Tidbits from years ago
113 YEARS AGO
(From the I-T of Jan. 13, 1900)
Strange as it seems, a fish may suffer death by drowning. When a stream is suddenly swollen with water that has fallen upon and drained from surrounding soil which has been exposed for some time previously to the sun’s rays, the water is warmed and deprived of its power of holding a proper complement of oxygen. The vivifying gas in consequence escapes, and the fish, deprived of the aids necessary for respiration, faint and die, as they would if placed in tepid water. A fish, like a man, requires a perpetual supply of oxygen to his breathing apparatus. A fish gets its oxygen form the water a man from the atmosphere around him. Reverse the position of the two, and the fish becomes what is called drowned in the open air, while man is downed in the water. … Kidney trouble preys upon the mind, discourages and lessons ambition, vigor and cheerfulness. Kidney trouble has become so prevalent that its not uncommon for a child to be born afflicted with week kidneys. Women as well as men are made miserable with kidney and bladder trouble and both need the same great remedy. The mild and the immediate effect of Swamp-Root is soon realized. It is sold by druggists, in 50-cent and $1 sizes.
88 YEARS AGO
(From the I-T of Jan. 10, 1925)
When is a Gravenstein apple ripe? This question which was up for determination prior to the framing f a new stat standardization act became a very important one for Sonoma Valley Gravenstein growers whose crops ripen three weeks earlier than in other sections. The Gravenstein growers of Sebastopol and Watsonville are agreeable to a packing date and time of shipment which would hold back the early apples for which Sonoma and Napa Valleys are now famous. The new rulings, to be drafted at a standardization meeting in San Francisco Wednesday at a conference of orchardists was there fore of vital interest to local growers, who sent two representatives of the Sonoma Valley Apple Growers’ Association to present Sonoma’s side of the question. These gentlemen asked that the time to be fixed for harvesting the crop here be determined not by a general act buy by the Horticultural Commissioner or some other inspector acting in conjunction with a local committee. The question came up for discussion at the meeting in San Francisco and it was decided to leave the picking date to the different districts and when Gravenstein apples are adjudged ripe enough to pick the state apple inspector will pass his opinion and give his permission to ship. … The Sonoma Public Library trustees met Wednesday evening and heard the report of Librarian Kate McDonnell, which shows growing interest in the library. The payment for new books was ordered from the card party special fund. The librarian reported the city trustees as favorable to allowing $1,000 a year to maintain the library, which heretofore has had a deficit each year due to insufficient funds. Despite the fact that the library trustees bought few, if any new books, and paid the librarian only $15 a month salary, they were unable to keep the library maintenance expense within the amount heretofore allotted. The librarian asked for an increase of $10 in salary during 1925,pointing out the increased work due to more card holders, school reference work, repairing of books, etc. The matter was taken under advisement with instruction to Secretary Edna Cooper to budget the funds for the coming year.
71 YEARS AGO
(From the I-T of Jan. 9, 1942)
President Roosevelt in his speech on the state of the nation reflected the state of mind of everyone in this country – to get on a war footing so speedily and on such a gigantic scale that the Axis can never match it, let alone catch up with us. The war may be “long, bloody and costly” but it will be won by the determined peoples of the earth and the 26 nations already lined up with us in the interest of humanity.” … The paper drive which the government wants to see go through with flying colors, is still on in Sonoma Valley. Many tons are being collected and those who have not yet gathered their part of the quota, please do so at once. Phone Mrs. L.G. Marsters, chairman, or Willard French of the Boy Scout committee. The Boy Scouts will call for paper if the donor has no conveyance. Paper is being deposited at the barracks store corner of Spain and First Street East … The City of Sonoma has a supply of sand on hand for protection against incendiary bombs. Call at the city hall and get your bucket full. The sand must be kept dry to be effective. Max Soley, chairman of the defense committees, saw a demonstration of extinguishing the fire bombs and declares sand or a very fine spray of water such as from an insect pump gun will put them out. If ordinary hose is used, it will cause the bomb to explode and scatter its fire. Get your sand and play safe.
70 YEARS AGO
(From the I-T of Jan. 8, 1943)
The Sonoma City Council meet Wednesday for the first meeting of the new year. A permit was granted C. Poncia to pasture young stock at the sewer farm south of town. Improvements to be undertaken by the council include the putting in of concrete curb and gutter around the plaza, completion of rest rooms at the city hall for men and women, also renovation of the city hall when the insurance adjustment following a recent fire has been completed. … The U.S. Navy will take over the Sonoma Mission Inn under a lease stating January 15th of this year when service men, home from war, will be sent to the lovely Sonoma Valley resort for rest and recreation before going back into service. Mrs. Emile Long owner of the Inn, has announced the above. … Although Sonoma Valley had an unprecedented home building and construction record in 1942,, the demand for houses continues. Modern houses are simply not to be had with the exception of a few high rental places such as town and country homes renting for $75 to $100 per month. Apartment are available now and then but usually not to families with children. Summer cottages and cabins seem to offer the only accommodations for the average family, and purse. The new homes constructed in 1942 were largely for defense workers to be sold under F.H.A. Fifteen of these were built and sold in Allen Acres and five cottages were put up on the Peluffo tract in Sonoma. Throughout the valley a limited number of homes have been built and all were sold or rented before completion. Ranch property is also in demand in Sonoma Valley but little is available as most owners are holding their properties to raise a portion of their food, or crops and stock for the victory program. If 1943 could see the lifting of the building ban in Sonoma Valley there would be countless modern new homes going up from Schellville to Kenwood, for Sonoma Valley is a preferred area as well as a defense area.
37 YEARS AGO
(From the I-T of Jan. 8, 1976)
“I feel like crying. That building really meant a lot to me.” The man making the statement stood, shivering, beside me sometime after 3 a.m. Tuesday, a we watched firemen doing everything they could to put out the fire which was gutting the old Sonoma Railroad Depot. He wasn’t an old timer with a long acquaintanceship with the old wooden depot, but a relative newcomer – City Manager Frank James – who has played an enthusiastic and important part in the acquisition and restoration of the historic old building. “The sprinkling system was due to be installed next week.” Bill Griffen, co-owner f the nearby handsome Depot Hotel 1970, came by and commented, “This is terrible. They put the second coat of paint on today and you should see how nice it looked.” After almost five years of effort, the City of Sonoma acquired the Depot and lands around it last fall. Official ceremonies transferring the deed from Southern Pacific to the city took place on September 5, with City Manager James as master of ceremonies. … A new Sonoma railroad depot may soon rise, like a phoenix, from the ashes of the beloved old landmark which was destroyed in a fire early Tuesday morning. City Manger Frank James said yesterday he will consult with the City Council about replacing the building which the city had been restoring to its original condition as the hub of The Depot Park. An intensive investigation into the cause of the fire is now in progress. Cooperating in this probe are Eric Ronback, expert from the State Fire Marshal’s bomb and fire investigation group, the Sonoma Fire Department and the Sonoma Police Department. The charred ruins of the depot were gone over foot by foot and samples have been sent to a laboratory for analysis. The nature of the fire is mysterious and arson is suspected, said Chief Marra. … Let them eat cake – or Sonoma French bread – because there’s a slim supply of other kinds of bread in Sonoma Valley these days. All four major markets in Sonoma Valley are feeling the effects of the strike which began Monday with Kilpatrick’s bakery and now includes Langendorf and Wonderbread bakeries. Drivers for Kilpatiricks went out first, with the union “locking out” the other workers. Local markets are still receiving deliveries from OroWheat Bakery and the Petaluma and Toscani French bread deliveries, along with the frozen bread that the consumer bakes at home. The popular Sonoma French Bakery is expected to be even more deluged than usual with customers for its nationally-acclaimed sour French bread.
31 YEARS AGO
(From the I-T of Jan. 13, 1982)
The State Fire Marshall’s Office, Sonoma County Arson Task Force Team and the Sheriff’s Department are attempting to determine who set fire to a classroom at El Verano School late Saturday night, a blaze that caused an estimated $10,000 in damage. “It’s definitely arson. There’s no doubt about that, “ Monty McGill, Arson and Bomb Investigator from the State Fire Marshall’s Office told the Index-Tribune. Quick action by fire fighters from the Valley of the Moon Fire Department prevented the spread of flames to adjoining rooms and enabled them to confine the blaze to just a portion of the one classroom. The fire was reported at 11:20 p.m. Saturday and was brought under control a little over 20 minutes later. McGill said that evidence collected at the fire scene is now being analyzed, but at the present time, there are apparently no suspects in the case. … Sonoma’s state Employment Development Department office, which for five years has helped local residents, especially young people, find jobs, has been closed. The closing was last Friday. No official notice has reached the I-T about the elimination of the Valley’s job service but the closing was confirmed by Sacramento officials. The EDD has also closed its office in Healdsburg. The closings, and others are expected, are necessary because federal support funds have been eliminated by the Reagan administration. The EDD offices at Petaluma and Santa Rosa are still open but have had staff cuts. They will, however, continue to do their best to help the jobless find work. … The installation of a four-way stop at the intersection of Napa Road and Fifth Street East may well soothe some of the major concerns of Napa Road residents over the proposed widening of that thoroughfare east of Sonoma. At least, that was the impression given by some 35 people who turned out for an informal discussion of the project here Saturday, according to Ron Nickel, Sonoma County Supervising Civil Engineer in charge of the highway division. “As it turned out, if we make that one change to the plan, then nobody’s against it, at least none of those who showed up Saturday,” stated Nickel. Residents there fear that widening the road will bring about an increase in traffic speed hence the desire for a four-way stop at that intersection.