The Madonna: Short-Lived Colossus of the Waterfront

By Larry Clinton

“Among the most creative of the houseboat builders was Chris Roberts, who was well known among the locals, as well as the authorities who took a dim view of his activities,” says musician and historian Joe Tate in his blog www.theredlegs.com. Joe adds, “Though somewhat impractical, his creations were stunning and beautiful. The ‘Madonna’ was built around an old piledriver which had a tall wooden structure about 70 feet high around which he created his vision of Mary, mother of Jesus.

“We generally referred to the Madonna simply as the ‘Tower’ and often employed it as a place to have parties. Although horizontal space was limited, Chris was always happy to make the place available. This allowed him to recruit cheap labor from the drunks who showed up.”

The Madonna towers over its neighbors (upper right).  To the left, past the ferry Vallejo, is the next-highest structure, the Owl.        Photo courtesy of Sausalito Historical Society

The Madonna towers over its neighbors (upper right).  To the left, past the ferry Vallejo, is the next-highest structure, the Owl.        Photo courtesy of Sausalito Historical Society

Chris Roberts told the short-lived waterfront newspaper Garlic Press that he began building the massive structure in 1967.  "Well, we worked on it for about a year and a half. About three or four hundred people have lived on it over the years, because that's the kind of place it was, anybody could stay there. It was never locked.”

One night just before Christmas, 1975, the Madonna erupted in flames.  Here’s how Pete Ritardo recalled it soon after in the Garlic Press:

The flamboyant tower, the Madonna of Gate Five -- star of Life Magazine, Paris Match and others, yet cut off in a strange way from the life force of the waterfront, as it sat unfinished for years on its slowly rotting barge -- burned Saturday night, December 21; the charred skeleton, timbers of the retired pile-driver on which the tower was built, now sits two hundred yards offshore on a piece of underwater property leased by Don Arques to Marin County.

The paper quoted an unnamed neighbor, who was one of the first to notice the flames: "Well, I was just peaking on peyote, which I had been eating all day, and just getting out of the bath tub when I heard like this huge crash, and saw this huge flame shooting out of the Tower. . . For a minute I thought I was having an hallucination, and then it hit me that the Tower was really burning, and I went outside and started yelling, 'Fire! Fire in the Tower!'

"I saw this guy, and he was either trying to beat out the flames or trying to fan them, I don't know which. "When I left my boat, I said to myself, well, this is it, I've lost everything, because I'm right next to the Madonna you know. . . It was beautiful -- like at one point I saw Mescaline in the flames -- beautiful, and at the same time scary. . ."

According to the paper, the Marin City fire department received a call at 9:24 P.M., and responded with three vehicles. When they arrived on the scene, help was immediately called for and eventually twelve vehicles were summoned. The flames were visible for miles around, and a crowd of spectators numbering in the hundreds gathered.

By the time a hose had been stretched to the end of the access pier, it was clear that the fire would have to burn up the 1/4-inch redwood sheathing of the main tower before it could be brought under control. Efforts were concentrated on trying to save the boats to the south and east of the Madonna, especially the Helmet-Dome boat inhabited by Alan and Cassandra. Bucket lines were formed to wet down roofs, and neighborhood fire-fighters were forced to pour water on their heads to keep from being burned by the constant rain of sparks and chunks of burning wood.

"We'd been talking about this for years," said Cassandra later, "that the worst thing that could happen would be a fire in the Madonna with a wind at low tide." And of course, that is exactly what happened. With the tide receding, Martine and Bennett's houseboat -- which had been tied up to the Madonna's bay side, was removed by frantic efforts with just inches of water to spare.

The Helmet-Dome boat was not so fortunate and was forced to sit out the fire just a few feet down- wind. Steam rose from the aluminum-sheathed portion of the roof: the water directed at it vaporized on contact.

After about 45 minutes,  the Madonna's sheathing had been pretty well burnt off; the front lower portion still remained, and the windward northerly wall. Under the swaying, burning 2x4 frame the yellow-suited firemen worked their way into the Madonna. As the fire's intensity diminished, they were finally able to turn water on the pile-driving tower, and by shutting off the other hoses to increase the water pressure, reached the top.

The crowd began to head home hours before the fire fighters, who stayed until 3 A.M. cleaning up and stowing their equipment.

No one had been hurt, and nothing at Gate 5 had been severely damaged except for the Madonna itself. Though the fire had started suddenly and had reached an intense level in a matter of minutes, everyone in the adjoining houseboats had been able to get to safety.

Chris Roberts provided the epitaph for his epic creation: "It was a sculpture, that's all. And at the same time a place for people who had nowhere else to stay, a kinetic sculpture in a sense. And that's all I can say about it."

Roberts also built the “Owl,” another unusual houseboat on which he lived. It was constructed around an old wooden stiff-leg crane which also had a towering structure. Though much shorter than the Madonna, it was still huge compared with the neighboring houseboats.  The Owl is still afloat on South Forty Pier.

Sausalito Yacht Club – Part II

By Larry Clinton

Last week we recounted the beginnings of the Sausalito Yacht Club 75 years ago, as told in a book produced by club members in the 80s.  The following excerpt, updated by Jerry Tarpin, a member of the club’s Executive Board, tells the story of the design and construction of the clubhouse, and the formation of the junior sailing program, which remains a major focus of the club today.

Sections of the Yacht Club’s distinctive vaulted roof being lifted into place. Photo courtesy of Sausalito Yacht Club

Sections of the Yacht Club’s distinctive vaulted roof being lifted into place.
Photo courtesy of Sausalito Yacht Club

On Saturday, September 24, 1960, the formal ceremony and dedication of the new Sausalito Yacht Clubhouse took place. A triumph of many years effort, the project's completion definitely warranted a grand celebration for club members and the Women's Auxiliary who had donated an enormous amount of labor.

John Ford, Jr., a four-time successful defender of the San Francisco Bay Perpetual Challenge Trophy for the club, officiated at the ceremonies where more than 300 people attended the formal opening of the new home of the Sausalito Yacht Club.

Sausalito's former Mayor Phil Ehrlich, Jr. was the guest of honor, along with the Sausalito Council members, former Chief of Police, Howard Hoerndt and former Fire Chief, Matthew Perry.

The building's exterior, decorated in red, white and blue, reflected the colors of the club's burgee, which was raised and flown during the ceremony on a new signal pole that was presented to the club by one of its members, Neil Munro.

The structure features a molded vaulted roof and enveloping outside deck. The members were further gratified with the results of their efforts when the clubhouse won an award from Progressive Architecture, a prominent architectural journal.

A highlight of the clubhouse dedication ceremony was the presentation of a hand-rubbed ebony plaque, with a sterling silver plate engraved with the names of the seven men who had originally founded the club in 1942. Presenting the plaque were J. B. Ford, Sr., Mr. and Mrs. Frank J. Enzensperger, Mr. and Mrs. R. J. Hooper, the Mesdames Carl Finn, John E. Koenig, Roy Ashley, M. K. Densmore and Marian Stelling, parents of the founding members.

A 40-piece U.S. Coast Guard Band played for the dedication ceremony that was held on the deck of the clubhouse. Commodore Peter Fromhagen greeted visiting guests and Mrs. Fromhagen, President of the SYC Women's Auxiliary, presented the club with a bound volume of all copies of "The Squeegie-Weegie Gazette," its newsletter.

Following the formal proceedings, a champagne cocktail party was held as guests, including the commodores and wives of other yacht clubs, admired the new clubhouse.

In July of 1961, the yacht club made its official entry on the major racing circuit sponsoring a two-day regatta with the official blessing of the Yacht Racing Association.

The club's horizons broadened considerably with the completion of the new clubhouse. An enormous increase in the number of memberships included many sailors with boats meeting YRA qualifications. A fleet of more than 300 yachts marked the entry of the yacht club into the larger yacht circuit. In addition to its entry in the YRA and SYRA, the club is also a member of the Pacific Interclub Association and the U.S. Yacht Racing Union.

In the mid-fifties, the Sausalito Yacht Club initiated the Junior Sailing Program and began providing sailing and boating safety classes to youngsters age 12 and over. This program assured the membership that young people would not face the same difficulty as the club's founding members in pursuing their interest in racing and cruising.

Under the supervision of John Ward, Chairman of the Junior Sailing Program and instructor, youngsters began to learn the nomenclature of lines and nautical terms, splicing and whipping of ropes, rigging and tacks, reefing and mooring methods, safety procedures and how to pick up a person who has gone overboard. The club also agreed to co-sponsor an intensive course in sailing safety for youngsters with the Red Cross.

The Junior Sailing Program became such a success that the Pacific Interclub Association presented the Sausalito Yacht Club an award for the best youth program on the Bay in 1968.

By the end of the 1966 racing season, the Sausalito Yacht Club had 49 boats which "qualified" (raced in 5 different races designated by the Yacht Racing Association as championship races.) This was the largest turn-out ever, and put the SYC in third place among Bay yacht clubs.

In 1967, the club started off the new year by enacting a plan for major work to expand and improve the clubhouse. The work included adding on the new section, expanding the galley, rebuilding the storage area and improvements to the entrance hall. In addition, a new secretarial cabinet and serving station cabinet were added to the list of improvements.

The details of racing and crewing became a focus in 1969 when the Sausalito Yacht Club sponsored a series of racing seminars. In addition to a rundown of procedures, a guest speaker spoke at each meeting on subjects such as starting tactics, apparent wind and balance and sail handling.

As the club evolved from a small group of sailing enthusiasts to the prominent social and sporting group that it has become, the members have never lost sight of the value of how their voluntary efforts help the club to prosper.

Many work parties were scheduled and well-attended as the members made improvements to the clubhouse. These included paving the clubhouse parking lot, building a concrete wall, painting floats and gangway, installing new overhead lights, building a new float and installing a new charbroiler in the galley.

As the membership grew, the traditional fare of spaghetti dinners gave way to more sophisticated meals. By 1963, an increased number of members and their comparative degree of affluence (they were then in their early 40's) made it possible to employ a part-time staff for the bar and galley. At first, the galley only served hamburgers, but gradually the food improved with the desire for change by the members.

On September 23, the Sausalito Yacht Club will celebrate its 75th anniversary with a gala dinner dance.

The Sausalito Yacht Club Turns 75

By Larry Clinton

On September 23, the Sausalito Yacht Club will celebrate its 75th anniversary with a gala dinner dance.

Here is the story of the Club’s beginnings, excerpted and lightly edited from the book “Sausalito Yacht Club,” produced by Club members in the 80s.

In 1942, a group of young sailors: Roy Ashley, Park Densmore, Bob Dinehardt, Jim Enzensperger, John Ford, John Hooper and John Koenig, decided to turn their common enthusiasm for small-boat racing and cruising into something more.

Bill Whitaker, John Hooper (founder), Henry Mettier, Henry Easom, Rob Hobart, Jim Enzensperger (founder) in late 1940s.            Photo courtesy of Sausalito Yacht Club

Bill Whitaker, John Hooper (founder), Henry Mettier, Henry Easom, Rob Hobart, Jim Enzensperger (founder) in late 1940s.            Photo courtesy of Sausalito Yacht Club

At the time, there were several organized yacht clubs, but the members tended to be twice the age of these junior sailors and they did not have any junior member programs.

These young men felt they could better pursue their interests in racing and sailing by starting their own yacht club with rules appropriate to their interests. Thus, the club was formed and initially named the Richardson Bay Yacht Club. It was soon discovered that that name the club was owned by the San Francisco Yacht Club. It was then renamed "The Sausalito Yacht Club."

The first rule was that no member could be older than the age of the oldest founding member. At the time, the oldest member was 18, having two years on his sixteen-year-old companions. The age restriction was important to the young sailors because they did not want older sailors to join and take control of their club.

During the first few years, the members of the newly formed club tended to party together, organize intraclub races, cruise, or visit other yacht clubs on Saturday night.

The founding members held numerous races amongst themselves, as well as taking two weeks off in the summer and cruising up to Steamboat Slough. The early meetings were held in the homes of the members. The first clubhouse was the "Santa Barbara," a steam schooner grounded to form the breakwater where the channel dredging spoils were deposited to dam what was then known as Shell Beach. Even allowing for the fondness of memories, the old boat was considered rather grubby by the members. The only room remaining was the wood paneled officers' and passengers' salon. In it was a long wooden table surrounded by fixed swivel chairs, seating a couple of dozen people. It was here that the first board meetings were held. Social events were never held on the "Santa Barbara," as things got pretty musty what with a lot of dry-rot; it wasn't exactly a party atmosphere.

Before the tide completely absorbed the "Santa Barbara," the club moved into the upper floor of the old San Francisco Yacht Club building, now the Trident-Ondine building. Several fund-raising events and board meetings were held there, though its barren atmosphere by no means filled the bill for a clubhouse.

To improve these conditions, the club moved into an old army building adjacent to the Sausalito Yacht Harbor in 1945. This clubhouse was located on piles at the end of the pier parallel to Bridgeway. Over time, the space under the pier got filled in with mud from harbor dredging. The young club members took advantage of this and built a patio and barbecue. It was here that the club met and socialized for more than a decade.

Memories of these early years in the old SFYC building include a fund-raising dance with a live band that wasn't doing very well until the open-air dance at the Rose Bowl in Larkspur got rained out. Frustrated dancers returning to the City saw our banner stretched across Bridgeway and flocked to the Sausalito Yacht Club to make this a very successful fund-raiser.

In 1945, the club was incorporated. January of 1946 made a mark in the memories of early members, as the date of a spectacular initiation ceremony. The initiation was in the form of a football game between the new members, and true to form with the club's previous experiences, mud played a significant part. The day before the game, it had rained and rained, mak­ing the erstwhile football field into a sea of mud. Not to be discouraged, the members agreed to go on and play anyhow.

Well, if you've ever seen a group of men scrambling around in the mud playing football you can imagine what a sight it was to see. Many members and townspeople came by to watch, quickly spreading word to others. Member Dave Sheldon showed up at half-time in a brand-new, clean, white football uniform and joined in the game when it resumed. By this time, the "initiation" had turned into a town event, and when the game ended, the members made sure there was no way to tell what color Dave's uniform had been.

In the early years, since most members raced small boats, it was natural that the Sausalito Yacht Club should join the Small Boat Racing Association (SBRA) and start to sponsor SBRA races at Sausalito. The also club held "Fun" races on Saturday and a dance on Saturday night. This whole package was called the "Sausalito Regatta Days" and was co-sponsored by The Sausalito Chamber of Commerce. Also at that time, it was customary for the sponsoring club to provide lunch for the crews between races on Sunday, Jim Enzensperger relates his memory of one such occasion. "We had decided on beef stew for Sunday's lunch and prepared the food in a huge restaurant size stew pot on Saturday morning. We put the heat on low and went off to participate in the Regatta Days. By Sunday morning, not only was the stew done, it was cooked beyond all recognition. But, we served the stuff up with French bread anyhow!"

Next week: Construction of today’s clubhouse and berth of the Yacht Club’s signature youth sailing program.

Boats on Streets -- Revisited

by Larry Clinton

The following is updated from a 2009 Sausalito Historical Society column.

Visitors to Sausalito’s floating homes community frequently notice what appear to be vacant berths on the docks.  They’re always amazed to discover that these openings are actually underwater streets, vestiges of unrealized plans to fill in Richardson’s Bay back when California first became a state.

The author crossing Petaluma Avenue.         Photo by Gabrielle Moore-Gordon

The author crossing Petaluma Avenue.         Photo by Gabrielle Moore-Gordon

According to a paper by Michael Wilmar, ex-director of the Bay Conservation and Development Commission, “When California became a state in 1850, it acquired title from the United States to all of the tide and submerged lands within its new boundaries.” Shortly thereafter the cash-strapped State Legislature began to authorize the sale of tidelands, and set up a Board of Tideland Commissioners to oversee the process.

In Sausalito, a group of investors bought several parcels and the Saucelito Land & Ferry Company (as it was known then) had a survey completed and a map drawn up showing future streets and lots available to the public. A copy of the 1875 Land & Ferry Company map hangs outside the Historical Society rooms at the Sausalito Civic Center. At one point the plan was to fill in all of Richardson’s Bay, creating a West Coast Venice with canals connecting the Sausalito and Strawberry shores. 

In 1879 a public backlash against the sell-off of the Bay led to a new provision in the state Constitution forbidding the sale of tidelands.  Submerged lands already in private ownership were declared a public trust, with the guarantee of public rights to reach and use navigable waters.

The state retained title to the underwater streets, as a way of establishing boundaries for future development.  The State Lands Commission, founded in 1938, took over stewardship of this underwater real estate.

When the Bay Conservation and Development Commission was formed in the mid-60s, Sausalito’s northern waterfront was a jumble of residences cobbled together from old vessels, war surplus, and spare parts, sheltering a gaggle of self-described “boatniks.”  To clean up the community, the County and BCDC authorized the construction of floating home marinas, which would provide shore side hookups for power, telephones and – most important – sewage.  Where a floating home dock crossed an underwater street, no home could be berthed.

Over the years, some old houseboats morphed into floating homes. Many grew to two or three times their original size, or were replaced altogether by larger, more elaborate residences.  In time, a few encroached on the mythical underwater streets, creating a new hot topic in always-Byzantine waterfront politics: Boats on Streets.

Eventually, authorities declared that houseboats needed to be brought up to code and regulated.

Approximately 400 floating home berths were eventually permitted in 5 designated residential marinas. A number of residents refused berths in the new harbors, and instead banded together to form the Gates Cooperative in 1979.  Today, after years of legal wrangling, some of these homes are being placed on code-compliant docks, including the new Van Damme Dock off Gate 6 Road. This reconfiguration will also include a shoreline park, bike paths and bay views.

The modern floating homes community is presenting its 32nd Open Homes tour on September 30.  Themed “Homefront on the Waterfront,” the tour ties in with the 75th Anniversary of Marinship, which helped to foster today’s waterfront community.

It’s a full day with music, artists, exhibits of vintage vehicles, food and drink for purchase and more. To make advance reservations or to volunteer to work on the tour, visit http://www.floatinghomes.org/Tour.

Eugene Huggins: Blues by the Bay

By Larry Clinton and Cindy Roby

Regular attendees at Sausalito’s summertime concert series, Jazz and Blues by the Bay, know that the final performance will feature local bluesman Eugene Huggins.  What they may not know is that this homegrown performer has closed the summer series virtually every year since it began.

Photo courtesy of Sausalito Parks and Recreation Department.

Photo courtesy of Sausalito Parks and Recreation Department.

Eugene’s roots in the Bay Area blues scene go back to his high school days, as he told Cindy Roby for a MarinScope profile back in 1982.  Here are some key excerpts from that interview:

One of the songs that Sausalito's Eugene Huggins and his group The Casuals really relish is entitled "Don’t Go No Further,” a rhythm and blues classic but a title increasingly inappropriate to the top billing destiny the group Is beginning to enjoy.

Their ascent was formally recognized on March 3rd when they received nominations in two categories at the Bay Area Music Awards (the cognoscenti just call 'em the "Bammies"). The Casuals were nominated in two categories: "Best Blues Band" and "Best Club Band".

"We came in second for Best Club Band," Eugene says, "And that was especially great because it was a write-in category."

Pretty heady stuff for this Sausalito son. But when we met to talk during his break at the Sausalito Gourmet on Caledonia Street, where he works during the day, it was clear Eugene Huggins is still pretty down-to-earth and unassuming — well, I'd guess you'd call him casual!

"I've worked here for five years," Eugene told me as he settled down with a cake. "Frank (Hountalas) is very nice about my music and lets me go early when I need to." Eugene appreciates the steady income he makes dispensing opulent sandwiches and other savories for the daytime locals. "It's getting so The Casuals are making pretty good money now but I still can't depend on it because it is so inconsistent."

If music's in his blood, Sausalito's in his soul. "Sausalito is it for me. I wouldn't want to be anyplace else. I've met really nice people," he says. And Eugene's had plenty of time to meet them; he's spent most of his 21 years here. "My family moved here in I960. My father was bead of PR for the Army Corps of Engineers. I looked up to him a lot and he always encouraged my music. He liked music himself a lot. My mother used to be PTA president and has worked as cashier at the Spinnaker for 15 years."

At 21, Eugene is pretty much of a Sausalito old-timer. "I've seen Sausalito go through a lot of its changes. I remember when they closed Vina del Mar Park [during the hippie era]. My Dad used to take me to the Glen to play when I was a little kid. There were no houses there at all and you know what it looks like now. I went to elementary school at the Old Central School which is City Hall now."

Along with just about every teenager in the world, Eugene got into music playing with a rock group. "The Casuals bass player, Steve Webber, and I played together in high school. While everyone in Marin was still listening to Crosby, Stills and Nash, I was listening to Jimmy Reed. The other kids thought I was weird."

Eugene plays the harmonica and sings. "There is a different harmonica for each of the 12 different keys,” he points out. “So I have a little shaving kit packed with harmonicas that I take to each gig.

"We gig a whole lot," Eugene says. "We play at the Sleeping Lady in Fairfax; all the Keystone Clubs — in San Francisco, Berkeley and Palo Alto and at the Old Waldorf in the City and many others. We have a young audience — mostly teenagers, high school students — and I think we are the only blues band that does. We are not really into hard rock."

He continues, "My heroes are people like Muddy Waters, Junior Walker, Buddy Guy and Junior Wells."

And last fall when The Casuals were tapped to back up Guy and Wells at the Old Waldorf they performed impressively enough to generate a two-column rave review by Michael Snyder and a picture in the Chronicle’s "Pink Sheet."

Some excerpts are typical of the tone.

"At the Old Waldorf for a one-nighter, Buddy Guy and Junior Wells used the quintet, ranging in age from 16-21, as their back-up band with no rehearsal. Wells was so impressed he called for an unscheduled second set, joining the band on stage during ‘Key to the Highway....’

"Junior said, ‘I like to plug in and play and see what happens,’ added genial Eugene Huggins, 21, whose lead vocals and harmonica stick close to the blues tradition. 'And what happened was a lot of spontaneous interplay’. "

So there's no doubt there's a rosy future ahead for Eugene and The Casuals and I look forward to witnessing it some night. In the meantime, I can only vouch firsthand for Eugene's sandwich making abilities and I say give the guy the "Sandy" award!

This year, Eugene Huggins and Friends will perform on the Gabrielson Park stage Friday evening, August 25, as he has appeared “Pretty much since the beginning.” Recalling this long string, he says, “It means a lot to me, being a hometown boy, and I have lots of happy memories of playing there.”  For more information, and a preview of Eugene’s music, check out his Website: http://eblues.webs.com/biographybooking.htm.

Dredgetown and the Shaman of Rainbow Bay

By Larry Clinton

In a 1981 MarinScope article, Phil Frank reported on the City Council’s plan to pursue the abatement and eviction of the offshore settlement known as Dredgetown.  As Phil put it, “This collection of floating boats, sunken barges and hulks surrounding the permanently moored three-story dredge directly offshore of Dunphy Park has been a thorn in the side of the city, the Cruising Club and numerous hill dwellers since Its creation ten years ago.”

The day they burned old Dredgetown down                                            Photo by Saul Rouda

The day they burned old Dredgetown down                                            Photo by Saul Rouda

Phil dug into the Dredgetown controversy with his usual gusto, asking, “Now that the city has its ordinance the next question might be ‘What is the city up against in the person of the Dredgetown dwellers’?”

Then he summarized his interview with Michael Woodstock Haas, a fairly consistent occupant of the dredge for the last six years:

“It's long been my belief that If one is to be successful in battle it's best to know one's opponent. Since Michael Haas is the present holder of the title to the dredge and will thus be ticketed, summoned, served and sued in upcoming months, he could realistically be called an opponent.  But here’s the rub, for Michael Hass also is the Shaman of Rainbow Bay. Michael is a deep believer in astrology and the spirit world.

“Hass explained, ‘At sunrise on Easter Sunday three years ago, I was visited by Indian spirits in a vision. These were the spirits of the former inhabitants of the area. The Coast Miwok Indians were also known as the Hoo Koo Ee Koo Indians. They declared me the protector of these tidelands by making me the Shaman of Rainbow Bay. See, Rainbow Bay is what the Indians called these waters before William Richardson arrived on the scene. These spirits were real upset by the desecration of their burial grounds for the building of Sarky's Square.’ At this point Hass went on to explain to me about resulting ‘Curse of Sarky's Square’ placed on it by the spirits, but that would take another whole column.

“Working with a totem pole carver, Hass helped with the erecting of totem poles along the Sausalito waterfront to ward off evil spirits. To date seven have been erected, the most recent a 40-foot tall pole on the dredge itself. This one was slipped into place at sunrise of Easter Sunday morning.

“Haas continued, ‘The poles are all in place now and the energy which these totem poles attract will protect we, the spiritual descendants of the Hoo Koo Ee Koo.’

“Whether a 48-hour mooring ordinance governing anchorage of underwater streets will be any match

for seven totem poles and the Shaman of Rainbow Ray remains to be seen. The bumper sticker on the Volkswagen currently running around town says it all: SAUSALITO, it’s not the real world, Jack.

According to the newspaper, Hass had acquired the Dredgetown barge from waterfront bandleader and ringleader Joe (“Redlegs”) Tate, who had purchased it for $1.00 several years before.  When the Marin Superior Court supported the city's desire to maintain the property for public use, thereby prohibiting residential use by an individual, Haas took his case to the California State Appellate Court which issued its decision in February 1982. The Appellate Court ageed with the city's right to preserve all of the Dunphy Park parcel for public use.

In April 1982, the city exercised its option to demolish the dredge. Appearing before the City Council, Haas declared, "It wasn't until today I really understood this is the end for me. I have been defending the bay, defending the space because as long as I have been there, you haven't been able to develop it."

After Haas' personal possessions were removed from the barge, the Sausalito Fire Department prepared the structure for a controlled burn. Shortly after noon, the first columns of smoke filled the sky above Dunphy Park. Curious spectators joined a handful of people who had come down to watch the demolition. MarinScope reported: “The remainder of the barge will be removed in a few weeks.”

Haas told Marinscope, "I have nothing but blessings for Sausalito. I try to look on the positive side. Everything happens for a reason. So many people are upset by this, but how are we to know who is responsible to what degree for what has happened. This is an end. but it's abo a beginning. I plan to take my show on the road and then I will come back to Sausalito."

Joe (now “Gramps”) Tate, still active on the Sausalito music scene, recalls that Michael Haas moved to Mexico to work with indigenous peoples.  He was eventually murdered for his collection of Indian jewelry.

Back issues of MarinScope are available for viewing at the Sausalito Library, and at the Historical Society, one floor above it.

Sausalito Art Car Zaboo 1984-2017

By Nora Sawyer

Sausalito is known for its eccentrics. Be they entrepreneurs like Sally Stanford, wry observers like Phil Frank, philosophers like Alan Watts, or one-of-a-kind writers like Shel Silverstein, Sausalito’s residents have a reputation for originality.

It’s no surprise, then, that our local landmarks are equally distinctive. Take for example Sausalito Art Car Zaboo, which has for nearly twenty years held court from its small flower patch by Galilee Harbor. Brightly painted and covered in toys, tchotchkes, and dismembered dolls, the Sausalito Art Car has appeared in TV guide, boasts its own commemorative t-shirts and a Facebook Fan page, and is even a Pokéstop on Pokémon Go. Tourists pose with it, children stop to peer in at the impassive stuffed animals that gaze from its portal-like windows, and fans even leave small art objects as tribute. It is, in short, an institution.

The ArtCar in all its glory. Photo by Heather Wilcoxon

The ArtCar in all its glory.
Photo by Heather Wilcoxon

Named for a late and much-loved dog, Zaboo is the creation of local artist Heather Wilcoxon, who bought the car new in 1984. “It was the year my father died,” she recalls. “I bought the car for $8,848, cash. It was the first new car I ever owned,” she laughs. “The only new car.”

It wasn’t an art car then. For several years, it was just a car. Then, on Wilcoxon’s 50th birthday, she asked her son Jonah to do something creative with the car as a birthday present. “He spray painted the whole thing for me. And my sister, Cici, brought me a toy and glued it onto the hood. The whole thing started from there.”

Wilcoxon drove the car, with an ever-growing collection of toys glued to it, until 2000, when it broke down for good. It sat for a while in Galilee Harbor’s parking lot before moving into its current spot alongside Napa Street, just down from Galilee’s painted mailboxes. Drivability concerns gone, Wilcoxon was free to let loose with her creative vision. Toys engulfed the car, covering its windshield and peering from its windows. Wilcoxon planted succulents alongside it, which grew to surround the car like a fairytale forest. “It stopped being a car and became a monument,” laughs local musician Joe Tate. “Long story short.”

The year 2015 was, Wilcoxon recalls, “peak year for the art car.” The car got a new paint job, with Wilcoxon’s fellow Galilee residents pitching in to freshen it up and spruce up the garden. Best of all, an anonymous donor dropped off an old upright piano, which Wilcoxon painted to match the car, writing “PLAY ME” on the upper front board to entice passers-by.

Once the piano left, things got little quieter. But the car still had plenty to say. Big red letters spelled ‘BELIEVE’ along the top. A small round sign asked viewers to “please be kind to the art car.” And, of course, there were custom Zaboo license plates.

Following the 2016 election, more political signs appeared. Right after Election Day, Wilcoxon placed one reading ‘Not my president” beside the car, but almost immediately took it down. “Someone else put a sign supporting Trump beside it, and I decided that wasn’t a debate I wanted to have here,” Wilcoxon recalls. Still, other signs reflected the tense political times, calling for an end to mass deportations and speaking out against the border wall.

But soon the car itself will be gone. On Saturday, July 22, much of the art was dismantled. The toys and assemblages that once stood atop the car were re-homed in Galilee Harbor’s vegetable garden, or given to passers-by as souvenirs. The car sits under a tarp, and will towed away to make way for the planned re-vitalization of neighboring Dunphy Park.

The car’s retirement has Wilcoxon feeling a little wistful. “I guess it’s time,” she says, “but I’m going to miss the art car.” The car’s departure follows closely on the heels of the death of artist and local institution Bo VanBo, who often painted and displayed his work alongside the car. “Sausalito is changing,” Wilcoxon reflects, “but that’s fine. Everything’s ephemeral. Especially art.”

Heather Wilcoxon has two solo shows currently up in the Bay Area: “Adrift” is at the Jack Fischer Gallery in San Francisco through July 29th, and “At Sea” is at the San Jose Institute for Contemporary Art through September 10th. Check out http://heatherwilcoxon.com/ for information on shows and upcoming workshops.

Rick Seymour: Sausalito, My Inspiration

By Steefenie Wicks

Rick Seymour: a true Sausalitan Photo by Steefenie Wicks

Rick Seymour: a true Sausalitan
Photo by Steefenie Wicks

The fog was thick and heavy on Bridgeway that morning.  Rick Seymour, age 12, was out delivering his papers when he heard someone yelling “Hello” throughsd the thick fog. He listened again and heard the voice, as it seemed to be getting closer.  So Rick yelled back “Hello.”  Then came the voice again yelling, “What ship is that?” and Rick yelled back “It’s no ship! I’m delivering the morning papers.”  Then he heard with some concern,” Oh no! Reverse engines! Reverse engines!”  The ship in the dense fog had come that close to running ashore; only this attentive paperboy stopped the shipwreck from happening.

Rick Seymour has lived in Sausalito most of his life.  No matter where he traveled, he always returned to the place he calls his inspiration, Sausalito.  He remembers growing up here during the 1930’s in a quiet little fishing village that was full of very creative people.  His mother and father, both artists, were in many ways visionaries.  His mother was the first woman to start her own co-operative here.  It took place after the death of his father, when he and his mother inherited funds from an uncle.  They took those funds and brought a piece of land on Harrison Ave.  His mother’s idea was to gather several friends whom she and her husband had been close to.  Together they formed a co-op housing complex.  She was able to sell the five apartment spaces, which enabled her to pay for the property as well as the construction costs.  Today Rick and his wife Sharon live in that complex, which was designed by his mother.

Rick attended classes at the old Central School, which is now City Hall.  He recalls that the location of the Sausalito Historical Society was once the schoolroom that he sat in when he was in the 7th grade.

Seymour spent time in the air force but when his duty was over he returned to his home in Sausalito, living in floating apartments and working at local establishments.  He knew, personally, the many characters who were here at the time.  He worked on board the old ferry, the City of Berkeley when she was docked in downtown Sausalito.  At one point Sterling Hayden was writing his book Wanderer in the aft wheelhouse of the Berkeley while Seymour used the forward one as his night watchman’s office.

Rick recalls how Hayden would call out to him, sometimes late at night, and invite him for a nightcap. They spent many an hour just discussing life.  “Hayden was a real Renaissance man, he was interested in everything, had had many adventures, was extremely well read.  I can remember that one of our first long conversations was about French impressionistic paintings; he was very knowledgeable about the subject.”

Seymour remembers the famous Juanita, who owned several restaurants in Sausalito.  He says that she had a very bad temper, which she would lose if customers were disrespecting her or her food.  “One time she lost it over these two customers, as they were driving away in their convertible, she ran outside, pitched a full plate of food at them, it landed in the car on top of them as they were driving away.” He smiles and continues, “That was Sausalito then -- you could not get away with that today.”

Rick had a long career at the Haight Ashbury Free Clinic in San Francisco; he retired from that position when he was 70 years old.   He worked with the founder, David Smith, whose motto was and still is: “Health care is a right for all.”  Asked what it was like working in the Haight, Seymour tells of not only the excitement but also the horrors.  He explained, “This was during the time when most thought it was the Summer of Love but it was also the time of the Zebra killings and the Zodiac killer.  If you were on the street you had a good chance of being shot or shot at.  The Free Clinic had a number of sponsors; two who were very active were Dianne Feinstein, along with the late Bill Graham.”  Seymour recalls that when there were drug overdoses at concerts, people in the Haight Ashbury district knew that they could count on the free clinic to treat them and, in many cases, save their lives.

Seymour now spends his days working on various projects, including a series of mystery novels which are available on Amazon. As he puts it: “Artists do not retire.” In a recent article for Sausalito Village, he explored this issue.  “Sausalito has borne witness to continuing artistic endeavors throughout its history; many of its artists have long and illustrious careers.  Today many continue their creative activities in this town, which is well suited to nurture the lives and talent of these gifted individuals.”

So now when we think of the many talented characters who have lived, worked, and contributed to Sausalito, we can add to the list the name of Rick Seymour, writer, philosopher, historian: a true Sausalitan.

Sealing in 1885

By Larry Clinton

Many species of marine mammals were hunted almost to extinction in the 19th century.  Here are annotated excerpts from a Sausalito News article of 1885, which describes the sealing activities that decimated local populations. Warning: descriptions of the hunting techniques may be disturbing to some readers:

Seal skinning in the 1880s Courtesy photo

Seal skinning in the 1880s
Courtesy photo

Among the trades which have grown to considerable importance within the past few years is that of sealing and a short account of these animals and the manner of hunting them may be of interest to our readers. The following article is furnished us by a gentleman who has much experience in seal hunting: Both fin and hair seals are numerous along the Pacific Coast, and many vessels are now employed in the sealing business, going as far south as the Galapagos Islands and north to the Bering Sea. Fur seals are the most valuable of all the seal tribe proper, a good skin generally bringing about $12 in its undressed state.

THE ALA EA COMMERCIAL COMPANY controls this branch of the trade, as the animals are so numerous on their islands that it is almost impossible for private individuals to compete with them. The chief hunting grounds of the Company are St. George, St. Paul and Copper Islands [in the Bering Sea]. Here the seals assemble in thousands and when a sufficient number is collected, they are approached by bands of natives who, getting between them and the water, drive the unfortunate creatures some distance up the country where they are slaughtered with clubs at their captors’ pleasure. In this manner are killed millions of seals annually, the steamer St. Paul alone bringing down 270,00 skins last season. When a private vessel engages in sealing, the method is to shoot the seal when in the water asleep and trust to his floating when killed, but very few are taken in this way as compared with the Company’s method. There is little or no blubber on these seals so the skin is all that the fur seal is killed for. It is a noteworthy fact that all the skins must be sent to London to be dressed and made into the beautiful saques [infants’ jackets] etc. the ladies so much admire. The process of preparing the fur is a well-guarded secret of which only the proprietors of the business have full knowledge.

HAIR SEALS

The different species of the hair seal [seals with coarse hair rather than fur, such as harbor seals] are sought chiefly for their blubber which is boiled down into oil immediately after being detached from the body of the animal, but of late years, the skins have been converted into leather and consequently are now saved instead of being thrown away as formerly.

Many companies are engaged in this business, and the rookeries, as they are termed, being very numerous immense numbers of the animals have been killed. Among the favorite and best hunting grounds are Port Orford, Point New Year, Carmel Bay, Santa Barbara Island, Natividad Island and Bonita Islands. These places are crowded with sea lion, black and leopard seals all the year round. Last year one vessel, the Laura, hunted on the north island of the Farallones and made a good harvest, but the Government refused to allow it to be continued and no vessel went there this year.

SEA LIONS

Are the most profitable of the species as they are considerably larger than any other, an average size bull measuring about twenty [actually, more like eleven] feet from nose to tail. They yield from 13 to 20 gallons of oil which brings about 50 cents a gallon and the skin will weigh about 150 pounds worth 5 cents a pound; so, taken all in all, they are about as profitable as the fur seal.

Another branch of the business is

SEA OTTER HUNTING

 

The skins of these animals are extremely valuable, a common skin bringing as high as $100, while a silver-tipped otter will bring sometimes as high as $700. They are scarce as compared with

seals but some vessels engage in hunting them exclusively as a few skins bring in such good returns. [Soon, otters were considered extinct in California waters until a small family were discovered in the 1930s].

Last winter a schooner went down to Mexico for the Smithsonian Institute to obtain the skins and skeletons of

SEA ELEPHANTS

Another variety of seal, which are even larger than sea lions, often measuring 35 and 40 feet in length [more like [thirteen feet, actually] and yielding sometimes as much as 90 gallons of oil. About forty of these animals were killed and went east to be mounted. Of all the varieties of seals the leopard seals are generally the most vicious, though in the breeding season with her young about her, a female sea lion is very savage. Some years ago, when some men were employed to capture some of these animals alive for Woodward's Garden, a large cow bit a man's leg clean off at the hip, causing his death shortly after. As a general thing however, anybody can avoid danger as the animals are very awkward on land though they swim faster than any fish when in the water.

Throughout the 1900s, safeguards were gradually put in place for most of these animals, culminating in the US Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972.  That legislation made it illegal to harm, harass or approach any marine mammal, and established a stranding network of organizations to provide rescue and rehabilitation efforts throughout the country.  Some populations have rebounded, but fur seals, sea otters and a few other species are still considered threatened, depleted, or endangered.  In Central and Northern California, The Marine Mammal Center has rescued and treated more than 21,000 marine mammals since it was founded in 1975.  If you see a sick or injured marine mammal within Mendocino County and San Luis Obispo county, please call 415-289-SEAL. For more information, visit www.MarineMammalCenter.org.  

Sausalito’s First Sawmill

By Larry Clinton

The following is excerpted from Jack Tracy’s book “Moments in Time”:

Commodore Jones Courtesy photo

Commodore Jones
Courtesy photo

By 1849 as the drive for California statehood got under way, the mil­itary commander of San Francisco Bay was Colonel Rich­ard Barnes Mason, with Commodore Thomas ap Catesby Jones in charge of the half dozen ships of the Navy's Pacific Squadron. Commodore Jones was well acquainted with Sausalito. His ships were supplied with water there and the anchorage in the cove gave quick access to the bay entrance, or "Golden Gate," as Fremont had christened it.

Jones's problems as Commodore were compounded by the discovery of gold in the hills east of San Francisco. Hundreds of ships, American and foreign, arrived in 1849, straining Jones's resources for keeping order. Thousands of men, crews and passengers, civilian and Navy, left their ships in Yerba Buena Cove and joined the mad scramble for El Dorado.

Not the least of Commodore Jones's problems was the lack of dry dock and repair facilities in California. While taking on water in the cove, Jones and other officers had observed the potential of Sausalito's flat tidal beach; so he established a makeshift dry dock there and put it to a test that summer.

In 1847, even before gold was discovered in California, Commodore Jones had requested the Navy Department in Washington to send a combination sawmill and gristmill around the horn to San Francisco where he needed lumber for ship repairs, and ground flour to feed his sailors. In November 1848 the sawmill and steam engine parts arrived and were dumped on the beach in Yerba Buena Cove and left scattered about as the ship's crew set off for the gold country. Commodore Jones, still eager to establish a repair facility for his ships, signed a contract with Robert A. Parker, a San Franciscan civilian entrepreneur to assemble and operate the sawmill in the cove at Sausalito.

When Commodore Jones informed Washington of his sawmill contract with Robert Parker, the Navy disavowed Jones's right to enter into a contract with a civilian, ordering Jones to reclaim the sawmill and settle accounts with Parker. But Robert Parker had assigned the contract to Lt. James McCormick, who had become superintendent of the Sausalito sawmill and was drawing a salary of $2,500 a year while still on active duty with the Navy.

Slowly, the Navy Department pieced together the whole story of the troublesome sawmill in the unknown little cove that they referred in dispatches to as "Sawcelito." Like so many instant towns that had sprung up during the gold rush wherever a speculator could get a large enough parcel to subdivide into lots, Sausalito had been hastily conceived, with a Navy sawmill as its big attraction.

Robert Parker dropped out of the picture in Sausalito, perhaps because his main interest, the gristmill, never ma­terialized or was stolen from the beach in Yerba Buena. In any case, during the gold rush, Parker was busy with his grocery and liquor business in San Francisco. There he also ran the "Parker House," where in 1851 he was charging $1,500 a month for a room.

The sawmill operation in Sausalito did a brisk business in 1850, selling pine planks and assorted redwood lumber to the Navy as well as to ranchers and builders. Even William Richardson bought lumber from the mill and in turn sold beef to McCormick for his sawmill crew, many of whom were moonlighting sailors. Even so, the mill never lived up to expectations. During the winters it was more difficult than had been an­ticipated to fell redwoods beyond Corte Madera Creek and raft the logs down Richardson's Bay to the cove.

Finally in 1851 the Navy demanded that the mill be seized from McCormick and sold at auction. McCormick made a detailed accounting of his and Parker's expenses and receipts. Referees for the Navy and McCormick's at­torney Charles Botts concluded that McCormick was owed $25,766.64 to cover the difference between his costs and revenue from the mill.

The Navy refused payment, not surprisingly, since McCormick had listed among other expenses payments to navy personnel for loading navy lumber onto navy vessels in Sausalito. The dispute over the $25,000 shifted from Sausalito to Washington, D.C. in 1851 when the "McCormick Case" went before Congress. Rep. Jonathon Minor Botts of Virginia, brother of Charles Botts, now owner of old Sausalito, had a bill introduced to appropriate $25,000 as a settlement to McCormick for the sawmill operation.

The Navy announced in 1852 that the site for a new Navy Yard on the West Coast would be Mare Island. A study had been conducted by Commodore McCauley, who had replaced Commodore Jones in 1851, to find the most eligible site for the naval arsenal and dry dock. McCauley, like Jones before him, recommended Sausalito. But other forces were at work. A group of enterprising men, with the support of General Mariano Vallejo, promoted Mare Island, the site next to the new town named by Vallejo's son-in-law John B. Frisbee in honor of the General. Mare Island was selected, possibly because of the cloud of doubt raised over Sausalito by the conduct of certain Naval of­ficers. Officially it was chosen because of its deep channel and its strategic distance from the Golden Gate.

“Moments in Time,” Tracy’s seminal history of Sausalito, is available at the Ice House Visitors Center and Historical Museum, which is open from 11:30-4:00, Tuesday through Sunday, at 780 Bridgeway.

Chris Hardman: Keeping the Magic Alive

by Steefenie Wicks

“It began when I was given a Walkman,” Chris Hardman recently recalled.  “I was in Europe at the time, it was 1982. I remember the first time I put on the earphones, turned on the music, then began to walk.  It was amazing how as the music changed so did my surroundings.  Soon, I was walking into museums with the sounds of violins and drums exploding in my head.  That’s when it came to me: why not use this medium as part of the story telling technique in my productions as a way of revolutionizing theater?  Upon returning to the United States I began a production called ‘High School’ using the Walkman, having the audience become part of the production. That is how Antenna Audio was born.”

Chris Hardman has lived in Sausalito for over 30 years.  At one time, he ran for City Council with a campaign slogan developed by Steward Brand: “A Hardman is Good to Find.”  Although he did not win office, later his wife Annette Rose would be elected to the Council, become Mayor of the City, then serve as representative from the 3rd District on the Marin County Board of Supervisors.   But Chris’s involvement with waterfront politics is legendary.  He was a founding member of the group Art Zone.   Hardman’s productions, always done with a sense of pageantry, had political themes that sometimes directed their message to the City of Sausalito on not developing the waterfront, taking into consideration the community that came to exist there, that lived in fear of being displaced.

Hardman was born in Washington State but raised in Los Angeles.  His father was a writer of TV westerns.  When Chris was 13, his family took a trip to San Francisco where he was exposed to his first never-never land, as he called it.  “Los Angeles is where people write about things, but San Francisco is where you make them happen,” he says. “After my first visit, I knew I would return.”

When it was time to go to college he chose to go back east to Goddard College.  Goddard has a history of focusing on creativity, chaos, invention, experimentation with growth, decline and reemergence.  There he met his mentor, Peter Schumann, a European artist who told stories using large puppets, sometimes 13 feet tall.  His work had political overtones and his plays and pageantry were so astounding that Hardman left school and moved in with Schumann and his family.  “I wanted to learn all of his tricks,” Chris recalls. “He was fantastic and he invented ‘Bread and Puppets Theater’.”

Bread and Puppets Theater just celebrated its 50-year anniversary as an underground, radical, political, experimental puppet-mask-and-pageantry theater that has fascinated any audience lucky enough to view a performance.

Hardman studied this form of theater, then brought it back to the Sausalito waterfront where his work would make each performance equal to that of his teacher.

I asked him how he knew he had made the right decision to move to Sausalito.  He thought it over, then told me what inspired him.  “I had been living in the City when the friend whose house where I was staying decided that he wanted to move back.  He had this studio at Gate 3, offered me the space but wanted me to know that there was this fear of development, so staying there would be a little touchy,” he smiled.  “Little did I know that I would be in that space for over 10 years.”   He continued, “The first night that I spent there, a knock on the door surprised me.  When I opened the door, there stood a woman in black face with an M-16 strapped around her neck.  Her partner was wearing a washboard and playing a kazoo.  This was Laurabell [Hawbecker] and Bob [Kalloch], both gone now but they became my friends for life.”

One of the first artists hired by the National Park Service, Chris was the inspiration behind the audio tour of Alcatraz. “I was always told that audio tours were boring but I didn’t see it that way, so I went on to change that theory.” He continues, “I envisioned audio tours as stories that were being heard for the first time.  As a matter of fact, the Alcatraz tours still have elements of the originals that were done back in 1986.  Most of the individuals whose voices were used have passed on, making those recordings one of a kind, valuable. Now you can go to any museum around the world, when they hand you the audio device to describe the exhibition, it was more than likely produced by Antenna Audio.” Hardman smiles at the thought. Some time ago Antenna Audio was sold; it is now called Antenna International.

For the last 7 years Hardman has been concentrating on a project called the “Magic Bus.”   The Magic Bus has 16 mini-projectors, plus sound systems with automatic screens that tell the story of the 1960’s magic of San Francisco.  He explained, “This is a moving movie theater -- when the screens come up it turns into a tour bus, it’s like an audio tour aboard the bus.” 

Hardman no longer lives here in town, but when asked what he missed about Sausalito he was quick to answer: “Community.” He feels that in these times people don’t know their neighbors. “But on the Sausalito waterfront,” he says, “People do know their neighbors.  They come together for social events that involve the community.  It’s called coming together to build strong structures that make it possible for a community to exist.  This I miss, but I do enjoy my ride on the Magic Bus. It somehow keeps this feeling alive.”

Chris Hardman and his Magic Bus          Photo by Steefenie Wicks

Chris Hardman and his Magic Bus          Photo by Steefenie Wicks

Water: Sausalito’s Liquid Gold

By Larry Clinton

The earliest European visitors to the Bay found that our area was home to high quality spring water.  The springs supplying that water were marked by groves of willow trees, which gave the town its early name: Saucelito, or “little willow.”  Whalers found that Sausalito water not only tasted better, it lasted better on long voyages.

Sausalito’s first water system was built by town founder William A. Richardson, who piped water from springs above the town to a great cistern for later distribution. Here's how the Sausalito News described the operation:

This photo, taken c. 1852, shows rudimentary buildings and piers in Whaler’s Cove, now known as Shelter Cove. Photo Courtesy of Sausalito Historical Society

This photo, taken c. 1852, shows rudimentary buildings and piers in Whaler’s Cove, now known as Shelter Cove.

Photo Courtesy of Sausalito Historical Society

“In connection with the records, the following local ‘point’ is of especial concern to those preserving the records of early-day Marin: Name of Historical Point—Water wharf, from which water for drinking and cooking purposes was shipped to San Francisco. Location— East Richardson street, between Water and Front streets, Sausalito, Marin county, California. Name of Owner—Town or City of Sausalito. History and Description — This wharf, so called, was really a sort of a trestle carrying a pipe from the shore to vessels, outfitted with tanks, in which the water was conveyed to San Francisco from Sausalito. There were many springs of surrounding the valley, formerly fine mountain water in the hills called Hurricane Gulch, now named Shelter Cove.

“It is the generally accepted theory that these springs were and are fed from the Sierras. In 1850, Capt. W. A. Richardson. one of the original settlers in Sausalito and the grantee of the Spanish Grant Rancho Sausalito, piped the water from these springs to a great cistern thirty feet square and fifteen feet in depth. The water was then carried in a large pipe to tanks and casks on the boat, ‘The Water Nixie,’ which conveyed it to San Francisco. It was then distributed to purveyors with horse or mule drawn two-wheeled carts carrying casks, and peddled by the bucket to consumers, bringing 25 cents a gallon or 50 cents a bucket [that’s $14 a gallon adjusted for inflation, according to Jonathan Westerling of Radio Sausalito].  The usual amount sold to a customer per day was two buckets. As San Francisco depended on wells for its water supply, and the water was brackish, Sausalito and Tiburon supplied the growing city with water, for drinking and cooking purposes, until the Spring Valley Water system was installed. Later these springs in Sausalito were developed and tunnels run Into the bills and Sausalito was supplied with water from this source.”

After Richardson died, the Sausalito Land and Ferry Company bought his property and water works in 1869 and by 1891 was serving much of the community. The Sausalito Bay Water Company was incorporated in 1887 with a capital stock of $50,000, divided into 50,000 shares, according to the Daily Alta Californian. That firm built a system that was bought by the Sausalito Spring Water Company in 1905. The city of Sausalito built its own water works in 1909 and in 1912 voted to join the new Marin Municipal Water District, which was incorporated on April 25, 1912, according to the.

Marin Municipal Water District.

The Home Shift

By Nora Sawyer

Poster girl Rosie the Riveter   Courtesy photo

Poster girl Rosie the Riveter   Courtesy photo

Rosie the Riveter is an American Icon from WWII. In Norman Rockwell’s painting, she perches comfortably on a stool, loafer-clad feet resting on a copy of Mein Kampf, one arm curled to hold a ham sandwich. In a song by Redd Evans and John Jacob Loeb, she’s “making history, working for victory.” And most famously, she stares determinedly from J. Howard Miller’s propaganda poster, declaring “We Can Do It!”

I’m a practical woman. So I got to wondering recently just how she did it. Rosie and her ilk were often new to the workforce. In San Francisco, the number of working women nearly doubled during the war. Nationwide, the number of working wives grew from under 14 percent in 1940 to 25 percent in 1945.

Sausalito’s Marinship had plenty of women like Rosie. The first was welder Dorothy Gimblett, a mother of three who started work in the summer of 1942. Others soon followed, and by November of that year, there were more than 500 female employees working in the Marinship, 53% of whom were married, and half of whom had kids.

Starting in January 1943, the Marin-er, Bechtel Corporation’s in-house newsletter for workers, started publishing “The Home Shift,” a column geared toward “you women and girls who work here at Marinship, and the wives and mothers at home.” The bulk of the column was devoted to meal-planning. Eating well was “just as important to shipbuilding as good steel and good welding,” and the menus reflect the need to keep the workforce in peak condition, while dealing with the practical concerns of women working outside the home.

The column’s peppy, can-do attitude and in-depth nutritional advice had me curious. What could I learn about Rosie by eating from her lunchbox?

So I decided to try it, starting with the column’s inaugural menu. A “low meat” dinner for “days when there just isn’t any,” the suggested meal (lima beans with wieners served with baked squash, cornbread, and a “peppy cabbage salad,” with a dessert of fresh fruit) was attributed to “a woman welder who carries the torch for Uncle Sam during the day and runs the home shift for her rigger husband.” All this in “only 45 minutes, actual kitchen time.”

I began my quest at Driver’s Market, housed in what was once Marinship’s hiring hall. Shopping for dinner provided my first revelation about Marinship workers: they ate a lot. Hard, physical labor requires a lot of fuel, and each meal featured a smorgasbord of filling, nutritious food.

Graveyard workers especially needed meals that were nutritious, appealing, and could stand up to “cold reality.” An April 1943 issue of the Marin-er recommends five meals for night-shift workers. The meals were designed to be light, appealing (since working nights might diminish workers’ appetites), and extra nutritious. These suggested “light meals” include a breakfast of grapefruit, wheat cereal, and baked eggs and bacon served with toast, cocoa and milk. This was followed by a “wake up snack” of vegetable juice, a fried ham sandwich, a baked apple, and coffee.

The second revelation: it required planning. Running out the door, I nearly forgot to set beans to soak for that night’s dinner. Instead of relaxing after my epic dinner, I needed to start preparing the next day’s meals. No wonder women workers in Marinship had higher absentee and turnover rates: running “the home shift” on top of a day’s work outside the home must have been exhausting.

Rationing was another factor. In a May 1943 Marin-er column, “Prudence Penny” lays out a week’s worth of lunch and dinner menus designed to maximize a family’s ration points. Tuesday’s unexpected point hog was, to my mind, the least exciting thing on the menu: one can of string beans, at eight ration points (that’s three more than the pound of beef for Wednesday’s stew).

But after a few days of cooking like a Marin-er, simply opening a can was a welcome respite. One less thing to worry about was eight ration points well spent.

Still, some of the suggested meals provided quick, easy and simple pleasures. The suggested “remedies for lunch box blues” -- including cream cheese and radish sandwiches on rye bread -- suggesting a tea room more than a shipyard. Many of the salads, including tomato and olive aspic and stuffed prunes, proved both simple and delicious, evoking a dinner-party elegance.

These sophisticated, tasty meals provided my final insight into Rosie and her fellow working women: food could be more than fuel. A good meal was something to savor. Undoubtedly, planning and cooking added to women’s workload. But food also could be a respite from both shipyard and war, a moment of peace.

Nora Sawyer is a docent at the Sausalito Historical Society’s Research Room, which is open to the public Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10:00 to 1:00, or by appointment (send a request to info@sausalitohistoricalsociety.org, including the subject you’d like to research).

 

Diebenkorn and The Sausalito Six

by Larry Clinton and Wood Lockhart

The recent Matisse/Diebenkorn exhibit at SFMOMA, contained a lot of biographical information on Richard Diebenkorn, but one glaring omission – the time he spent living and painting in Sausalito.

Wood Lockhart PhD, art historian and former Board member of the Sausalito Historical Society, told this story in an earlier MarinScope column.  Here are some excerpts:

Portrait of Richard Diebenkorn as a young artist.   Photo courtesy of Sausalito Historical Society

Artists have been living and working in Sausalito since the 1930’s, but it was not until the years after World War II that the town became known as an important American art colony. Of the many artists who contributed to this reputation none were more significant than those who came to be known as the Sausalito Six. Between 1947 and 1950 Richard Diebenkorn, Frank Lobdell, Walter Kuhlman, John Hultberg, James Budd Dixon and George Stillman studied together, painted together, exhibited together and created a body of work which represents Sausalito’s most important contribution to the history of art.

The friendship between these artists began at the California School of Fine Arts (CSFA) in San Francisco, which all six of them attended immediately after the end of the Second World War. The post-War students were mostly military veterans taking advantage of the G.I. Bill of Rights, which provided free tuition and a subsistence allowance to any former soldier who wanted to continue his education. By the end of 1946 the student body at the CSFA was composed mostly of these older military veterans including all of the Sausalito Six.

The most famous of the Sausalito Six was Richard Diebenkorn, one of the best and most important American artists of the second half of the twentieth century. Diebenkorn was educated at Lowell High School in San Francisco and at Stanford University. After his discharge from the Marines, he enrolled at CSFA in 1946. In 1947 he was promoted from student to faculty member and moved to Sausalito. Diebenkorn’s Sausalito paintings are among the very best examples of west coast Abstract Expressionism – a uniquely American combination of Abstraction, Expressionism and Surrealism.

Beginning in 1948 the Sausalito Six began regular meetings in one another’s studios, usually in Sausalito but sometimes at Dixon’s studio in San Francisco. These get togethers often involved what the artists called “pen and ink jam sessions” where each artist would produce a pen and ink drawing. In an effort to make their work available to a wider public at an affordable price, they decided to put together 200 portfolios of these drawings in the form of signed lithographs that were published and made available to the public.

In a memoir in which he spoke of his association with the Sausalito Six, George Stillman wrote: “The Bay Area was filled with artists making pretty pictures. To fall into the trap of providing social entertainment on the level of drawing room decoration was to be avoided at all costs. About five or six of us shared this opinion at the time: Diebenkorn, Hultberg, Lobdell, Kuhlman, Dixon and myself. But it was more than just a negative attitude toward drawing rooms that brought us close; there was a real kinship in our basic reason for painting. We showed together, published together and somehow knew when it was time to leave each other’s company.”

The glory days of the Sausalito Six lasted only a few short years. By the end of 1950 they had all gone their separate ways: Diebenkorn left for Albuquerque, Lobdell and Kulhman went to Paris, Hultberg to New York and Stillman to Mexico. Only Walter Kuhlman returned to Sausalito where he continued to paint until his death at the age of 90. His work together with that of the others of the Sausalito Six stands as an eloquent testimony to the importance of Sausalito as a true artists’ community.

Wayne “Boats” Bishop: Native Son

by Steefenie Wicks

 

Wayne “Boats” Bishop Photo by Steefenie Wicks

Wayne “Boats” Bishop
Photo by Steefenie Wicks

Wayne Bishop is known on the Sausalito waterfront simply as “Boats.” This has been his home for the last 50 years of his life.  As a child who was raised in Mill Valley, he spent most of his childhood in Sausalito with his grandfather, who fished off of a 28ft Monterey named the Nancy Jean.

“My grandfather taught me the love of going to sea, being on boats.  My mother and father really had nothing to do with it, but coming to Sausalito on my bike to be on my grandfather’s boat . . .  that was sheer joy.  He would tell me the stories of our family, how they got their land from Spanish land grants long before California was a state.  He was a Bickerstaff; the family owned a ranch with headquarters on Rancho Corte Madera, so you might say I’m a native son.” The Bickerstaff ranch, an 1852 adobe, is listed with the Historical, Cultural and Archaeological resources in the City of Larkspur.

Boats became part of the original Gate 3 Co-Op that was around during the 1970’s and 80’s.  One of the first boat co-ops on the waterfront, it was sponsored by Donlon Arques, who was a major player when it came to helping people who wanted to live on the water.

“It was Arques that allowed people to have both living space along with working space.  When you work on a boat like I did, I was building my boat, needed a space to crash, he made that possible for just $65 a month rent.  So, I built my fishing boat, the Santa Lucia, at Gate 3 with the help of the maritime workers who lived there; they made it all possible.  I fished for 20 years off that boat, lived on her for over 40.”

Boats continued, “The cool thing about Gate 3 was it was a cul-de-sac, so you could drive in but not drive through.  The place was well policed by a number of us at the time; then young dudes, we protected the community, and never had to call the police.   There was always something going on at Gate 3.  There were artists, boat builders, wood workers.  I don’t think that anything was ever stolen; we were a small close knit community who trusted each other and protected each other.  As fishermen, we would have fish barbeques where everyone would come, eat and be part of the community.  It was really like one big family.”

Before Boats built his craft at Gate 3 he spent a tour of duty with the Navy in Vietnam.  He says that when he came home he was just full of hate; he was one angry ex-combat soul. So he decided to apply to become a merchant marine.  Once this was accomplished, he became part of the Scripps Research Institute on their scientific testing in Antarctica.  The Institute was conducting studies on how penguins change their temperature when they dive into cold water.  It was his job to make little life jackets that would fit onto the penguins and carry probes to make these measurements.

He says that this was such a good place to be because he had so much hate inside himself that he was unsure of how he was going to deal with it.  Being at sea in the Antarctic, living with nature, viewing something that was more powerful than himself, gave him a better view of himself.

It was this adventure at sea that would bring him back to Gate 3 where he began to build the Santa Lucia, which he fished very successfully for years.  But as the years went on the little boat started to fall apart as wooden boats will do.

He continued, “I remember the date -- it was July 4th in 2011 -- when the United States government decided to give to me a long over due medical settlement.  This award from the VA department was tax-free.  It meant that I could retire the Santa Lucia, get another boat. Hell, I could retire.”

Boats has lived as an anchor out, and is now a member of Galilee Harbor.  He feels that there are a lot of people on boats in the anchorage who have no idea what they are doing, which makes it hard for everyone else.  He has been on the water all of his life. “Every 72 hours, the new rules states, that a boat has to be moved.  But who is going to go out there and chalk the waterline of the boat to see if and when it moves?” He also feels that most of the real anchor outs would like to see all of the boats out there inspected, regulated for the safety of everyone.

It you ask him what was one of his most memorable experiences being part of the Sausalito waterfront he’ll tell you: “Taking the Wander Bird north was the best gig I have ever had.  I got to sail this beautiful vessel, we were welcomed in every yacht club that we sailed to.  I had never been so well accepted in my life.  There I was at the helm of this classic schooner being treated like the captain of a really fine vessel.”

 

Early European Explorers Part II

By Jack Tracy

Last week, we presented Jack Tracy’s story of early explorers Juan Ayala and Juan Bautista de Anza.   Here is Tracy’s account of other Europeans who landed in California, decades before Captain William Richardson founded what was then known as Saucelito:

The first non-Spanish ship came in 1786 and anchored off Monterey. Le Comte de Laperouse, under orders from the French government, was stopping over briefly on his "voyage of discovery." In reality, of course, he was looking for potential French colonies, and, more specifically, to see what Spain was up to in California. In defiance of edicts from the Spanish Crown, Laperouse was welcomed; and he learned all there was to learn about Spanish defenses and commerce. Before sailing off to an unknown fate at sea, he ventured the opinion that there was little in upper California to interest France or any other European power for at least one to two hundred years.

Captain George Vancouver, in full regalia      Courtesy Photo

Captain George Vancouver, in full regalia      Courtesy Photo

The next non-Spanish explorer to show up on the northern coast was George Vancouver of England, who landed in San Francisco Bay in 1792. He too was welcomed and even escorted overland to Monterey for further receptions. It should be mentioned that the governor was away at the time, and when he heard of the hospitality shown the foreigner, he was, to put it mildly, not amused. Least welcome of all foreigners were the Americans. Either because these "Boston Yanquis" were considered particularly aggressive, or because their antimonarchist, Protestant republic was on the same continent as California, Americans were forbidden absolutely to land in San Francisco Bay.

In time, as a new governor took over in Monterey, American ships were permitted to lay over long enough to take on food and supplies and to off-load their sick; the first of these was the ship Otter in 1796. The Spanish residents even grew to like and accept some of these "Yanquis." Of necessity, the Spanish also began simple trade with foreign visitors, even though this too was illegal. In this period ships first came to the cove in Sausalito for fresh water before setting out to sea.

By 1795 the age of innocence was over for California. Word of its natural wonders had reached the courts and governments of Europe. Although, as Laperouse had predicted, it was not yet practical to pursue aggressive colonization, still it was attracting increasing interest. Then the flow of newcomers to the New World slowed to a trickle while Napoleon and his armies were overrunning Europe. But the time was clearly coming. For in 1795 there had occurred in England an event unrecorded in history then, but of primary importance to our story now: William Richardson was born.

This excerpt is from Jack Tracy’s book Moments in Time, which is available at the Ice House Visitors Center at 780 Bridgeway.

Early European Explorers Part 1

By Jack Tracy

Juan Bautista de Anza on horseback Courtesy Photo

Juan Bautista de Anza on horseback
Courtesy Photo

Englishman Sir Francis Drake first discovered the California Coast in 1579, but his precise location was carefully guarded to keep it secret from the Spaniards.  Nearly two centuries later, in 1775, Lieutenant Don Juan Manuel de Ayala became the first European to discover what later became San Francisco Bay. That same year, another Spaniard -- Juan Bautista de Anza -- was charged with establishing a permanent presidio or military garrison here.  Jack Tracy tells the story in his seminal Sausalito history, Moments in Time:

De Anza had blazed a trail overland from Sonora across the desert to Mission San Gabriel near the pueblo of Los Angeles, in order to avoid the arduous sea passage north from Mexico against prevailing winds. He and his soldiers had safely brought to San Gabriel 240 colonists on this first of many planned journeys overland. From San Gabriel, he marched up the coast from mission to mission until he reached the bay.

According to Spanish plans, de Anza's route would open all of upper California to colonization and provide a reliable pathway for supplies to the new colony. But the once-cooperative Yuma Indians, over whose lands the trail passed, attacked and destroyed the isolated trail settlements along the way. Hence, Spain was forced to fall back on the ocean route to supply her northern colonies. Failure to establish an overland passage meant that what the Spanish called Alta California, supplied only by sea, would remain remote and under colonized for many years, a fact that would bear heavily on California's fate when, decades later, Americans began arriving in large numbers.

Life in the provinces of New Spain reflected few of the changes occurring in Europe. Outward change came slowly in the small pueblos and missions in California during the last two decades of the eighteenth century. Daily life there alternated between a difficult pastoral existence and an outright struggle against famine and disease. Captured or lured to the missions, the Native Americans, now universally called "Indians," became serfs on the land and forced converts into the Church. Soldiers of the Crown who had risked their lives with Portola and de Anza were rewarded with land grants, large tracts of real estate at first intended as little more than grazing rights. These later grew into a pivotal political issue for Californians.

Concerned by the growing vulnerability of her overseas colonies, Spain laid down rigid laws to protect her investments abroad. Instructions from the Crown, via Mexico City, to the governor of Alta California, were explicit: foreign ships and foreign visitors were not to enter Spanish territory. The less other nations saw of the miles of fertile land, fine harbors and rich forests (and the thin scattering of Spanish occupants), the better. However, the hundreds of miles of open coastline and the increasing number of fur trappers in Pacific waters made it inevitable that other Europeans would find their way into Spanish ports.

Next week Tracy tells the story of later European explorers and settlers.

Celebration of Jean Varda and the Summer of Love

By Larry Clinton

In addition to 2017 being the 75th anniversary of Marinship, this is also the 50th anniversary of San Francisco’s fabled Summer of Love. The kickoff of that months-long celebration was the KFRC Fantasy Fair and Magic Mountain Music Festival on June 10 and 11, 1967 at the Amphitheatre on Mount Tam. According to Wikipedia, at least 36,000 people attended the two-day concert and fair that would become a prototype for large-scale rock festivals.

The Hippie Voices performing at a recent Jazz and Blues by the Bay event. Photo by Bruce Forrester

The Hippie Voices performing at a recent Jazz and Blues by the Bay event.
Photo by Bruce Forrester

The colorful and eclectic line-up featured local bands such as the Charlatans (starring Dan Hicks), the Sons of Champlin, and such nationally famous acts as Canned Heat, Dionne Warwick, Blues Magoos, Country Joe and the Fish, Captain Beefheart, The Byrds with Hugh Masekela on trumpet, The 5th Dimension, Jefferson Airplane and The Doors.

Stanley Mouse, legendary poster artist for Bill Graham, the Fillmore Auditorium and Grateful Dead, created a poster for the event.

The Sausalito Foundation and Antenna Theater will present “Sausalito Celebrates Varda & the Summer of Love” on Sunday, May 21 at Marinship Park from noon to 4:00 p.m. This admission-free celebration kicks off a fundraising drive to restore a mosaic in the park designed by artist Jean Varda, a luminary of the 1960s Sausalito arts scene.

The mosaic will form the backdrop for the May 21 festivities. Jonathan Westerling of Radio Sausalito will spin ’60s music, and Joe Tate & The Hippie Voices will perform. Drinks and eats will be available. Prizes will be awarded for the best Summer of Love looks. Early birds will form a human peace sign at 12:15 p.m.

Event-day volunteers are needed; please contact varda.volunteer@gmail.com if you’re interested.

A Vested Interest in Sausalito: The Ice House

By Steefenie Wicks

Sausalito’s Ice House, at 780 Bridgeway. Photo by Steefenie Wicks

Sausalito’s Ice House, at 780 Bridgeway.
Photo by Steefenie Wicks

In 1927, Mabel Eastman, a noted early columnist with the Sausalito News, described Sausalito as a place “Where morals are easy and suppressed emotions find expression: where matrimonial bounds grow loose and sometimes slip off; where every other person you meet is either famous or notorious; the only waterfront in this vicinity that smells like fresh clams and not like mud flats.   To the majority in San Francisco or anywhere, Sausalito is just some place to go through … the entrance to beautiful Marin.  And we, sitting on the hill, hold tight for fear they will find us.  The day we are discovered we are lost.  So this is not a complaint, it’s an exclamation.  Residents can remain undisturbed so long as the crowds go through.  And Heaven keep them going through! It’s Sausalito’s salvation.”

Things have not changed much and today the crowds still come through town. Recently I got to meet some of them up close, and the experience has left me thinking what a great place Sausalito has become.  I have written several columns on the Ice House visitor’s center, run by the Sausalito Historical Society; but you never really know a place until you get a chance to experience it.  The Ice House provides for tourists and residents alike a place that is cozy, full of information about Sausalito’s history, its amazing residents, along with its fabulous location on Richardson’s Bay. 

Tourists from around the world walk through the door, then into the little history exhibit.  They spend time with the displays, reading what they can but lingering over the images.  When they emerge from the room they stop by the desk wanting information on where they should have lunch, what is there to do in Sausalito, how can we get to Muir Woods and by the way where is the nearest restroom?  My favorite was the family that came in, young children running in before the parents, with echoes of “Wow, this is a cool building.”  As the wife followed the children into the history room, her husband approached the desk and asked, in a low voice, “Is there a restaurant that I can go to with 5 kids, someplace reasonable that won’t kick us out when the kids get over active?”  After some thought, I was able to suggest a place, and when they left he thanked me.

I was reminded of the image of Juanita Musson that hangs in the history room.  Juanita was a Sausalito waterfront personality who set up a very popular café in the 1960’s on board the ferryboat Charles Van Damme. She became known for her favorite saying of “Eat your eggs or wear ’em!” This, along with her collection of once-wild animals, made her another one of those Sausalito characters with their own place in the town’s history   Later that afternoon the same family decided to stop back at the Ice House to tell me that they had a great meal and thanked me. To quote one of the kids: “That was cool.”

It does not take long to realize that the Ice House has a vested interest in Sausalito.  The staff is mostly longtime residents.  Their backgrounds give them that special knowledge of Sausalito which they pass on to each visitor, even those who don’t speak English.  When the tourists walk into the history room, one item that makes them all feel a connection is the image of young immigrant children. For not many tourists or residents know that Sausalito was formed by large groups of immigrants from Europe, such as the Portuguese families from the Azores.  In the history room, this information is noted by an image of children, a powerful visual statement of Sausalito’s beginnings.

There are many images in this little history room that offer an understanding of how this city called Sausalito got started, along with its own moments in history, like the building of Marinship, and community participation in the WWII war efforts both here and overseas. 

People come to Sausalito because, as one tourist said, “Sausalito is now the French Rivera” of San Francisco.  Or the group of 20 from Bolivia who came to Sausalito for the best burger in the world.  I had to ask them, ”I give up, were is the best burger in the world?”  They all said, “It’s Hamburger, Hamburger!”  It took me a moment but I finally got it! “Yes, I said, “It’s Hamburger and that’s the name of the place -- Hamburger!”

These experiences are so worthwhile when I see how little effort can go into helping someone visiting our city.

The Sausalito Historical Society’s Ice House Visitor’s Center is not only a place for tourist but also for residents.  It provides a safe place to step into when the streets full of people get to be a bit much.  Besides an array of books, cards and gift items for sale, it provides a place of information about the town, places to see, where you might get a quiet meal and oh yes, where the nearest restroom might be.

Most of all this building says to the tourist, “Look how much they care about their city, they have a visitor center in an amazing old structure devoted to its history, and it’s free.”

The Women’s Club of Early Marin City

By Larry Clinton

By the end of 1943, Marin City's population was nearly 6,000. Photo courtesy of Sausalito Historical Society

By the end of 1943, Marin City's population was nearly 6,000.

Photo courtesy of Sausalito Historical Society

We’ve heard lots of stories about how busy Marinship was during WWII.  But there was plenty going on in the broader community as well.  The following 1943 article, excerpted from The Marin Citizen newspaper --published by and for the first residents of Marin City during the war -- vividly recalls the activities of the Marin City Women’s Club, which was formed on October 1, 1942:

Women’s Club Members Proud of Many Activities

 Charter members recall the activity of the club in setting up the "Kids Korral," a playground set aside for school age children. Committees of the club during the winter carried on volunteer war service, started adult education extension courses, and launched a sewing and knitting club.

1943 Big Storm

Women's Club members were attending their first war nutrition class when the big storm of 1943 hit Marin City. Roofs were torn off apartments, heat and electricity were cut off, a baby was born prematurely. The class went into action, produced a hot dinner at the community kitchen, fed 100 war workers and their families within two hours. That class was next day accepted as a Red Cross canteen unit.

A steady flow of money has gone from the club's treasury to worthwhile causes. Checks for such amounts as $100 to Red Cross, $322.94 to the National Infantile Paralysis Foundation and most recently $62.50 to the Red Cross Blood Donor Service.

Quoting from the by-laws, the purpose of the Marin City Women’s Club "shall be to aid, through organized effort in the furthering of our country's war effort and such worthy causes as may enlist its sympathies and to create a center of thought and action among the people for the promotion of whatever tends for the best interest of this city." Qualification for membership in the club is residence in or employment in Marin City.

Man Member

One man is listed as an honorary member of the club, Mr. Hal Dunleavy, who was Community Relations director for Marin City at the time the club was organized, and who assisted the women in getting under way, sometimes in the capacity of "madam chairman."

Rummage Sale

The Women’s Club, in a feeling of spring house-cleaning, announces a two-day rummage sale to be held the week-end of August 21. The Cub pack of Scouts, which was recently adopted by the Women's Club, will cooperate in collecting material from all sources. Fifty per cent of the proceeds will go to Marin City’s USO-Travelers Aid Cottage, whose work the Women's Club feels eminently worthy of its support.

Nursing Activities

Mrs. Art Wolenta, secretary of the club, and chairman of home nursing activities, announced the opening of a new class to held on Tuesday nights, 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the home nursing center at A41 Apr. 363.

Mrs. John Kahrt, club president, played a Chopin nocturn for the women. Mrs. S. Frisby conducted two brain teaser games with prizes high and low in war stamps. The evening concluded with tea and coffee served by Mrs. Gailbraith’s tea committee.

In recognition of the 75th anniversary of Marinship, the Sausalito Historical Society invites everyone to view its new exhibition, “Marinship - What it Was.” This collection of 124 images with captions or story boards which shows and describes various parts and features of the shipyard. Docents welcome the public at no charge Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10:00 AM to 1 PM in the Society’s Exhibition Room on the top floor of City Hall. 

For a full calendar of the Marinship 75 events, go to http://www.sausalitohistoricalsociety.com and click on Marinship 75 in the left hand column.