Marin History

Stories from Marin’s past. . .

When I moved to Marin County in the 1990s, I landed in Mill Valley, where I became fascinated with its local history.  I discovered the history of that town through its historical society, where I served on the Board for several years. When I started conducting oral histories for the Anne T.Kent California Room, I learned more about the county’s history and began to explore the people and places that caught my attention.

Here are some of my findings.

Litchfield’s — a Sign of the Past

San Rafael Improvement Club Waged Mosquito War


Bicycling Big in San Rafael’s Past and Present

West End Training Ground for Boxing Champs

Early Soda Works Tapped Mt. Tamalpais Spring Waters

Dr. Alfred W. Taliaferro Dispensed Cures Without Pay

Dr. Henry A. DuBois Builds Mt. Tamalpais Cemetery

Little-known Stories of Marin’s Early Black Settlers


Poor Farm Took in Marin’s Homeless

Philo Jacoby, King of the Sharpshooters

Italian-Americans formed San Rafael’s Little Italy

Local Suffragists Form California’s First Women’s Undertaking Company

Community Leaders Championed Chinese Mission

Valle Maggia, Switzerland: Home of West Marin Pioneer Families

Carlo Martinoia — The Capitalist of Tomales

Swiss-Italian Immigrants Found Marin “Just Like Home”

Olivia Dalessi Leaves Legacy


Life-long San Rafael residents Teresa and Olivia Dalessi Treasured Their Swiss and Italian Roots

Anita Dolcini Googins Spoke “Swiss”