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BJ Blanchard: Notes from Glen Ellen, Feb. 2

What was lost was precious. It goes without saying that the loss of homes and memories of 25 percent our town is a dreadful calamity. But several historical spots vanished that night of the Devil Wind, too.

Judge Justi’s barn

Judge Justi’s Ranch once ran along the southwest end of Dunbar Road. An old white barn remained there for decades set back off the road, until the fires. This weathered white barn served as Glen Ellen’s first post office, and Justi was the first Postmaster in 1872. He was the Wells Fargo agent before that. The Wells Fargo stage coach would stop at the Justi barn where mail, passengers, freight and money were exchanged, before moving on toward Ukiah. The barn, until it burned, had little wooden boxes lining one wall into which the mail was sorted. In the 1930s, hobos slept in the barn for shelter.

Justi’s ranch had chickens and livestock, he made cheese and, because he was a bachelor, women brought him pies and dumplings. In his little vineyard there, he grafted St. George rootstock to his vines, making them resistant to phylloxera.

Dr. Henno’s Pet Cemetery

On the other side of the Henno Loop (or Dunbar Loop depending on which direction you are coming from) was Dr. Henno’s Pet Cemetery. The old cemetery was up an oak-covered ravine on the west side of the road. Past junked cars and rusting farm equipment you could see a hand-painted sign announcing, “Pet Cemetery.”

Dr. Henno was a veterinarian and owned that whole north end of the hillside. He cared for pets of San Francisco’s high society, and when these pets died, many arrived on the train in tiny black, silver-trimmed doggie caskets, retrieved from the baggage compartment on the train and transferred in a small hearse to Henno’s property where they were buried in Henno’s little graveyard. I heard they were pets of the San Francisco rich, who felt uncomfortable burying their doggies at great expense during the Depression when others were in bread lines and soup kitchens, so they shipped them up to Dr. Henno who gave them a fancy burial in the countryside.

There were about 50 graves, some just a pile of moss-covered stones, others with elaborate marble headstones with a picture encased in a small clear plastic oval bubble. Our Darling Tippy was there, and Pee Wee Mulvaney. Jiggs died in 1928, Punch in 1940.

One stone read:

When all the world forgets you

As worlds are wont to do

Still this faithful heart of mine

Will shine for you close and true,

Teddy Our Faithful Friend. April 18, 1936.

Another, simply:

Rex. Brave. Loyal. Gone. 1936

A War Hero German Shepherd dog was buried there. For years, there was a souvenir WWI German Army helmet perched on top of that headstone, but it’s gone now, along with the memories. Taken by the flames, as well.

Much of this history is found in Bob Glotzach’s “Childhood Memories of Glen Ellen,” and from personal memory.

Rising

Everything is coming into place for the patisserie and boulangerie slated for the yellow building at 13758 Arnold opposite the market. It will be called Les Pascals, after the business owners – he named Pascal and she named Pascale – hence the plural Pascals. The building’s owner, Christine Hansson, announced they will open the doors this coming March. They hope to celebrate the authentic and artisanal French pastries of Frenchman Pascal Merle, and the house-baked breads of Sean Perry. How appropriate to have a French patisserie on land once owned by Joshua Chauvet himself. I cannot wait for the smell of fresh-baked bread wafting the village at dawn!