By Carol Acquaviva

Halloween in the Hawthorn Hills neighborhood of San Anselmo, circa 1930. Anne T. Kent California Room Collection.

Stealing gates and other loose property from homes was a tradition rooted in the folk-belief that…

By Carol Acquaviva

Sisters Lillian, Maude, and Eva Stinson, unknown occasion, circa 1895. Anne T. Kent California Room Collection.

The Victorians liked to party. And newspapers during the “Gilded Age” delighted to report on social gatherings: who hosted, who attended, and what sort of activities were enjoyed. …

By Robert L. Harrison

From a Marin Journal announcement in June 1907 of Professor Harry Archer, appearing on a 25-foot high wire at the San Rafael Skating Rink.

It was in a London stage performance in 1743 where the first use of roller skates was recorded. Some years later, in 1760, an Englishman named John Joseph Marlin invented the first primitive inline skate with small metal wheels. …

By I. F. McDowell, October 16, 1936

San Rafael’s Fourth Street is depicted in this detail of a color postcard at a time when automobiles began to compete with horses. Anne T. Kent California Room Collection.

This Federal Writers’ Project narrative was compiled by a writer assigned to document Marin County history in the 1930s. The typescript, and many others on a variety of subjects, is housed at the Anne T. Kent California Room.

By Carol Acquaviva

Front cover of the Marvel Mar restaurant menu, circa 1948. Anne T. Kent California Room Collection.

The Anne T. Kent California Room recently received a donation from Jeff Craemer of a group of historic restaurant menus. One menu is that of the Marvel Mar, a popular supper club and restaurant on the west side of Redwood Highway in Mill Valley, about where the…

By Robert L. Harrison

1915 “Vacation Land” brochure issued by the Northwestern Pacific Railroad.

A little over one hundred years ago, a trip on the train was often great fun. The railroads heavily advertised their passenger getaways. Automobiles were not yet a serious option and for many, the train provided the only choice for all but the shortest leisure trip…

By Lori Deibel

Branson School students in the 1920s. Image source: The Branson School.

On June 8, 1922, The Marin Journal reported that during graduation ceremonies for The Katharine Branson School in San Rafael, Headmistress Katharine Branson announced that the school would reopen in the Fall at the former estate of John Martin in nearby Ross. The school’s move to the…

By Carol Acquaviva

Diane, serving as chairperson of the Friends-sponsored “Love a Librarian” party at the Corte Madera Library, February 12, 1982.

We are sad to share news of the recent passing of Diane Rosenberger, a treasured member of our local library community.

Diane’s contributions to libraries were innumerable. Diane was a member of the Friends of the Marin County Free Library beginning in 1979, and served as chairperson…

By Dewey Livingston

The iconic 1873 Map of Marin County, California (detail) by Hiram Austin depicts rancho boundaries, the county line, townships, school districts, and property lines. (The bold line depicts a potential route for the North Pacific Coast Railroad, which in the end did not take that route.) Anne T. Kent California Room Collection.

By Dewey Livingston, Map Archivist, Anne T. Kent California Room, Marin County Free Library

Black Mountain in West Marin in 1952. Anne T. Kent California Room Collection.

Anne T. Kent California Room

The official Medium account of the archive of Marin County history & culture at the Marin County Free Library

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