all the people living—and dying—in our little corner of California, it
stands to reason that a few of the dearly departed might hang around to
see how the next century or two turns out. In the spirit of Halloween,
we offer you some of Marin’s special specters.
the winds roar down the eastern slope of White’s Hill, you might hear
the shriek of a wood-fired locomotive. In 1875, a sweet-talking
roustabout dishonored railroad engineer Mahoney’s
beloved daughter who, with her baby, died in childbirth. Along decaying
tracks, abandoned since 1904, the bereaved father still guns his
engine, determined to crush his daughter’s lover under ghostly iron
(Northwestern Pacific Headlight, 1928)
* * * * *
A mere slip of a sailor, thirteen-year-old AlfredEaskootwas disfigured for life when a fire charred his face and destroyed his hand. Years later, after CaptainEaskoot’sschooner went aground on Duxbury Reef off Stinson Beach, he built a house with lumber salvaged from the wreck. Constantly patrolling his property,Easkootfrightenedtrespassers
away with his glistening gold hook. When his coffin was carried across
the sand from his house, it fell, cracked open, and his
golden hook was carried away by the tide. Every night, at the strike of two—the hour of his death—Easkootreturns to search Stinson Beach for his lost hook.
* * * * *
September 1888, heiress Ella Nichols Park moved into her new Queen and
Eastlake-style mansion, now San Rafael’s Falkirk Cultural Center, once
described by the Marin Journal as "one of the most ornamental and best built mansions in this place of beautiful homes.” Some
evenings, Mrs. Park still descends the stair from the second to the
first floor, perhaps seeking a book from the library. Witnesses to her
ethereal journey describe her friendly, “woman’s energy” and the sense
that she still watches over Source: Falkirk Cultural Center
her cherished home.
* * * * *
midnight, an Olompali State Park manager saw a girl wearing multiple
petticoats, her long, dark hair curled into side buns. He next
encountered her outside his office, reaching longingly toward a candy
bowl she couldn't touch. The last time they met, she gazed down at him
curiously from the stair top.
Perhaps easily bored,
the little girl only appears to new park employees. Some speculate the
dark-haired child is Mary Black, an early resident and eventual owner of
Olompali or her daughter or one of two children who drowned on the
premises in the 1960s.
Maybe, if we offer just the right sweets, the little dark-haired girl will tell us her name. (The Silver Sixpence, Fall/Winter 2008)
Park was born in Vermont. On May 31, 1882, she married her best
friend’s father, Trenor Park, a man thirty-four-years her senior, and
found herself firmly established in Marin County society.
Within a year of her marriage, her husband died, leaving her wealthy and eager to leave the now gloomy house they had shared. With
limitless resources, Ella hired renowned architect Linton Day to build
her dream mansion on an eleven-acre parcel of land on Mission Avenue.
Ella Park died on February 10, 1905 in the home she built and loved so
dearly. She is buried in Mount Tamalpais Cemetery. In 1906, the mansion
was purchased by shipping magnate and philanthropist, Captain Robert
Dollar, and renamed after his birthplace in Scotland: Falkirk.
believe Ella’s ghost still inhabits her beloved mansion. Ghost hunters
have reported strange noises and spotted her spirit walking about the
second floor landing, passing through the front door then descending the
stairs to the driveway. Her ghost has been seen in the home’s windows.
During weddings she’s been heard to wail and moan just as the officiant
says, “till death do you part.” Those who have seen her specter say she
seems to be watching over the mansion.
By Alice Tanner
Community Events of Interest
Friday, October 5 11:00 am The Doughboy Experience-Americans in the Great War Moya Library/Ross Historical Society
This presentation by Military Historian Colonel Fred Rutledge will
cover the lead-up to America’s declaration of war against Germany in
April 1917, the mobilization of military forces, the battles in France,
life in the trenches, and the troops coming home in 1919. Uniforms and
artifacts will be displayed. We request $10 at the door for the presentation.
Thursday, October 11 7:30 pm
Northwestern Pacific Railroad History Symposium
Elks Lodge, San Rafael
Creator of the photo archeology-based eastbayhillsproject.org website and Bay Area Electric Railway Association member Stuart Swiedler
will present an exciting program entitled "How We Got to School by
Electrics in the Bay Area". The talk will provide rare images and
personal accounts of the use of electric railways and street cars to get
teenagers to high school during the Golden Age of electric railways in
the SF Bay Area.
addition, a brief extra-special electric railways presentation entitled
"Wye San Anselmo?" will be offered, based on the impact made on the
presenter after two decades of weekend trips traveling between Oakland
to Woodacre in Marin County.
Monday, October 15 6:30-8:00 pm
Visions of Marin
Civic Center Library California Room
Artist & historian Mary Gilardi
presents Visions of Marin, describing the life and work of American
Impressionist painter George Demont Otis, who lived at his studio-home
in Kentfield from
1934 until his death in 1961. Otis’ paintings of Marin capture the
beauty of our landscape and along the way document our evolving history
Afterwards, using the California Room’s collection of Otis paintings as a
point of departure, historian Dewey Livingston will take us on a trip
through time, showing us how the Marinscenes Otis painted have changed over time.
PLEASE NOTE LOCATION OF EVENT: 1600 Los Gamos,
Suite 182 (via Lobby B), San Rafael
Thursday, October 25 7:00pm
Annual Members Meeting
In the Heart of Marin: Then and Now 2.0
Kentfield Greenbrae Historical Society
Many members requested that we revisit a photo presentation
hosted by our very own historians, Dewey Livingston and Richard Torney, "In the Heart of Marin: Then and Now 2.0."
Saturday, October 27 9:00 am
Stroll Through History
San Anselmo History Commission
Travel back in time with Dick Miner
and other members of the Historical Commission on a walking tour
through downtown San Anselmo. The tour will highlight San Anselmo’s
historic Hub, the role of the railroad in the development of town and
the changing character of the businesses and architecture on San Anselmo
Avenue over the years. The tour will end at the Historical Museum for
Meet at Creek Park.
IN THIS ISSUE:
Museum News, Events,Feature Article,Faces of Marin, 100 Years Ago, Community Events, and From the Collection
WE WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU
Marin History Museum’s Winter 2018 Bulletin will feature Marin’s state,
county, and city parks. You told us how much you enjoyed the "Movie
Memories" in our Summer issue, so we’re asking you to share memories of
your first hike, swim, picnic, or kiss in one of Marin’s many parks. We
look forward to sharing your stories with our readers. Info@MarinHistory.org
FROM THE COLLECTION
yellow crew neck t-shirt with blue graphics promoting a special
two-night Halloween party featuring Redlegs with Mr. Crunch and Diamond
Slide at River City nightclub, October 31-November 1, 1975.$2.50 cover and free drinks promised to anyone in “full costume.”
t-shirt was donated to the Marin History Museum in 2010 by Ron
Barbarita, former owner of the popular and short-lived River City, a
favorite mid-1970s pool hall and nightclub once located at 52 Bolinas
Road in downtown Fairfax. River City attracted many now famous
musicians both as patrons and players, including Huey Lewis, Michael
McDonald, Bill Evans, and Phil Lesh. In a music review dated May 20,
1975 published in the Marin Independent Journal,
writer Paul Liberatore describes River City as “fast becoming the best
local hall (pool or otherwise), for listening to good live music in
Redlegs got their start in 1970 on the Sausalito waterfront and were
part of the larger Waldo Point houseboat scene, a raucous crew of
artists and musicians. According to the band’s vocalist and guitar
player Jeff Costello, Redlegs’ rock and roll music embodied the magic of
the late 1960s counter-culture and the fun and freedom of life on the
artifacts from River City now part of the Marin History Museum’s
permanent collection include photographs of Maria Muldaur, Bill Evans,
and Phil Lesh performing on stage, a concert flyer promoting the Bill
Evans Trio and official River City stationery.
Sources: Marin History Museum, marinnostalgia.org, theredlegs.com
IN THE NEWS - 100 YEARS AGO THIS MONTH
IN THE SAME BOAT
one of the big base hospitals of the army not long ago a new librarian
was sent to work by the American Library Association. She was a very
charming young woman and very anxious of please all of her "customers,"
though some of them didn't even wish to look at a book.
In her rounds she approached one of the patients and he declined to be
interest in her wares. At the next cot she stopped and offered its
occupant a book.
"What's it about?" the patient asked.
"Oh, this is Bambi," said the librarian. " It's about a girl who married a man without his having anything to say about It."
on there," shouted the man who had declined all books. He raised
himself up on his elbow and reached out his hand. "Give me that book.
It's my autobiography."
Take a book or two to the San Rafael Public Library. They all go to the boys in Service.
VOLUNTEER JOB OPPORTUNITIES
can use your help! Have a little time on our hands and looking to help a
local non-profit? Below is a list of some of the volunteer positions we
need to fill.
Please let us know if any of these look interesting to you by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 415-382-1182. We would love to hear form you!
are starting to create a lot of content for our eNewsletters, social
media sites, and future traveling exhibitions and publications. If you
like to do historical research and write short articles, we could use
with writers, we need editors to give the final article its blessing
before it goes to print. This volunteer job can be done from home or on
site. Let us know if you have that required eagle eye and grammatical
tenacity to tackle this job.
need a few strong individuals to help move heavy shelving units within
the Collections Facility. If you have few hours to spare during the week
and could help us move our shelves, we would love to hear from you.
Special Event Assistant
you enjoy hosting or attending a well-planned party, you’ll be a
natural at during the Museum’s special events. We would love to see you
help create the party, greet guests who attend, and keep that friendly
and festive feeling going for the whole evening.
the moment for us! Your photos of the Museum’s special events and
exhibitions will be invaluable for public outreach, future fundraising
campaigns and our institution’s historical record. We could use your
help documenting our history!
you a student looking for community service hours? Know a student who
needs hours before graduating? The Marin History Museum is a 501(c)3
and can grant students their community service hours.
Let us know and we’ll take care of it!
Marin History Museum - Craemer Family Research and Collection Facility
45 Leveroni Ct Novato CA 94949
Please call for an appointment
Mailing Address: PO Box 150727, San Rafael, CA 94915