February 2020 Community Center Calendar
4 | HVCA Board | 7:00 PM
7 | Kids Night Out | 5:00-9:00 PM
11 | HVLT Board | 7:30 PM
13 | Mill Valley Philharmonic | 7:00 PM
18 | Firewise Committee | 7:00 PM
24 | Candidates Forum - 4th Sup. District | Doors 7:00 - Program 7:30 PM
25 | Sanitary District Board | 7:30 PM
27 | CSA-14 Advisory Board | 7:30 PM
1st/3rd Wed. | Tam Design Review Board | 7:00 PM (Log Cabin, Tam Valley)
Saturdays | A. A. Meeting | 10:00 AM
Wednesdays | Mill Valley Zen Meditation | 7:00 PM
Fridays | SingDancePlay - Music Together | 9:00, 10:00 & 11:00 AM
Save the Date
March 3 | Election Day
March 8 | Daylight Saving Time begins
By Leslie Dixon
It has been a pleasure serving as President these past two years. As I listened to the business reports at the Annual Meeting last week, I was reminded of how fortunate we are to live here surrounded by so many who care deeply about our community - as stewards of our open space, advocates for safety, champions of building community and overseers of our financial resources that allow us to do so much. I will hand off the leadership of HVCA to the capable hands of Alex Scalisi who will expand his leadership and passion for the music festival to all of our programs.
We had a wonderful turnout for the meeting, and, as usual, started with a delicious feast of food and wine. We kicked off the meeting with comments from Marin County Supervisor Den
nis Rodoni. This is his 4th year attending our meeting and we appreciate his presence at many of our events and his support for our pool renovation and new native/water-wise garden. Oh...and 2019 was the year for new roads.
We then moved to business with reports from the boards and committees that help govern HV: HV Community Association, County Service Area #14,
Safety/Firewise, HV Land Trust and the HV Sanitary District. A few special highlights: we heard profound words about the importance of community from Andy Stoelting; Alex Scalisi gave an update on the pool renovation and our Capital Campaign goals; Marabeth Grahame shared aerial photos of HV in 1946, 1965 and 2020 to raise awareness of the tremendous change in the valley and the importance of the Land Trust's focus on fuel reduction.
Bonner Buehler shared his expertise on the evolution of sewer treatment and the monumental task of transitioning HV from septic tanks to ~13 miles of sewer lines and about the same footage of private laterals that connect homes to sewers.
f you are interested in getting involved or want more information about any of these boards and committees, you are welcome to attend monthly meetings which are open to the public.
Look for schedules at
or in the Homestead Headlines. If you were unable to make the meeting, you will be able to find copies of the handouts online in the next week or so.
Distinguished Community Service
Alex Scalisi and Darren Malvin
Volunteer of the Year
Homestead's First Mansion
n 1889, the Tamalpais Land & Water Co. took over ownership of the 14,000-acre Rancho Sausalito in southern Marin. It was heavily mortgaged. Annual rents of $20,000 from dairy ranches leased to Portuguese men from the Azores Islands did not pay current expenses. TL&WC's business plan was to subdivide land in the Valley of the Mill and sell the lots. The plan succeeded. In 1900, the town of Mill Valley was incorporated. TL&WC then subdivided the area to the south, i.e., Almonte and Homestead Valley. In 1904, Harry Wilhelm bought a 2.2-acre hillside lot in Homestead bounded by Ferndale, Ridgewood and the pedestrian lane that connects the two streets. By 1907 he had built two houses as shown in the photo. The small house on Ridgewood was across the street from a Rancho Sausalito water tower. The three-story mansion had 14 rooms, indoor plumbing, lighting fixtures fueled by gasoline, a wood-fired kitchen stove and central heating with a coal-fired furnace in the basement. The barren land had been cattle pasture since the 18th
century. Note the Tavern of Tamalpais, built in 1896 to serve mountain railroad arrivals.
It doesn't have glaciers or even a modest snowpack. No geography book mentions its prominence. Nevertheless, Homestead Hill at the high end of our valley is the birthplace of streams, the start of a watershed.
In the wet season each of its gullies fills with splashing sounds following rains. Some of the brooks will last several weeks after major series of storms. Though just a trickle by late August, the flow of water is year round at Stolte Grove.
Humble though it be, we live in a complete drainage basin here. The political boundary of Homestead occurs before the stream reaches tidewater, but our natural territory goes to sea level.
We have little to worry about anybody upstream wrecking things, or polluting. The upper slopes are in the control of the land trust, and above that the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.
It would be fun someday to try following the creek from tidewater to mountain cascade. My son, Palo, made it most of the way once in the dryness of summer. It could be a claustrophobic trip, for much of the creek bed is markedly lower than the surrounding plane.
Looking at a map, I realize many of the upland cascades don't go through Stolte Grove, but flow into the tributary of the main creek that comes down between Ferndale and Melrose. I also realize that I've never seen where that branch joins the Reed Creek. Homestead is a little valley, but there is much to experience here.
(reprinted from "On Foot in Homestead A Hiker's Journal of a Coastal Valley," by Matthew Davis, 1988.)
The Homestead Valley Land Trust (HVLT) is proud to reprint a series of columns by former HVLT Board member, Matthew Davis (1935-2015). Matthew's articles appeared in the Homestead Headlines starting in 1984. In 1988 Matthew compiled his columns into a book "On Foot in Homestead A Hiker's Journal of a Coastal Valley," published by the HVLT. IN 2017 lacking any electronic version of the book, HVLT scanned the pages of the book and carried out optical character recognition (OCR) to create an electronic document for re-publication in the Homestead Headlines.
As Matthew wrote in the dedication to his book, "Typically a column grows out of a walk, out of feelings and thoughts generated by the walk, and a desire to relate them. Each morning I make a journal entry on the previous day's events. Some columns are nearly verbatim from that journal. Once in a while a column is more of an essay on the valley or some aspect of it, but usually those ideas come also from a walk. Occasionally a poem will come too."
Everyone in Homestead Valley who walks the trails or roads regularly will find Matthew's articles timeless. The following column originally appeared in the Homestead Headlines in February 1987 (33 years ago).
-Curt Oldenburg (HVLT)
Community Center Office
David Ross, Executive Director
Summer Shapiro, Associate Center Director
Leslie Dixon, President
Alex Scalisi, Vice-President
Brian Spring, President
Bonner Beuhler, Manager
Stolte Grove Rentals
Joint Marin Horizon School/Homestead Valley Committee
Christina Oldenburg, Co-Chair
Bill Perrine, Co-Chair
E-Mail HVCA Board, Center & Headlines