proposal has submitted to Urban Mass Transit Admin. For their consideration. Mr. Giddings had lived in Marin since 1917. He has a vast photo collection relative to railroad right-of-ways (some 3,000 photos).
Gilbert Willa (Mrs. Louis J.) San Rafael Early Resident b. 1887 Born in San Rafael in 1887. Describes early San Rafael and her family's 10 acre estate in west end of town. Recorded at the J.B. Rice residence at the birthday party for Mr. Eugene O'Connor. Lives presently in Rossmore. 16 November 1974
Grabac Miriam  Tiburon Early Resident, Collector of Artifact Bills b. 12 Oct 1899 Born in Tiburon 12 October 1899, daughter of a railroad man (NWP). Describes her childhood in Tiburon and the way things were (there) at the turn of the century. Good Irish stock, helpful to parish and priests of St. Hillary's. Shares some reminiscences of her school days and later teaching days at the Tiburon School next door to her home. Has a wonderful collection of tradesman's bills, tax bills, P.G. & E. bills, coal and lumber bills from 1893 froward. Valuable ephemera which she allowed us to Xerox. 10 March 1978
Grady Eugenie Watson (Mrs. Earl Grady) San Rafael Early Resident, CA Pioneer Family b. 1907 Great grand daughter of Edward Watson who built a saw mill in Monterey 1824 and Maria Guadalupe Costello; grand daughter of James Watson the only native-born Californian that saw service in the Civil War. Born in San Rafael 1907 as was her father Edward Watson (in 1877). Colorful stories of early San Rafael; parades; personages; her father's saloon; schooling and activities; social times; her working life; marriage; children, etc. Is collecting material to write a book of life in San Rafael before the Golden Gate Bridge. 7 March 1979
Gravander Valborg Mill Valley Swedish Crafts b. 19 Sep 1888

d. Jan 1978

Valborg Gravander was born Valborg Mattsson 19 September 1888 in Gavie, Sweden. Her husband first came to San Francisco as a newspaperman covering the Panama-Pacific Exposition for the Daily News of Stockholm. They were married in 1918 and came to San Francisco in 1922. They had a daughter at that time and in 1927 she returned to Sweden for a short time so that her son would also be born there. They moved to Mill Valley as weekend residents in 1929 and permanently in 1945. She made and sold Swedish Crafts and taught these skills to others. She was decorated by the Swedish government in 1964 with the Order of Vasa for her wotk in promoting culture in this country. 
Griffith Edwin Ross Early Resident   59 year resident of Ross. Griffith family of Ross for 92 years. Maternal grandmother, Eugenia Coppee was a cousin of Mrs. Kittle and Mrs. Coffin. Eight acre estate bought in Ross 1885. Warm reminiscences of Ross circa 1925 to present. Describes schooling at KBS, Ross School; neighbors; railroad; his colorful family; i.e., great Aunt Alice Griffith, founder of Telegraph Hill Neighborhood Assn. and "Hill Farm" in Fairfax; his grandfather who started the tug boat business in San Francisco; his marriage to Esther Bullard and the strong love of family each member holds. 1 July 1978 
Gromme Lucia Sherman (Mrs. Carl Gromme) Ross Early Resident b. 19 June 1901

d. Nov 1984

Grand-daughter of Jonathan Gosman Kittle, owner of Ross estate called "Sunnyside" from 1882-1945. Mrs. Gromme reminisces about life in Ross 1900-1930. Describes Kittle home; out buildings i.e. Octagon House Barn and includes the Kittle "lifestyles." "Sunnyside" was purchased from the George Austin Worns (Mrs. Worn was Annie Ross) in 1882, enlarged and expansively remodeled. A show place estate for over 50 years in old Ross. 1976
Grossi Ralph Novato Dairy Rancher b. 1949 Outstanding Marin dairyman who runs the family "Marindale" Dairy (established in 1896), 300 Holstein cows on 900 acres. Describes the dairy operation of a dairy from 2 A.M. to sundown. Tells of his grandfather, Domingo, who came to Marin from Switzerland & started the operation. Today it is a showplace and Ralph is a far sighted, brilliant, 33 year old who has introduced new methods, i.e., a "Digestor" which converts manure into power, which he sells to the P.G. & E. Very concerned about the future of agriculture in Marin. Head of Marin Farm Bureau, Chairman Marin Agriculture Land Trust (MALT). 22 September 1982
Gunn Robert Sausalito Mayor, Pioneer Family   Former Mayor of Sausalito, whose father also served as Mayor. Narrates history of his family who came to California in 1854 and lived in Sausalito since 1899. In 1903 his father built a five bedroom house at #22 Sunshine Avenue (still standing). Growth of Sausalito; changes since Golden Gate Bridge; and recommendations re its future. 20 April 1976

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