Marin County Genealogy

Marin Oral Histories - R

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. 
Ray Gov. Dixie Lee State of Washington Washington state Governor   Mills College 125th Commencement Day Address by the Governor of the State of Washington. Subject of Address: "What ever Happened to Common Sense?" Opening remarks by President of Mills College (Miss Barbara white) and closing school hymn. Delightful speech by this remarkable lady who when asked for advice on how women can attain the highly recognized jobs men hold replied, "Oh, quit brooding so much just pull up your……… 
Reinhardt Geneva Hensill Stinson Beach Pioneer Family b. 29 June 1903

d. 9 Dec 1988

Grand daughter of Amos Stinson who with his brother, Nathan bought 1720 acres east of Bolinas Lagoon in 1870, which is known today as Stinson Beach. Shares her reminiscences of the Stinson Family; early development of "Willow Camp," the beach etc. and outlines the problems now facing Stinson Beach and offers some long range plans for its future.
Renebone Harry San Rafael     Age 84. 
Resek Bella Mill Valley Opera Singer, Voice Teacher,  b. 22 Feb 1895

d. 24 Sep 1988

The daughter of a wine importer and grower, Bella Resek was born at the end of the nineteenth century in Klosterneuburg, Austria. She and husband left with their families in 1938 and went to Shanghai. A former opera singer, she taught voice lessons at an American missionary school there. She has lived in Mill Valley since 1949 giving voice lessons to many students in her studio on Hill Street. Mrs. Resek recalls her life in Austria, china and Mill Valley. She discusses the muscial talents of her family and students. May 1971
Reynolds Helen Baker San Francisco Conservationist, Environmentalist b. 15 Aug 1896

d. 4 May 1988

Leading spirit of the California Roadside Council since 1929. Co-founder of the Planning & Conservation League in 1965. Creator of the first conservation lobby in California. Shares 50 years of her efforts in this struggle and was most successful in achieving her goals in San Francisco and Sacramento. Tape 1, side 1, recounts her youth and life in Djai Valley. Tape 1, side 2 and tape 2 contain the story of her environmental efforts. A woman of keen intellect, still contributing (at age 83) her judgement as a consultant. All conservationists owe her a great debt. She was in the vanguard of the effort. 28 February 1979
Reynolds Helen Baker San Francisco Conservationist, Environmentalist, Volunteer Fundraiser   Dialogue between two famous conservationists at the residence of Mrs. Thomas Kent. This is the second session of each woman being interviewed. In this tape they join together and discuss their individual efforts and praise the efforts of each other revealing some new and interesting material. Dorothy Erskine enlarges on her tape of 14 February 1979 and Helen Reynolds gives us additional material supplementing her interview of 28 February 1979. This is a rich and unique dialogue between two remarkable California conservationists who have achieved much on their individual paths. 
Richardson Archie San Rafael   b. 18 July 1879

d. March 191

Rixford Dr. Emmet Sausalito   b. 11 July 1904

d. July 1982

Riznik Carl Ross Valley Early Resident   President of the Ross Valley Players. In Marin since 1907, at San Anselmo. He tells of the first time he came to Marin; his trips on horseback along the Corte Madera slough, etc. and the Rafael Hotel.
Riznik Charlotte (Mrs. Joseph) San Rafael Newspaper Woman, !st woman Reporter for the SF Chronicle b. 1 Dec 1901

d. 19 March 1994

Former 81 year old publicity director of the Marin Art & Garden Center for 15 years (1950-1965), tells of her contribution (as a newspaper woman) to benefit the Marin Art & Garden Center. First woman reporter of the San Francisco Chronicle; also Editor/Reporter for the Independent Journal. For many years Director of Publicity for the Marin Art & Garden Society Fair held annually in Ross. Recounts her friendship with Carolyn Livermore and other founding members and describes early events and problems in the Center. 23 November 1982
Roach Lloyd Stinson Beach Banker, Sugar Refiner, Outdoorsman, Conservationist b. 8 Aug 1900

d. Feb 1981

Born in San Francisco 8 August 1900. Retired Wells Fargo banker & sugar refiner tells of his life long association & love of Marin, specifically the Dipsea Race; Willow Camp (now known as Stinson Beach); the Sea Downs; Bolinas; hikes and exploration of Mt., Tam. Early characters of Stinson & Bolinas; old hotels & landmarks; the Alpine Club; history of Olympic Club, etc. An outdoor man who loved the mountain and as a conservationist has done much to preserve & protect lands which are now Golden Gate National Recreation Area & Point Reyes National Seashore. 27 June 1979
Robinson Sorena Maddny Santa Rosa Pioneer Family b. 11 May 1892

d. Nov 1983

(Age 87.) Born 11 May 1892 on a ranch near Santa Rosa; descendent of John Parker Maddny (grandfather) who came to California in the 1850s. Describes "ranch life" of a prosperous Hop grower; early schooling in a one room schoolhouse; annual vacations at Dillon Beach; adventure as a teacher at Punahou in Hawaii; her marriage to army captain, etc. Main emphasis of this interview is on ranch life descriptions, train trips to San Francisco for cultural pursuits. 
Robson Catherine Pixley Corte Madera Pioneer Family b. 20 Feb 1909

d. April 1986

Mrs. Robson is a grand daughter of William Pixley, brother of Frank Pixley, early 1850 pioneer of "Owl's Wood" fame. He was also creator of "The Argonaut," San Francisco paper (1877-1958). Mrs. Robson relates early squatters in Corte Madera i.e., Captain John Van Reynegon and his ship "Linda." Describes how the land finally in 1885 went to the Reed heirs who sold to the Pixleys, Forbes McCues, Chapmans, etc. Describes her grandparents life on the farm in Corte Madera. 
Rodgers Francis S. Nicasio Pioneer Family   Nicasio, born son of Frank Edward Rodgers ands grandson of Frank Rodgers whose family ran the General Store in Nicasio for over 30 years. Family in Nicasio since 1866. Francis describes the store, hotel, saloons, church, school and life style as a boy growing up, 1902-1920. Colorful reminiscences of a vital man. From 1920 to the present Francis describes his life in San Rafael, i.e., as a businessman, 30 year City Fireman and now retired, his involvement in SIR (Sons in Retirement). 1989 
Romer Paul   Artist b. 21 Sep 1891

d. Dec 1985

Resident of Marin since 1920. One of the many artists who painted and settled in Marin. Describes early Marin Art Societies and as one of the founders of the "Marin Art Society," he relates how this all came about in 1927 and its later re-organization in 1935 to what is currently known as the "Marin Society of Artists." 
Ross Post Office Staff Shirley Boulet, John Wasson, Karen Evans, Marlene Lind, Ann Weingarth, Patricia Conroy Ross Postmaster   Postmaster of Ross leads off the recollections of Marin's terrible storm of 3 & 4 January 1982. Five members of her staff, i.e., John Wasson of Novato, Karen Evans of Woodacre, Marlene Lind of Corte Madera, Ann Weingarth of Ross and Patricia Conroy of Fairfax follow Shirley in recalling their experiences before, during and after the storm. Coming into work at 6 AM; watching the creek (30 feet away) overflow its banks; protecting the mail; making the P.O. secure; getting marooned and finally, locking the P.O. and evacuating Ross (with convoy help) & going to their respective homes.
Rossman Dr. Frank & Margaret A.  Sausalito   b. 2 Dec 1900

d. 5 Sep 1992

Rowland Frances (Mrs. Herbert) Ignacio Pioneer Family b. 21 Jan 1918

d. 9 Mar 1996

Wife/widow of Herbert Rowland (great grandson of Ignacio Pacheco) tells of her life with Herbert. Met in Shanghai in 1937 on a trip around the world. Mr. Rowland was the Chief Purser on S.S. President Cleveland. Married in San Rafael 1942, lived in Japan 1946-1953. 1967 moved to "Pacheco Rancho." In early 1970 started vineyard to keep 70 acre property in agriculture. Only estate winemaker in Marin County. Toured us through the winery, packaging department & vineyard where everything was very much in order. Pacheco home built in 1880 in beautifully restored condition. Once, the "homeplace" of the 6,000 acre "Rancho San Jose." 2 August 1984
Rowland Herbert Ignacio Pioneer Family b. 5 Noc 1910

d. Dec 1977

Age 63. Recorded at his residence. Mr. Rowland is the great grandson of Ignacio Pacheco, recipient of the Mexican Land Grant called "Rancho de San Jose" (6659.25 acres). He describes first his own years with American President Lines, his World War II experience, then reminisces about Ignacio Pacheco and the five year litigation of the 1840 Grant with the US Government in the 1850s. Tells of Ignacio's altercation with Captain Fremont in 1846. Relates the division of the original 6,600 acre Rancho to the heirs and tells of the preservation of the 1880 Gumesendo Pacheco home which he now occupies on some 70 plus acres. 

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