Geronimo, Lagunitas, and Woodacre

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William Oltman Stuttmeister went to the University of California and practiced dentistry in San Francisco. He bought two vacation properties in San Geronimo where he retired and died. The Maillard, Count Cipriani, Napoleon, and Prince Victor Napoleon connection is interesting. Is this the continuation of the Belmont Colony? Was this land purchased with a recovered treasure? Many have searched for the lost treasure of Sir Francis Drake near this valley overlooked by the ‘Sleeping Maiden’ mountain.

Below is a video showing Cipriani’s home inside Ralston’s additions. It was a portable house. An expert needs to compare this with the Tanforan cottages. Samples of the wood and screws need to taken and compared to the houses Janke brought around the Cape. William married Augusta Janke.

Jon Presco

geronimo32

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victor,_Prince_Napol%C3%A9on

Maria Clotilde was the eldest of eight children born to Victor Emmanuel, King of Sardinia by his first wife and cousinArchduchess Adelaide of Austria. Her father would later become the King of a united Italy as Victor Emmanuel II of Italy.

Maria Clotilde’s paternal grandparents were Charles Albert of Sardinia and Maria Theresa of Tuscany.

Her maternal grandparents were Archduke Rainer of Austria and Elisabeth of Savoy. Rainer was a younger son ofLeopold II, Holy Roman Emperor.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Princess_Maria_Clotilde_of_Savoy

John B. Coleman and wife to Augusta Stuttmeister, lot 111, map |of Lagunltas tract, sub 10, portion of I San Geronimo Rancho. Deed — 

http://cdnc.ucr.edu/cgi-bin/cdnc?a=d&d=SN19190118.2.62

Sausalito News, Volume 35, Number 3, 18 January 1919

Mailliard to Lagunitas Development Co., mortgage 43-119; lot 13, Map of Sub. No. 10, Lagunitas Tract. Deed — Lagunitas Development Co. to William O. and Augusta D. Stuttmelster, lot 13, Map of Sub. No. 10, Lagunitas Tract. Deed of Trust — W. 0. and Augusta Stuttmeister lo Katherlne Sheehy and F. Levy, to John B. ColeI man; same as above Deed 

http://cdnc.ucr.edu/cgi-bin/cdnc?a=d&d=SN19190118.2.62

EARLY 1900’s The Valley swelled to 30 families

In 1905 and 1906 the Mailliard heirs subdivided much of Lagunitas, and in 1912 they sold their remaining interest in San Geronimo Valley real estate to the Lagunitas Development Company, which subsequently subdivided Forest Knolls, San Geronimo, and Woodacre.  Most of the homes built prior to World War II were used as summer cabins.  In 1925 San Geronimo had 20 families that “swelled to 30” in the summer.  After the opening of the Golden Gate Bridge, offering easier access to Marin County, and with the coming of World War II, when Sausalito shipyard workers needed housing, many summer cabins became permanent residences.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lagunitas-Forest_Knolls,_California

http://sgvpg.org/planning-resources/sg-valley-historical-information/

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Settlement and Development
Rafael Cacho, a military ­officer and friend of General Mariano Vallejo, was the first person to hold title to the San Geronimo Valley. On February 12, 1844, he was granted the 8,800 acre Rancho Cañada de San Geronimo (The Valley of Saint Jerome) by the Mexican government, in acknowledgment of his loyal service as a Mexican citizen. Cacho lived in the Valley with his wife and children, grazing cattle and horses, until his finances forced a sale in 1846 to Lieutenant Joseph Revere, who purchased the rancho for $1,000 and an interest in a very small ranch in Napa. Revere, a naval officer and grandson of Paul Revere, had served under General Vallejo, and had released the beleaguered general from imprisonment at Sutter’s Fort. Revere had discovered the Valley while hunting elk, and immediately determined to make it his own. He wrote:

The Canada of San Geronimo is one of the loveliest valleys in California, shut in by lofty hills, the sides of which are covered with redwood forests, and pines of several kinds, and interspersed with many flowering trees and shrubs peculiar to the Country. Through it flows a copious stream, fed by the mountain brooks; and the soil in the bottomlands is so prolific, that a hundred bushels of wheat to the acre can be raised with the rudest cultivation and other crops in corresponding abundance.

San Geronimo Gate WayJoseph Revere retained ownership of Rancho San Geronimo for only four years, and then sold it to Rodman Price for $7,500. Price returned to New Jersey, where he was elected Governor, and hired Lorenzo White, a 49er gold miner, to manage Price’s cattle operation on the rancho. For many years the rancho was known as White’s Valley, and White’s Hill still bears his name. Title to Rancho San Geronimo was then sold several times, finally, in 1854, to Adolph Mailliard, whose father was Louis Mailliard, “natural son” of Joseph Bonaparte, King of Spain and Naples, and elder brother of the infamous Napoleon Bonaparte. After the family’s exile from Spain, Louis Mailliard retrieved from Switzerland a strongbox filled with the family’s jewels, and brought the treasure to their new home in New Jersey. Adolph Mailliard purchased the rancho, to celebrate the birth of his son, Joseph, for $50,000, a mighty sum considering it was purchased a mere eight years earlier for $1000.Wood acre Gate

Adolph Mailliard and his wife, Annie, set out to establish a grand estate, building their home of 18 rooms and 11 fireplaces near Castle Rock, in today’s Woodacre. Annie’s aunt described it as “an unremarkable house with a deep veranda all around and small rooms with high ceilings.” Her sisters pitied her isolation, and visitors from the East “were to wonder how Annie could put up with straw matting on her floors, awkward servants and austere furniture, but she did.” In fact, Annie loved her house and her Valley, and refused to ever leave. Annie’s sister, Julia Ward Howe, author of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” and an active abolitionist and suffragette, would often enjoy relaxing at the Mailliard’s home in the Valley during her travels.

Early in the second half of the nineteenth century Adolph Mailliard transferred title to tracts of 400-600 acres each to James and Thomas Roy in San Geronimo, and to James Dickson and Calvin Dickson in Woodacre. Little other division of the rancho occurred through the end of the century.

Earily LagunitasIn 1895 Annie Mailliard died of breast cancer in the home she loved so dearly. Her husband died a year later. Their home became the clubhouse of the Woodacre Improvement Club in 1924. The building burned in 1958 and was replaced, where it continues to serve the Club’s members and the Valley community.

In 1905 and 1906 the Mailliard heirs subdivided much of Lagunitas, and in 1912 they sold their remaining interest in San Geronimo Valley real estate to the Lagunitas Development Company, which subsequently subdivided Forest Knolls, San Geronimo, and Woodacre. Most of the homes built prior to World War II were used as summer cabins. In 1925 San Geronimo had 20 families that “swelled to 30” in the summer. After the opening of the Golden Gate Bridge, offering easier access to Marin County, and with the coming of World War II, when Sausalito shipyard workers needed housing, many summer cabins became permanent ­residences.

Following World War II, little changed in the Valley, but in April 1961 the Marin County Board of Supervisors adopted a Master Plan proposal for the Valley that envisioned 20,000 new residents, and 5,000 new homes that would cover the Valley’s northern and southern hillsides, up to and around Kent Lake. The land around Spirit Rock was proposed to be the site for a civic center, fire station, shopping center, heliport, and multifamily residences. A freeway was proposed to come from San Anselmo over White’s Hill and through the center of the Valley, with an interchange that would cross into Nicasio Valley. During the next ten years only the golf course and a few homes adjacent to the golf course, on San Geronimo Valley Drive, were ­developed as elements of that 1961 Master Plan.

During the 1960s the Valley became a magnet for “Flower Children” from San Francisco, who set up camps and other unconventional abodes in the hills of San Geronimo Valley, much to the horror of many Valley residents.

In 1972 a Countywide Plan was proposed for adoption by the Marin County Board of Supervisors, and was adopted in 1973, emphasizing low density and the preservation of open space, rural areas, and agriculture. Also in 1972, Lagunitas resident Jean Berensmeier was informed that growth was a-comin’ to the Valley, based on the 1961 Valley Master Plan. Discovering the 1961 Master Plan, she organized a community meeting to review the Plan and the proposed Countywide Plan. The ad hoc Planning Group was thus born, and worked for five years to create a new Community Plan that met the goals of the 1973 Countywide Plan, preserving the rural character of the Valley. Gone were the 5,000 new homes, the Civic Center, the shopping center, the heliport, and the freeway. Instead, boundaries were set around the four villages so the remaining land could be preserved for its rural character, and for open space and agricultural use, with only a spattering of homes outside the village boundaries. The San Geronimo Valley Community Plan was adopted in January 1978.

Painted miniatures of Louis Mailliard and his wife Marguerite Angelique Redet, before 1820

Painted miniatures of Louis Mailliard and his wife Marguerite Angelique Redet, before 1820

When Joseph Bonaparte arrived in the United States in August 1815, he was accompanied by four people, including his secretary Louis Mailliard. Mailliard served Joseph faithfully for 36 years and became his closest confidant. In 1817 Joseph sent Mailliard on a hunt for buried treasure in Europe.

From Mortefontaine to America

Mailliard was not Joseph Bonaparte’s son, although it is sometimes stated that he was. Louis Hypolite Mailliard was born in Mortefontaine, France, on May 22, 1795. In 1798, Joseph bought the château of Mortefontaine, north of Paris. In 1808, Mailliard entered Joseph’s service. He accompanied Joseph when the latter became King of Spain, and stayed with him through the fall of Napoleon’s Empire. In 1815 he fled with Joseph into exile in the United States.

Mailliard married Marguerite Angelique Redet, whose father was Master of Horse for Joseph’s wife Julie. At some point Marguerite followed her husband to America. Their son Adolphe was born at Point Breeze, Joseph’s estate in Bordentown, New Jersey, on August 5, 1819. Sadly, Marguerite died 10 days later, leaving Mailliard heartbroken. At age two and a half, Adolphe was sent to France to be raised by his grandfather, who sent him to boarding school and college under the name of “Henri Lustre.” (1)

A Swiss treasure hunt

In 1817 Joseph sent Louis Mailliard back to Europe to retrieve a cache of diamonds, papers and money he had buried in 1815, with Mailliard’s help, in a foxhole at his Swiss estate of Prangins. The ship on which Mailliard sailed was wrecked in a storm off the coast of Ireland, but the passengers and crew were saved. Mailliard stopped in Brussels, where – as instructed by Joseph – he tried to persuade Joseph’s wife Julie and their daughters to come to America. Julie demurred, saying her physicians told her she could not stand the sea voyage.

Mailliard continued on to Switzerland and presented himself to a man named Véret, Joseph’s financial administrator. Just as he assumes a disguise for his mission to Europe in Napoleon in America, Mailliard was disguised as an Englishman, complete with a red wig and a fake accent. This was convincing enough to deceive Véret, who laughed when Mailliard revealed his identity.

The two agreed that Mailliard should pose as an English speculator who wanted to prospect for coal at Prangins. Véret hired two unsuspecting workmen to help with the digging. Mailliard instructed them to start at some distance from where he knew Joseph’s treasure was buried. Gradually he brought them closer, and finally to the exact spot, where he had them dig only to a certain depth, after which he dismissed them. That night, he returned with Véret to remove the final layer of dirt and uncover the iron box. Back at Véret’s house, they opened the lid and inventoried the contents against a list Mailliard had brought with him. After drying out the parcels, among which were 16 diamonds worth approximately five million francs, they ascertained that nothing was missing. Mailliard returned to Point Breeze with the treasure. (2)

Joseph Bonaparte’s “right hand”

Louis Mailliard stayed with Joseph until the latter’s death in 1844. Joseph clearly thought highly of him. He wrote to Julie:

I cannot do without [Mailliard]; he is my secretary, my intendant; he is my right hand. (3)

Mailliard kept a journal, which is held at the Yale University Library in New Haven, Connecticut. There are some extracts in an excellent article by Peter Hicks in Napoleonica. La Revue, entitled “Joseph Bonaparte and the ‘Réunion de Famille’ of 1832-33.” Focusing on Joseph’s return to Europe in 1832 and a family meeting in London in 1833, Hicks reports how Mailliard noted the division between Joseph and his nephew Louis-Napoléon (the future Napoleon III).

We don’t see the same for our cause in France. That is unfortunate for the cause. (4)

Mailliard also made clear that Joseph thought little of his brother Lucien:

Lucien is all imagination but without perseverance, changing all the time. (5)

Mailliard was the executor of Joseph’s estate. Joseph noted in his will:

I here declare that no man has more right to my confidence and esteem than Mr. Louis Mailliard…. I would like to show my attachment to him by a great legacy: but his modesty equals his fidelity. I know that what I am about to give him will satisfy him. I bequeath, then, to Mr. Louis Mailliard, the farm of Groveville, near the village of the same name, of about 250 acres, more or less, such as it is, and as I bought it…. This farm, situated in America, forms part of the domain that I have designated for the above. I give and bequeath equally to Mr. Louis Mailliard, six thousand dollars in stock of the Union Canal, of Pennsylvania. (6)

Joseph also left Mailliard an annual lifetime income of $400, a gold watch, and a miniature portrait of himself in the uniform of his guard. He left Mailliard’s son, Adolphe, stock in the Union Canal Company and his silver toilet articles.

Once Louis-Napoléon was on the throne in Paris, Louis Mailliard was instrumental in getting Joseph’s remains returned to France in 1862 (Joseph had specified in his will that he wanted to be interred there). Mailliard retired to Mortefontaine and died in 1872 at the age of 77.

In 1846, Mailliard’s son Adolphe married Ann Eliza Ward, the sister of Julia Ward Howe, author of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” Adolphe died in California in 1890.

You might also enjoy:

Joseph Bonaparte: From King of Spain to New Jersey

Achille & Joseph Archambault: Napoleon’s grooms on St. Helena

Louis-Joseph Marchand: Napoleon’s valet and friend

 

Royal Rosamond Press dedicates this closure to my
chapter ‘Bohemians and Bankers’ to Cipriani, a man who shaped the
West, and knew the ancestor of Rosamond, the ‘Rose of the World.

John Presco

Copyright 2003

“Returning to Paris in October, 1855, he was warmly received
by his friend Prince Napoleon who overwhelmed him with questions
about his travels in America. “I answered them the best I could.”
Cipriani wrote, “But , it is a veritable deluge….We keep talking
about my journeys, of the Sanora, of conquering it.” Perhaps he
thought of seizing it for France and hoped the prince might persuade
his cousin the Emperor to finance the undertaking. “It is an idea in
the air,” he added, “that I would willingly undertake, if necessary
capital and men were available.”
To another member of the imperial household, Jerome
Bonaparte, ex-king of Westphalia, Cipriani revealed tha the had
considerable investments in California and hinted at receiving
interest of twelve to fifteen percent a month on his money. He also
boasted of his house in Belmont which “out there is considered
magnificent.”
On behalf of the Emperor Napoleon 3, he visited King Victor
Emanuel of Sardinia to explore the possibilities of a matrimonial
arrangement between the ruling houses as a prelude to a political-
military alliance between France and Sardinia. The conversation
eventually turned to Cipriani’s overland journey of 1853, which
apparently had not escaped the king’s notice. “I have heard tell,” he
said, “of a great journey of yours, with you on horseback and camping
out.”
“For eight solid months, Your Majesty,” Cipriani replied,
making certain to include the time he left San Francisco in February
to October, 1853.
“But it is true.” the king continued, “that you led covered
wagons and crossed the Rocky Mountains where there was roads, and
great rivers without any bridges.”

The above is from the ‘California and Overland Diaries of
Count Leonetto Cipriani’. a journey that may constitute the first
cattle drive. What this diary reveals is France’s plan to conquer
Mexico, and perhaps the Western United States.

“Cipriani must have followed with close interest the
activities of Count Raousset-Boulbon and other French filibusters in
the Sonora province of Mexico. The French consul in San Francisco, in
difficulty with the American government for his alleged support of
such filibustering activity, wrote to the Sardinian Ministry of
Foreign Affairs in 1854 that he was grateful (moral) support he was
receiving from Colonel Cipriani. That Cirpiani had entertained some
such expedition in the Sonora is clear from his memoirs though there
is no evidence of any actual participation.”
With the ‘Gold Rush’ came foreigners who sought to fulfill
the manifest destiny of their nations who now feared the growing
richness and power of America and the role she might play on the
world stage. One could say pre-emptive strikes were made against
the “boastful barbarians” as Count Cipriani titled most of the
Americans he encountered. Without a doubt he followed with interest
the moves of Count Gaston Raousset-Boulbon, who arrived in San
Francisco on August 22, 1850, just at moment US laws segregated the
foreign people who came to search for California riches. His arrival
coincided with the move of thousands of French-people who looked for
a way out of the wars in their country, who came to find substance
and well-being in California. Not finding any gold, Raousett wondered
if California’s gold extended into the Mexican State of Sonora. I am
sure Ciprinai wondered this as well, and he may have organized his
cattle drive for such an expedition, he selling some California
property to the Rothschilds to bank-roll his adventure that the
Bonapartes were well aware of.

Raousset-Boulbon made his first trip to Mexico in February
1852. Once in Mexico City, he met Consul André Levasseur who
introduced him to investors of a company called La Restauradora whose
majority partner was Jecker, Torre and Co. On April 7, 1852, Raousset-
Boulbon singed a contract with La Restauradora on which he is
appointed jointly with an “agent”, who he met in San Francisco, to
explore all places in northern Sonora, and discover gold mines..
The Count returned to San Francisco, and recruited a company
of about 270 men, in addition to weapons and food. On May 19, 1852,
he left San Francisco, on the Archival Gracie to arrive Guaymas,
Sonora, the first day of July, under a spectacular welcome provided
by the Guaymas people and Sonora authorities. But in no time it was
clear he was a rebel. Raousset-Boulbon granted the company with a
flag with the French colors and the words “Indepéndance de Sonora”.
On October 1852, General Navarro and Blanco faced Roausset
near Hermosillo. The treaty with the French company was dissolved,
but Blanco guaranteed the security of the French. Raousset-Boulbon,
who had hidden in Guaymas, and did not sign the treaty. The project
in ruin, the French nobleman returned to San Francisco where he
consolidated his mission in Sonora:
Becoming rich with the supposed Sonora gold
Putting a stop to the US expansionism.
Reestablish the pure Latin-blood on the Americas.
Taking revenge on Mariano Arista.

Back in Mexico, Arista was deposed and replaced by Juan
Bautista Ceballos as the presidency, then by Manuel María Lombardini,
who in turn was succeeded by Santa Anna, and Gandsen, US minister to
Mexico. Raousset-Boulbon departed from San Francisco on June 16,
1853, arriving in Mexico City on July 7. He met Santa Anna and
discused with him his colonization project in Sonora by bringing
6,000 emigrants from Upper California from Europe in six years. Santa
Anna refused the proposals and Raousset-Boulbon’s forces were finally
defeated by General José María Yáñez on July 13, 1854. He is shot
dead on August 12, 1854.

Around 1860 a group of rich Mexican emigrants met in Europe,
they had fled the Juarez revolution. Catholic and conservative, they
looked for support in Europe for their plan to establish a monarchy
in Mexico. They needed money, troops and a genuine European noble.

The Bonapartes had tried to bestow nobility upon Cipriani, but he
refused fearing to become more of a puppet then he was. Victor
Emanuel had made him Governor of Balogna, and he would become the
first President of the United Kingdom of Italy. Cipriani would marry
an American, Mary Tolly Worhtington of Baltimore County who a
descendant of George Washington. Cipriani descends from the famous
Caracciolo family of Naples, and appears to be the son of Napoeleon’s
major dommo, Franchesci Cipriani. The whole truth is not being told
here, and Cipriani may have been playing down the royal hand he was
dealt.

Jerome Bonaparte married Elizabeth Patterson, and wealthy
heiress. Emperor Napoleon had marred Marie-Louis von Habsburg, and it
was a Habsburg that be amply qualified to become the first Emperor of
Mexico. Napoleon III. gave the emigrants troops, French financial
circles assured their assistance. The French supported the
conservatives in the civil war with the radicals and occupied the
capital. They planned an expansion of France on the American soul.

Napoleon did not want to invest money into an affair without
future. She did not even bother to go to Vienna. Franz Josef did not
want to hear anything of its brother, specially not since the
Viennese rallied after the lost war against Prussia “Vivat emperor
Maximilian”, who seemed to them as more liberal and the better
emperor for Austria. Her last hope was the Pope, who could have
talked to Napoleon and Franz Josef, concluded a concordat with Mexico
and convinced the Mexican catholic church. But Pius IX. only wanted
to pray. Charlotte fell into depression, one night fled from the
hotel and required lodging in the Vatican. Her brother brought the
mentally ill Empress back to Miramar.

It appears that Cipriani was successful in uniting the House
of Savoy with the Bonapartes, and thus the House of Stuart. Prince
Napoleon Joseph Charles Paul of France, Pr Napoléon, married in Turin
in 1859, Princess Clothilde of Savoy daughter of Victor Emanuel.

http://shannonselin.com/2014/08/joseph-bonapartes-secretary-louis-mailliard/

http://shannonselin.com/2014/08/joseph-bonapartes-secretary-louis-mailliard/

Count Cipriani was born in Centuri Corsica, on October 10,

1812. On his father’s side he is descended from an old Florentine 
family of Ghibellines, which after a long struggle with the vitorious 
Guelfs, found refgue in Corsica in the fifteenth century. On his 
mother’s side he is descended from Saint Francis Caracciolo of 
Naples, and thus Saint Aquinas. This struggle inspired Shakespear to 
write ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and thus the question “What is in a name?” 
came to be.

He was born in the Palais Royal of Paris during the Second French Empire the son of thePrince Napoleon and his wife, Princess Marie Clothilde of Savoy, daughter of Victor Emmanuel II of Italy. Two younger siblings would soon follow: Prince Louis (1864–1932) and Princess Maria Letizia Bonaparte (1866–1926), later the Duchess of Aosta. At the time of his birth, he was third in the line of succession to the throne behind the Prince Imperial and his father. The Empire came to an end in 1870 with the abdication of the Emperor Napoleon III.

Victor, Prince Napoléon, titular 4th Prince of Montfort (Napoléon Victor Jérôme Frédéric Bonaparte; 18 July 1862 – 3 May 1926) was the Bonapartist pretender to the French throne from 1879 until his death in 1926. He was known asNapoléon V by his supporters.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victor,_Prince_Napol%C3%A9on

“Returning to Paris in October, 1855, he was warmly received 
by his friend Prince Napoleon who overwhelmed him with questions 
about his travels in America. “I answered them the best I could.” 
Cipriani wrote, “But , it is a veritable deluge….We keep talking 
about my journeys, of the Sanora, of conquering it.” Perhaps he 
thought of seizing it for France and hoped the prince might persuade 
his cousin the Emperor to finance the undertaking. “It is an idea in 
the air,” he added, “that I would willingly undertake, if necessary 
capital and men were available.”
To another member of the imperial household, Jerome 
Bonaparte, ex-king of Westphalia, Cipriani revealed tha the had 
considerable investments in California and hinted at receiving 
interest of twelve to fifteen percent a month on his money. He also 
boasted of his house in Belmont which “out there is considered 
magnificent.”
On behalf of the Emperor Napoleon 3, he visited King Victor 
Emanuel of Sardinia to explore the possibilities of a matrimonial 
arrangement between the ruling houses as a prelude to a political-
military alliance between France and Sardinia. The conversation 
eventually turned to Cipriani’s overland journey of 1853, which 
apparently had not escaped the king’s notice. “I have heard tell,” he 
said, “of a great journey of yours, with you on horseback and camping 
out.”
“For eight solid months, Your Majesty,” Cipriani replied, 
making certain to include the time he left San Francisco in February 
to October, 1853.
“But it is true.” the king continued, “that you led covered 
wagons and crossed the Rocky Mountains where there was roads, and 
great rivers without any bridges.”

The above is from the ‘California and Overland Diaries of 
Count Leonetto Cipriani’. a journey that may constitute the first 
cattle drive. What this diary reveals is France’s plan to conquer 
Mexico, and perhaps the Western United States. 

http://www.napoleon-series.org/research/napoleon/c_arsenic.html

http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Gazetteer/Places/America/United_States/_Topics/history/_Texts/MnDBIA/4*.html

Riding west on Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, motorists and cyclists blow right by the San Geronimo Valley Cultural Center – unless they happen to know this is the place to see winter-run salmon in the creek and a WPA mural in the lobby.

The bucolic landscape is 15 feet wide, 7 feet tall, and 50 feet off the road. It’s worth a stop just to see how little has changed along the way out to Olema and Point Reyes in the 70 years since it was painted by Maurice Del Mue. A Parisian by way of San Francisco, Del Mue came out here to live and paint in 1925 as part of a migration as consistent as the salmon. The valley claims the highest concentration of artists in Marin County, and that’s saying something given all the watercolorists in Mill Valley.

“Because of the beauty, it’s like Santa Fe, N.M. It just brings that out in people,” explains Susan Lahr, who has lived here for 30 years. “It’s a huge artistic community – recording artists, visual artists, literary artists.”

There are enough artists that the Two Bird Cafe has its own curator. The valley has almost as many post offices per capita as there are artists – four for 4,000 people. Each of the villages has its own – Woodacre, San Geronimo, Forest Knolls and Lagunitas. “You meet your friends and neighbors at the post office on a daily basis,” Lahr says.http://www.sfgate.com/magazine/article/Valley-of-the-Artists-Mural-still-speaks-to-2511837.php

“This is a real ’60s place. Jerry Garcia, Janis Joplin, Quicksilver – they all lived out here,” says Lahr, who didn’t arrive from her hometown of Pittsburgh until 1973 – which was in time for Elvin Bishop and the day Garcia died at Serenity Knolls, the recovery center in Forest Knolls. They also lost folksinger Kate Wolf, but she is brought back the third Sunday of each month with Kate’s Cafe, featuring performance art in the Cultural Center. It starts at 6:30 tonight. The two galleries are open, and the mural is lighted in the lobby. (It can also be seen weekdays, or by calling Lahr, the Cultural Center arts and events coordinator, at (415) 488-9385, Ext. 4.)

Five miles west of Fairfax, the San Geronimo Valley is entered by crossing Brown’s Bridge at White’s Hill, the great divide between rich Marin and West Marin. Opened this year, the 380-foot bridge is touted as the longest single- span west of the Mississippi.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3wuv40jXjxQ

http://www.sgvcc.org/valley/history.html

 

https://rosamondpress.com/2015/05/23/the-chosen-family/

 

http://www.emperornorton.net/norton-drury.txt

 

Mark Twain wrote to William Dean Howells, the novelist, after Joshua Norton's death in 1880: "What an odd thing it is that neither Frank SoulŽ, nor Charley Warren Stoddard, nor I, nor Bret Harte, the Immortal Bilk, nor any other professionally literary person in San Francisco has ever 'written up' the Emperor Norton. "

What sort of a " write-up " did he have in mind 'I An article for The Atlantic Monthly? Howells was editor of the Monthly, and Twain usually sought his opinion of a story he wanted to offer the magazine before tackling the task of writing it. His letter had all the earmarks of a fishing expedition for approval of a biographical sketch about the famous guttersnipe who imagined he was the Emperor of the United States. Knowing that Howells, an exacting editor, would expect something more substantial than a whimsical tale about a king of shreds and patches, Twain made it clear that there was a lot more to the royal ragamuffin than had ever been told.

"Nobody," he pointed out, "has ever written him up who was able to see anything but his grotesque side, but I think that with all of his dirt and unsavoriness there was a pathetic side to him. "

Sixteen years earlier, in San Francisco, no writer had been closer to Joshua Norton than Twain, Harte, and Franklin SoulŽ. Twain and SoulŽ had shared a newspaper office adjoining the Emperor's fleapit lodgings; Bret Harte, the " Immortal Bilk" (Twain had come to despise him), worked in the room below them, editing a new literary weekly, The Californian. Any one of them could have interviewed Norton "in depth".----as reporters say today--simply by climbing the stairs next door. If they didn't do it then, when they had the chance, presumably it was because the "Emp" was a relatively minor celebrity in those days, known in California and Nevada but practically nowhere else. Twain himself was no better known in 1864; he was still Sam Clemens of the Morning Call, and the pen name he had begun to use as a contributor to Harte's Californian never appeared in the " Morning Squeak. " Sometimes, to enliven a dull local item, he would drag in His Imperial Majesty, whose name guaranteed a chuckle, but it could never have entered his head that the guttersnipe next door might one day be worth a lot more than a squib in the Squeak.
Psychiatrists today generally agree that schizophrenia, a mental disorder characterized by private fantasy and unrealistic behavior, germinates in the springtime years between puberty and early adulthood. If that is so, then Joshua Norton did not go mad in California because of business losses, as everyone said, but was already half-mad when he got there.

 

 

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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1 Response to Geronimo, Lagunitas, and Woodacre

  1. Reblogged this on Rosamond Press and commented:

    I talked to a woman in the history room at the Oakland Library about donating the family photos and letters pertainting to the Stuttmeisters.

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