The night before “the rebels” talk at the First Wednesday, watch the film about their efforts to preserve our local landscape.
In honor of this month’s First Wednesday program sponsored by the Mill Valley Historical Society and Mill Valley Public Library, we are celebrating the work of a myriad of environmentalists and everyday heroes who stepped up to protect open spaces here in Marin and across the country.
Local history talk in collaboration with the Mill Valley Historical Society.
Baseball is a primary thorough line in the history of sport and recreation in Mill Valley. Mill Valley old-timers fondly recall the days when youngsters and adults alike would gather to play or watch baseball, whether it was joining pick-up games among youthful friends or watching semipro teams play at Boyle Park.
A vivid, searching journey into California’s capture of water and soil — an epic story of a people’s defiance of nature and the wonders, and ruin, it has wrought.
In 1873, Dr. John Cushing moved with his family onto a homestead at the foot of Mount Tamalpais. He founded Blithedale, a rural resort where he and guests could relax and restore health in a stunning outdoor setting.
Local history lecture by Jack Gibson, author of Mount Tamalpais and the Marin Municipal Water District.
The Fall Arts Festival, original called the Mill Valley Harvest Festival, premiered in 1957 and ran for nine days (over the years the event has been trimmed to two days). Held in Lytton Square, this communal celebration included a fashion show, costume parade, sidewalk foliage displays, and of course, local artists displaying their works in store windows.
Phil Rhodes shares natural and historic places that make Mill Valley truly special.
Down Gold Rush-era streets and Chinatown alleys, past Barbary Coast bawdy houses and Bonanza King mansions, Daniel will take us on a photo tour of the trail as it winds its way to twenty of San Francisco’s most important historic sites.
Through oral histories from the History Room's collection, Library Assistant Marissa Friedman explores how fire and the threat of fire have impacted Mill Valley over time.
Marin County’s steep, rock-bound shores, treacherous currents and frequent fogs have been the doom of hundreds of ships for more than 400 years.
For more than 30 years, the Mt. Tamalpais and Muir Woods Scenic Railway was an iconic feature of Mill Valley’s physical and cultural landscape. As William Provines recalls in his Oral History, the railway “was a focal point for people who lived here, and it also attracted thousands of people from all over the world,” turning the sleepy little town of Mill Valley into an international tourist destination.
Barry Spitz will discuss the colorful history of women in the Dipsea, augmented with images from the collection of the Mill Valley Library History Room.
The Mill Valley Public Library recently launched a series of interactive library programs aimed at bringing members of our community together for conversation, learning, and social connection.
Most American cities used to have skid rows in the heart of downtown. They’ve all been developed and gentrified out of existence — but not in San Francisco. Bestselling author Gary Kamiya explores why.
Tilden Daken was one of most adventurous plein air artists of his day.
A musical and cultural phenomenon of the highest (all meanings) order, the Grateful Dead were and remain synonymous with Marin County since 1968.
Join us for an exhibition of photographs documenting the Mill Valley legacy of Ann and Richard “Dick” O’Hanlon, visionary artists and passionate educators who were devoted to nurturing creativity and community.
Please join local historian and former MVHS Board Member Chuck Oldenburg as he discusses information from his newly-released book, Mill Valley History Vignettes.
Kristin Baron tells the history of Druid Heights, a secluded artist community in the Marin Headlands near Muir Woods.
Mill Valley Historical Society announces a public dedication of an Historic Hiking Map this Saturday, October 20th, at 4:00 PM
With Music Historian Richie Unterberger. Featuring special musical guest Jimmy Dillon.
Calling all teens! The Mill Valley Public Library's "Building History in 3D" internship program is back for another season. If you're a high school student or you know a student who might be interested in 3D modeling, architecture, or virtual reality, check out our program.
Laurel Collins explores man’s impact over time on the upper Richardson Bay shore in the vicinity of Bothin Marsh and Tam Valley.
An exhibition of historical photographs on Tamalpais High's first 55 years, when students commuted by train, and classes like Machine Shop were just as popular as Geometry.
Share your stories about the Muir Woods enclave where Alan Watts, Elsa Gidlow and other literary luminaries once lived. Or come and listen as others discuss this unique bohemian community. Author and former Druid Heights resident Hallie Iglehart Austen will moderate.
Lou Leal takes a look at Jack London’s life of adventure, his struggles to become a writer, and his life beyond writing.
What makes Marin County such an enjoyable place to live and such a unique part of the American landscape?
On Saturday, April 21st, some 500 participants will take to the Dipsea Trail in a ceremonial hike to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first Women's Dipsea Hike. The trailblazing Hike, which began in 1918 and took place once a year through 1922, was the first-ever cross country sporting event in the United States organized exclusively for women.
Join us for a night of hair-raising aeronautical adventure as Betty Goerke shares the story of America’s first transcontinental air race from her new book.
Historian Brian Crawford will illuminate the long and fascinating history of of the Bolinas-Fairfax Road.
For thousands of years the Coast Miwok lived rich lives infused with tradition in what we now know as Marin and southern Sonoma Counties. In the winter months villagers gathered to hear elders share sacred stories of creation and power.
Join us Tuesday, January 9th, for an opening reception for the Lucretia Little History Room's latest historical photo exhibition.
This past year, Bay Area institutions hosted events to celebrate the free-spirited ebullience of the 1967 Summer of Love. But as author and Mill Valley Oral History Program interviewee David Talbot notes in Season of the Witch, one summer of love led to several winters of discontent, and the San Francisco of yore was “(re)born howling, in blood and strife.” As we shift into the new year and reflect back, it’s worth asking: When San Francisco’s soul was howling in agony, what did it mean for Mill Valley’s inner psyche? A dive into the archives of the Mill Valley Oral History Program reveals the unique pastiche of individual experiences that set the pulse of a once-sleepy satellite town.
Dewey Livingston introduces the Anne T. Kent California Room’s Unrecorded Marin County Map & Survey Collection with an illustrated talk, highlighting Marin’s many layers of history through rephotography, aerial photos, and maps.
How were the sick taken care of in the days before health insurance? Is there anything we can learn from this earlier model?
On Saturday, November 4th, meet the Mill Valley Library on Miller! Stop by the Mill Valley Library/Mill Valley Historical Society booth at MillerFest, a community celebration of the new Miller Avenue. Don’t miss a Historical Society-led tour at 12:30pm to explore the history of Mill Valley’s oldest thoroughfare.
Historian Cameron Binkley will talk about Laura Lyon White’s life and legacy, her central role in the late nineteenth-century women’s civic movement, and the organizations she created or led, including Mill Valley’s Outdoor Art Club. White was a leading citizen of San Francisco during the Progressive era, and one of the founders of Mill Valley.
It’s film festival season in Mill Valley! The Mill Valley Film Festival (MVFF) officially kicked off last night, and this year marks a very special occasion – the Festival’s 40th anniversary. In celebration of this milestone, the Mill Valley Public Library collaborated with the California Film Institute, the nonprofit which produces the MVFF, to add more than 600 photographs, posters, souvenir guidebooks, and other ephemera to our collection.
On Wednesday, September 6th, join Homestead Valley historian Chuck Oldenburg for a talk on Camp Tamalpais, an early 1900s retreat in Tamalpais Canyon that attracted San Francisco dwellers away for a bucolic escape in Marin.
Please join us for an illustrated presentation focusing on the railroad tunnels in Marin given by one of MVHS’s favorite speakers, local historian Richard Torney. A lifelong resident of Marin County and fourth generation California native, Richard has long been interested in railroads, and his talks have been popular all over Marin.
Join UC Berkeley Earth and Planetary Science Professor B. Lynn Ingram and Dr. Frances Malamud-Roam, currently Senior Environmental Planner at the Army Corps of Engineers, as they discuss the long-term history of climate change in California and the West.
Summer is the perfect time to find hidden treasures of Mill Valley. Whether natural phenomenon or local historical landmarks, there is much to discover. Visit the Mill Valley Public Library’s lower level gallery space to photos of significant places and historical artifacts that exist right here in our own backyard and take part in our Historical Treasure Hunt.
Did you know that the California coast was swarming with Japanese submarines in the weeks immediately following the Pearl Harbor attack? Writer John Geoghegan discusses his book Operation Storm: Japan's Top Secret Submarines and Its Plan to Change the Course of World War II .
Unlike those in Washington, the people who shape Mill Valley are close enough for a handshake and a conversation. Four oral histories - Jean Barnard, Don Hunter, Dick Spotswood and Anne Solem - tackle the intricacies of local government behind the walls of City Hall. What were the motivations behind the landscape we see today? Read on for a taste of local political life, along with links to the full recordings and transcripts for these four richly detailed, honest and empowering interviews.
This year, the Mill Valley Historical Society honors the history of community action that has “fueled” this town. Learn the history of the Fire Department, make your way around the center of town and meet some amazing people who helped to make Mill Valley what it is today through their creative and generous actions. The walk begins at the famous Outdoor Art Club and ends at the Depot Clock Tower.
Join us for a panel discussion with Jenny Fulle, who at 9 years old fought to play baseball in Mill Valley; former Mill Valley Parks and Recreation Commissioner Ed Addeo; and award-winning mediation attorney Lee Hunt, as we revisit the events that almost shut down Little League across the country.
Join us Wednesday, March 1st for an invigorating ride through Mill Valley’s unique past as author, historian, archivist, and scenic railroad enthusiast Fred Runner talks about the railroad and Howard Folker’s carefully hand crafted model of a Tamalpais (Shay) engine, now on display in the Mill Valley Library’s Lucretia Little History Room.
Rita Abrams' "Mill Valley" song spans decades and oceans. A chance encounter with the song transports one library staffer right back to "the little place where life feels very fine and free." Join us as we revisit the spirit of Mill Valley through Rita's classic, 1970 oral history interview. Does Rita's idyllic picture of Mill Valley still hold true? Click through for the story, audio excerpts and a link to the full interview and transcript.
On Wednesday, January 4th, writer and publisher Steve McNamara discusses the impact of the Pacific Sun on the political culture of Mill Valley and Marin, and why one of the best jobs at San Quentin State Prison is writing for the inmate-produced newspaper.
From December 9th, 2016 through February 2020, the Lucretia Little History Room of the Mill Valley Public Library will display a one-of-a-kind handcrafted steam engine model that was built 105 years ago by the once-world-famous Mill Valley and Mount Tamalpais Scenic Railway.
Join Alexandra Kenin Wednesday, December 7th in the Creekside Room as she discuss some of the major changes to San Francisco’s natural areas and who drove these changes.
The History Room is excited to introduce Mill Valley History Online, our new online collections database! Mill Valley History Online is a digital sampling of the History Room’s collection of photographs, oral histories, and other materials.