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West County History Column
The Green Valley Railroad’s passenger car with people riding, being pulled by a 5 ton Plymouth on tracks installed by the Green Valley Railroad Corporation. The building behind the train is a wine storage house located on Packing House Road. Photo courtesy of Connie Graeber circ. 1972.
The following snippets of history were prepared by volunteers at the Western Sonoma County Historical Society, gleaned from old copies of the original Sebastopol Times newspaper. For more information about local history, go to the WSCHS website at wschs.org, or email comments or questions about this History Corner to Mary Dodgion at firstname.lastname@example.org.
100 YEARS AGO - JUNE 1922
VALLEY FORD CATTLE SHOW A GREAT SUCCESS
The first Western Sonoma and Marin Dairy Cattle Show was held at Valley Ford over the weekend, and proved a great success. The show was presented by the dairymen through the Bodega-Valley Ford and Tomales Farm Centers, who backed the show financially. Professor Gordon Truce stated, “This is the greatest affair and the most significant day in the history of the coast since Sir Francis Drake wintered in Bodega Bay.” The show opened Saturday morning and large exhibit tents were crowded with visitors until it closed Sunday evening. Over 5,000 people journeyed to the coast dairy center and viewed 215 head of dairy cattle, 53 hogs, 13 goats, and 14 pens of poultry, 33 sheep and several hutches of rabbits, all inside the three large tenants. There was another tent filled with industrial exhibits, and refreshments and amusements were also available. The object of the show was to increase the interest in the breeding of high grade dairy cattle and the raising of better herds through the milk test system.
75 YEARS AGO - JUNE 1947
AIRPORT DEVELOPMENT FOR BODEGA AREA
The Board of Supervisors gave the “go ahead” to bring aviation to Bodega Bay, fast-growing Sonoma County seaport town. Supervisor Guidotti pointed out that a useable “strip” can be created with a minimum of leveling on land already owned by the county. The strip will be located on land near the historic hummock of land that marks the landing place of Lieutenant Bodega, Spanish navigator, whose name the bay bears.
50 YEARS AGO - JUNE 1972
FORESTVILLE KID’S RAIL QUITS
The passenger service train, the Green Valley Railroad, in Forestville took children for a last ride Sunday and then told the Sonoma County Board of Zoning Adjustments it would get its station and equipment off the property at Forestville by the first of the year. The Green Valley, a non-profit corporation, restored train service to Forestville after a lapse of 35 years in 1970.