Marin County Genealogy

Marin Oral Histories - S

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. 
Sadler  Lee Novato Craftsman, Electrician, Auto Mechanic b. 12 Feb 1897

d. Feb 1985

Born in Missouri in 1897. Mr. Sadler was a craftsman, electrician and self-taught auto mechanic. He typifies the transition from frontier life to modern industries. Interviewed by Ruth Lescohier at Casa Nova, a Novato residence for Senior Citizens. Tapes presented to the library by Ruth Lescohier. 1982
Salee Dorothea (Mrs. Ralph) Monterey Historian, Museum Attendent   Attendant at the Walter Colton Hall Museum in Monterey, CA - tells the history of (Walter) Colton (1st American Alcalde of California) and the creation of Colton Hall as a school & Town Hall & later in the fall of 1849 as the site of the Constitution Convention of California - where 48 delegates met to write California's first constitution.
Schmiedell Doris Ross Early Resident b. 12 Dec 1898

d. 13 Nov 1993

Describes "BAISKENRIDGE" her family's Ross Estate, built in 1898 on Upper Road at Glenwood. Reminisces of girlhood days (1905 forward) in Ross; tells how Lagunitas Club was founded by her family; describes early Saloon (later converted to Lagunitas Club); friends of long standing, i.e., Dibblees, McNears, Kittles, Kents, etc. Charming reminiscences of Ross and the family property at Lake Tahoe. Certainly a healthful life-style in a lovely period of gracious living . Regrets how Ross has changed. 4 April 1976
Schultz Vera Mill Valley Politician, 1st woman Marin Supervisor, League of Woman Voters b. 31 Aug 1902

d. May 1995

Marin's first lady in city and county government. It was her vision, tenacity & courage that created the Frank Lloyd Wright Civic Center. She was Mill Valley's first City Councilwoman and the first woman Supervisor to serve on Marin's Board (1952-1960). Active in League of Women Voters - she worked long and hard as a public servant to advance County Government from the disarray of crackerbarrel politics to effective democratic government. A remarkable woman who shares her dreams, achievements and goals for her beloved Marin County. 28 March 1983
Scott Mrs. Wallace Belvedere Public Servant   Belvedere's outstanding woman of the year shares her remarkable 40 years of public service in Marin county, i.e., Founder of Northgate Group, Marin Art & Garden Center; President and/or active board member of the following Marin charitable organizations: "Sunny Hills," Marin Charitable Association, Marin conservation League, Marin Music Chest, Dominican College Citizen Advisory Committee, Hearing & Speech Center, Museum Auxillary, Fire Commissioner of Belvedere, 1st woman elected to City Council, Century Clerk & the Camp at Sonoma State Home. A woman of warmth and extraordinary organizational skills. 14 February 1981
Sellmer Walter Bruno Stinson Beach Law Enforcement Officer, Game Warden, Sheriff, Humanitarian b. 16 May 1891

d. Aug 1982

Marin Law Enforcement officer for over 40 years: (1912-1916) 1st speed cop in Novato; (1916-1930) game Warden; (1930-1955) Sheriff of Marin County; (1955-present) California representative of "National Shut-In Society." Warm reminiscences of his life and years in Marin. Concludes with his present involvement, via a daily large correspondence, with handicapped shut-ins. A most remarkable humanitarian and a most vital man. 9 January 1977
Sharp Evelyn, Margaret & ??? San Rafael Early Resident   Three of the four sisters share warm reminiscences of San Rafael and their home "The Bradford house" at 333 "G" Street. Their mother, Grace Bradford, was a descendent of William Bradford, Governor of Massachusetts. 14 May 1978
Shelton Marie Leghorn (Mrs. Edward) Ross Early Resident, Volunteer Fundraiser, Public Servant b. 22 Feb 1898

d. April 1984

Old prominent Marin matron tells the story of the beginnings of the Marin Art & Garden Center in Ross (1945). Was head of one of the Guilds (Northgate). Describes early efforts to raise money - lunches, antique sales, cook books, etc. - also fashion shows. Was editor of the 1961 Cook Book, illustrated by Jose Moya del Pino, which was printed and sold to raise money for the Center. Describes the County Fairs held at the Center and tells of some of the other guilds and their efforts. A great public and community servant. 7 October 1982
Sherman Frederick Barreda Ross Early Resident, Author, Genealogist, Historian b. 22 Dec 1892

d. 25 March 1989

Age 86. Step Grandson of Jonathan G. Kittle, owner of "Sunnyside" a 20 plus acre property in Ross (1892-1947) where the Marin Art & Garden Center is today. Reminiscences about "Sunnyside" as a boy (1900-1907). Son of Dr. Harry Mitchell Sherman. His mother was Spanish (Matilde Barreda) and died when Frederick B. was 3 years old. His father remarried in 1900 - Lucia Hamilton Kittle, daughter of Jonathan G. Kittle. Tapes contain life story & his interest in history and genealogy. He has published 2 books i.e., "Sherman Family" & "From the Guadalguiver to the Golden Gate." Scholarly man educated at .
Siemens Dr. John C.  Kentfield Doctor, Internist b. 1913 Marin Doctor of Internal Medicine tell show he started the "Ross Valley Clinic" in 1947; how he bought and saved Ross Hospital (1955-1970); how he was instrumental in sponsoring the "Tamalpais Retirement Residence" and shares his experiences as a volunteer doctor in Taiwan and Nigeria. Born in Russia in 1913, son of a Mennonite family, he describes the Mennonite's flight to Germany, Russia, Canada and the USA. Describes innovative Medical procedures he installed while at Ross Hospital and his goals for the "Ross Valley Clinic."
Siemer Mabel (Mrs. Albert) San Anselmo Early Resident b. 28 Oct 1893

d. Jan 1992

Age 75. Recorded at the "Octagon House" during the "Good Old Days" at Marin Art & Garden Center in Ross. In Marin since 1904, San Anselmo. Tells of changes since then; people, cars, 1906 earthquake, trips to Bolinas, stage trips, Willow Camp (now Stinson Beach), Bon Aire Hotel, Escalle Winery.
Smith Russell Ross Banker, Early Resident b. 17 June 1894

d. 8 Aug 1990

Age 80. Retired banker of Bank of America, interviewed by Coleman Sellers. Early memories of Ross, Marin Art & Garden Center and Ross School. First visited Marin in 1900. Moved to Ross in 1920. Adds to Marin Art & Garden Center story regarding Mrs. Livermore, etc. Discusses MAGC property and Meadow Club property. 7 July 1974
Smith Girard E. Mill Valley Early Resident b. 13 Nov 1892

d. June 1981

Born 13 November 1892 in San Francisco. Resident of Mill Valley since 1906. September 1971
Smith Gladys (Mrs. Russell) Ross Early Resident, Volunteer Fundraiser b. 9 July 1896

d. Aug 1975

Mrs. Smith continues the story of how the property was acquired for the Marin Art & Garden Center. Helen Moya joins Gladys in the narrative. Discusses Ross Valley Players, Mrs. Kittle's Barn, how money was raised to buy the property. 7 July 1974
Smith  Vivian     b. 27 Dec 1914

d. May 1978

Stanka  Sister Marguerite Bolinas Educator   Sister Joan & Sister Marguerite Stanka tell about the Dominican retreat at Bolinas, its history and its use. She also tells about the history of Bolinas
Stanley Dr. Leo San Quentin Chief Medical Officer at San Quentin Prison, Author, Horseman, Historian b. 8 March 1886

d. Nov 1976

Writer of "Men at their worst," "Men at their Best," "Now hear this," and "My most unforgettable convicts." Avid horseman and Marin County Historian. Recorded at the Crest Farm in Fairfax. 7 August 1974
Sterner Ralph H. Mill Valley      
Stewart Boyd Olema Rancher   Rancher in Olema, West Marin. Early reminiscences of West Marin, recorded at the Stewart Ranch (2,000 acres). 
Stewart Joseffa (Mrs. Boyd) Olema Rancher Wife, Musician b. 29 March 1902

d. April 1980

Recorded at the Stewart Ranch, "Woodside" in Olema, CA. Reminiscences of life on a large Dairy Ranch from the wife's viewpoint. Also tells of her mother who was a Doctor in San Francisco (one of the founders of the German Hospital), and her Grandmother, who was a Doctor in the Civil War under General Grant. Recounts also her musical contribution to Marin County. 
Strittmatter Catherine O'Caine Farallone Islands Lighthouse Keeper (daughter) b. 7 Feb 1887

d. June 1983 

Age 89. Daughter of the "Lighthouse Keeper" at the Farallone Islands. Lived with her family on the Islands from age 2 to age 19 years (1887-1906). Describes life on a lonely but healthful island; schooling; religious observances; holiday celebrations; egg collecting, etc. Life was hard in that only once every three months did the Mail & supply boat come to the island. If an emergency occurred they would build bon-fires along the shore & passing schooners would notify the Lighthouse service to send a boat out. 22 November 1976
Sutter Peter Sausalito   b. 28 Aug 1924

d. 31 July 1996

Sweasey Mary Point Reyes Station Early Resident b. 20 June 1888

d. April 1984

Age 91. Seventy year resident of Point Reyes Station, Inverness, etc. Born 20 June 1888 in Nevada City, reminiscences about her family & life in West Marin from 1904 forward. First marriage at the age of 16 to Peter Figari; second marriage to Joe Albini, both husbands killed by tragic accidents. 3rd husband Enos Sweasey lived a long life. Mary describes the life at Inverness Park, her 8 brothers and sisters, rowing across Tomales Bay for eggs, train trips to San Francisco and the close community ties between the towns of Inverness and Point Reyes Station.

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