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Events Archive

2024 First Thursday Presentations

June 6 ~ IN SEARCH OF NOVA ALBION: A MARITIME DETECTIVE STORY. In 2021 the California State Historic Landmarks Commission issued a finding that resolved 150 years of competing claims about where FRANCIS DRAKE landed on the Pacific Coast of California in 1579. This event marked the first documented contact between the cultures of the Indigenous people and those of western Europe. Drake named this place Nova Albion, ‘New England,’ and his territorial claim on behalf of Queen Elizabeth I presaged the era of English colonization of North America. PHIL WILLIAMS, Ph.D., VP Drake Navigators Guild, described how nautical, geographic, cultural, and archeologic evidence was used in making this determination.

May 2 ~ THE MAN BENEATH THE PAINT: CALIFORNIA IMPRESSIONIST TILDEN DAKEN. After years of research, BONNIE PORTNOY has unearthed a treasure trove of material about the talented but mysterious grandfather she never knew. TILDEN DAKEN (1876-1935) was one of the most adventurous and prolific artists in the American West; he painted in every California state park and national park in the West, from the redwoods to the High Sierra to beneath the sea in a diving bell. In the 1920s, he built an enchanting home in Mill Valley, the “fairytale house,” and painted hundreds of scenes of Mount Tam.

April 4 ~ ENGINE 9: THE LAST PIECE OF A GREAT STORY. It’s ironic that machines of the industrial age were part of early Marin environmentalism. Today, two thirds of Marin is wilderness. One of environmentalism’s early boosters was the Mt. Tamalpais & Muir Woods Railway, a steam railroad that showed people the virtues of wilderness. The “Crookedest Railroad” expert FRED RUNNER talked about the Tamalpais Railway and the restoration of its last remaining locomotive.

March 7 ~ FORGOTTEN RAILROADS OF MARIN. Early Marin County developed rail transportation to accommodate the needs of the community and pave the way for the future. Amateur historian and rail fan RICHARD TORNEY shared historic photos and stories of early railroads in Marin, illustrated with more recent photos taken near the same locations.

2023 First Thursday Presentations


November 2 ~ THE FORGOTTEN TOWNS OF WEST MARIN ~ Local Historian DEWEY LIVINGSTON brought new research and imagery never before seen on a handful of places like Tocaloma—once a bustling rail stop with a huge hotel, now quiet; Bivalve—an oystering haven; and Muldrow City—a shoreline metropolis proposed by a land shark. Dewey Livingston has been studying West Marin History for 40 years, culminating in a new book on the history of Point Reyes, Tomales Bay and the communities there. 

October 5 ~ KENTFIELD 150 YEARS AGO ~ Recently acquired by the Kentfield-Greenbrae Historical Society, Joseph Lee's beautiful and detailed 150-year-old painting of Ross Landing is a vivid historical document. This presentation by DEWEY LIVINGSTON and RICHARD TORNEY looked at the painting's depiction of life at Ross Landing during that period, adding maps and historical photographs to bring the contents of the painting alive. 

We welcomed the Town Manager of Ross, CRISTA JOHNSON and Councilmember/Mayor Pro Tem ELIZABETH BREKHUS. They presented THE STATE OF THE TOWN OF ROSS.

June 1 ~ CREATING A NATIONAL PARK FOR ALL AT THE GOLDEN GATE ~ MICHAEL BOLAND, Chief Park Officer at the Presidio Trust, described the ongoing transformation of the historic Presidio army base into an urban national park site, culminating in the recently opened Presidio Tunnel Tops. 

May 4 ~ THE MARIN SOCIETY OF ARTISTS ~ After extensive research, KAMBIA MOEZZI shared a presentation showcasing the rich history of the Marin Society of Artists from its founding in the late 1920s through the late 1960s. Featuring a selection of artists and art across different mediums and genres, and the overall quest of the organization to share art with the community. 

April 6 ~ VANISHED SAN FRANCISCO ~ LORRI UNGARETTI led a visual journey of more than 50 places and items that were once found in San Francisco but are gone now. Items include the Embarcadero Freeway, the Montgomery Block, two-toned fog horns, the Sweeny Observatory in Golden Gate Park and a butterfly that went extinct. 

March 2 ~ HISTORY AND MARITIME HERITAGE OF BELVEDERE AND TIBURON ~ With the arrival of a railroad and ferry terminus at Point Tiburon in 1884 the Peninsula became an industrial and maritime center as well as a residential and tourist destination. Belvedere-Tiburon Landmarks Society Archivist DAVE GOTZ explored the many industries and pastimes that evolved along the shores of this scenic part of the North Bay illustrated with rare and historic photos. 

2022 First Fridays Speakers


In November, Scott Fletcher, author and IJ columnist, gave his perspective on Marin History. If you subscribe to the Marin IJ, you can read his work. Or you can still purchase his book, Moments in Marin History, online or from local bookstores.
See more at .

In October Matt Cerkel, Senior Park Ranger with the Marin Municipal Water District, talked about the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC). With work on Mount Tamalpais between 1933 and 1942, shaping the parks that we know and enjoy today, it was one of FDR's most successful New Deal programs. If you missed our event or want to see more, you can see the similar talk he gave for the Mill Valley Historical Society at The CCC on Mt. Tam .

In September, Dean CHRISTOPHER OCKER talked about the beginnings of SFTS, a school founded as an extension of San Francisco’s University College. Rival to Oakland’s College of California (the future University of California) and California Theological Seminary, its beginnings were entangled with the encounter and competition of cultures in the West.

In June, historical consultant John Martini discussed San Francisco's most incendiary landmark, the Cliff House. In its 158-year history, the iconic Cliff House has burned down twice, blown up once, and been closed for wars, Prohibition, Depression and Pandemic. John Martini traced the fabled landmark’s history from its opening during the Civil War through its sad closing on New Year’s Eve 2020. The program also showcased artifacts from the Cliff House collection and the current exhibit in the “Museum at the Cliff”.

In May, we considered the question of what elements of chance and choice brought our ancestors together? In California Bound, local author Peter Pike Jr. tracked his parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents for almost a century from the Gold Rush of 1849 to the Great Depression of the 1930s.

In April, Patrick Goggins presented a talk about The Laurel Tie. On May 10, 1869 at Promontory Summit in Utah, a Gold Spike was driven into a ceremonial railroad tie to commemorate the completion of the first Transcontinental Railroad. That RR tie had been milled from a Laurel Tree harvested on Mt. Tamalpais. Patrick told the story of that tie and also talked about the Irish and Chinese laborers who did the hard work of preparing the roadway and laying the track.

In March, author Judith Taylor talked about the almost forgotten triumphs and obstacles many women had to overcome in history in WOMEN AND GARDENS: Obstacles and Opportunities for Women Gardeners Throughout History.

2021 First Fridays Speakers

(All presentations in 2021 were via Zoom webinar due to COVID)


November 5 ~ Much is known about (the namesake of our library) José Moya del Pino’s life in California (1925-1969), where he became a well-known painter and muralist, but until now little was known about his previous life in Spain (1890-1925). PAOLA CODA-NUNZIANTE, his granddaughter, will present her new book JOSÉ MOYA DEL PINO – TWO LIVES OF AN ARTIST, the result of extensive research on both continents. Find more information about her book on our Publications page, or watch the presentation on YouTube.

October 1 ~ MARIN COUNTY DAIRIES have played an important role since the 1800’s when Marin supplied more dairy products than any other county in the state. In 2019, local historians Dewey Livingston and Mike Moyle set out to identify the sites of every dairy that ever operated in Marin. So far, they have found more than 380. MIKE MOYLE will be sharing with us the results of this project, with a particular focus on the dairies located around Ross Valley. You can watch this presentation on YouTube.

September 10 ~ COCKTAILS FROM MARIN ~ Marin IJ’s Barfly columnist JEFF BURKHART, host of the Barfly Podcast and author of the books Twenty Years Behind Bars Volume I and II, talked about Marin cocktail history, listen to a few of his funny stories, and share a cocktail or two online. Maybe even in that order! If you missed the presentation you can watch it on YouTube.

June 4 ~ JULIA FLYNN SILER, a longtime Ross resident and New York Times bestselling author, will discuss her latest nonfiction book, THE WHITE DEVIL’S DAUGHTERS: THE WOMEN WHO FOUGHT SLAVERY IN SAN FRANCISCO’S CHINATOWN. She will discuss the local connections to the story and will present historic images from the book. For more information, please visit:, or watch the presentation on YouTube.

May 7 ~ The Mt. Tamalpais “Crookedest Railroad” received HEISLER LOCOMOTIVE #9 on April 18, 1921. This 100 year old steam engine is the only surviving piece of equipment that worked on the mountain. It has been found, purchased and efforts to restore #9 are active and ongoing. Please join the project’s leader FRED RUNNER for a presentation and lively discussion about this historic masterpiece. For more information, visit or watch the presentation on YouTube.

April 2 ~ THE 1906 SAN FRANCISCO EARTHQUAKE & FIRE​ In the aftermath of the Earthquake and Fire, U S Army Surgeon Lt. Col. George Henry Torney was ordered to become San Francisco’s Chief Sanitary Officer. His creation and enforcement of health and safety regulations will be explained. Lt. Col. Torney’s 26 year old son “Ned” photographed the devastation, the raging fire, and the City’s residents. RICHARD G. TORNEY, a great grandson of George Henry Torney, will illustrate these two efforts. Watch the presentation on YouTube.

March 5 ~ SHIPWRECKS OF MARIN ~ Marin County is the graveyard of many ships. Local historian BRIAN K. CRAWFORD has done extensive research fleshing out the details of famous wrecks and has identified more than a hundred wrecks not documented elsewhere. He published the results of his findings in his definitive book, Shipwrecks of Marin (available from In this illustrated lecture, Crawford tells the stories of seven of the most significant wrecks on our coasts. Watch the presentation on YouTube.

2020 First Fridays Speakers

November 6 (VIA Zoom Webinar) ~ THE NEW DEAL IN THE NORTH BAY ~ President Franklin Roosevelt intended his work relief agencies to extricate the U.S. from the Great Depression but their public works also catapulted the nation into the mid-twentieth century while improving the lives of millions and generations to follow. DR. GRAY BRECHIN is the founder and Project Scholar of the Living New Deal which is excavating the remains of a lost civilization that is all around us, indispensable, but largely invisible. Visit the Living new Deal website, or watch this presentation on YouTube.

October 2 (VIA Zoom Webinar) ~ THE PROHIBITION YEARS IN MARIN: NO NEED TO SPEAK EASY ~ Local historian and educator JOHN FREEMAN commemorated the centennial of The Volstead Act and Prohibition in Marin and the Bay Area. The thirteen Prohibition years, from 1920 – 1933, have been sensationalized for gang violence, dramatic enforcement against contraband or homemade liquor, and the ingenious ways people used to conceal illicit alcoholic beverage. But in the counties around the Bay: San Francisco, Marin, Alameda and San Mateo, the attitude toward all forms of alcohol was much more tolerant. Watch the presentation on YouTube.

September 18 (VIA Zoom Webinar) ~ THE BRANSON SCHOOL CENTENNIAL ~ The Branson School shares a long history with the Town of Ross, beginning in 1922 when it moved from San Rafael to the John Martin Fern Hill Estate. Librarian LAURIE DEIBEL went over the school's history and shared stories, images, and memorabilia from the Branson archives. Watch the presentation on YouTube.

March 6 ~ Arequipa San Francisco physician Philip King Brown opened the Arequipa Sanatorium in Fairfax in 1911 to treat women suffering from tuberculosis. Author LYNN DOWNEY's grandmother took the cure in the late 1920s and Lynn grew up hearing stories about this remarkable institution, which she describes in her book AREQUIPA SANATORIUM: LIFE IN CALIFORNIA'S LUNG RESORT FOR WOMEN

2019 RHS/Moya First Friday Speakers


November 1 ~  Author ANNE EVERS HITZ, a fifth-generation San Franciscan, has gathered together images from libraries and private collections to tell the story of SAN FRANCISCO’S FERRY BUILDING. One of San Francisco’s most famous landmarks, it was once the second busiest transit terminal in the world, with more than 50,000 people a day passing through the elegant structure.

October 4 ~ THE LAKES OF MT. TAMALPAIS, an illustrated talk by MMWD senior park ranger MATT CERKEL who has extensively studied and documented the human and natural history of Mt. Tam. He prepared this show to mark the 2019 centennial of the creation of Alpine Lake. 

September 13 ~ ANNUAL MEETING 
Moya/RHS Historian RICHARD TORNEY and Librarian FRAN CAPPELLETTI presented ROSS: A RICH HISTORY. We heard about some of the history of this small town with archival photos of people, places and events over the course of time to see how much has changed and how much has not.

June 7 ~ HER SIDE OF THE STORY: CALIFORNIA PIONEER WOMEN. The Society of California Pioneers Librarian PAT KEATS presentated rare, first person reminiscences of California pioneer women, highlighting the role women played on the formation of the state. To learn more, go to the online exhibit  or visit their Museum in the Presidio.

May 3  ~ MT. TAMALPAIS: THREE PEAKS, OLD TRAILS. We followed in the footsteps of early scientist-explorers William Brewer and Charles Hoffman with local historian and photographer BRAD RIPPE as they ascended Mt. Tamalpais as members of the California Geological Survey in the early 1860s. Illustrated with historic and recent maps and photographs, we learned about this early adventure and other fascinating stories along the old trails of Mt. Tamalpais.

April 5 ~ THE CALIFORNIA SUPREME COURT: INSIDE AND OUT. We heard from Ross resident and recently retired California Supreme Court Justice KATHRYN MICKLE WERDEGAR, the third woman ever to serve on the Court, about her experiences under three Chief Justices and four governors over almost a quarter century of service. Town of Ross Mayor BEACH KUHL moderated and many attended. 

March 1 ~  LOCOMOTIVE #9 ~ Mt. Tamalpais’s Scenic Railway thrust 19th century agricultural Marin on to the world stage. The railroad was more than just a tourist attraction. There was science and politics and literature. In 1930 the railroad was rudely swept from the mountain, its cars burned, rails sold and relics scrapped. Today one piece, the last locomotive purchased, survives. Historian FRED RUNNER talked about the lost railroad and the process to save the last locomotive. 

2018 RHS/Moya First Friday Speakers


November 2 ~ Brewer and operator of Stillwater Spirits in Petaluma BRENDAN MOYLAN talked about the recent growth of craft distilleries and the art of production of high quality artisan whiskey and spirits. It was a terrific way to end our year.

October 5 ~ THE DOUGHBOY EXPERIENCE-AMERICANS IN THE GREAT WAR. This presentation by Military Historian COL. FRED RUTLEDGE covered the lead-up to America’s declaration of war against Germany in April 1917, the mobilization of military forces, the battles in France, life in the trenches, and the troops coming home in 1919. Uniforms and artifacts were displayed and it was a fascinating talk. 

September 14 ~ ANNUAL MEETING
James Ross descendant TOM PERRY shared information and photos of his great aunt ISABELLA WORN and her sisters. In the early 1900s, the Misses Worn (Bella, Annie & Grace) were renowned floral decorators. Raised in Ross Valley, their artistic expression was featured throughout high society, including the Palace Hotel, the 1915 Panama Pacific Exposition, 1939 World's Fair, San Simeon and Filoli.

June 1 ~ ALESI: THE LIFE, DEATH, AND DISCOVERY OF AN ANCESTOR ~ Ross resident DR. ISAIAH NENGO talked about how the recent discovery of a 13 million-year-old fossil infant ape skull has offered a rare glimpse of what the common ancestor of all living apes and humans may have looked like. You can find more about his work with the Turkana Basin Institute in Nairobi, Kenya. You can support his research or contact him at  Isaiah Nengo, Turkana Basin Institute, P.O. Box 24926, Nairobi 00502 Kenya,, or +254713287897

May 4 ~ Archivist and Historian  LAURIE THOMPSON  shared her in depth research about the California Motion Picture Company’s silent film studio in San Rafael’s Sun Valley. Film Star Beatriz Michelena and Director George Middleton began their careers there and were featured with photos and ephemera from the Anne T. Kent California Room collection. 

April 6 ~ Rail Historian ANGELO FIGONE presented an illustrated talk on his book THE NORTHWESTERN PACIFIC RAILROAD, Lifeline of the Redwood Empire/Boom and Bust 1951–2001. Steam and Diesel operations between Tiburon and Eureka, many railroading details, and dramatic flooding were shown.

March 2 ~  Filmmaker GARY YOST is best known for his films about Mt Tam, including A Day in the Life of a Fire Lookout. He discussed and showed short videos he made supporting the restoration of West Peak which was leveled to create a Cold War era Air Force Base. See his documentary and learn more about his work at .

2017 RHS/Moya First Friday Speakers

November 3 ~ Author BETTY GOERKE presented A BROKEN PROPELLER, the gripping story of the first coast-to-coast air race in 1919. The race began simultaneously in San Francisco and Long Island in WWI open cockpit planes with no parachutes. Fifty-nine pilots battled rain, fog and snow, with many forced landings and crashes. Her father was one of the eight who completed the race. 

October 6 ~ Bay Area historian DR. ROBERT CHERNY wrote THE PRESIDIO OF SAN FRANCISCO: FROM SPANISH COLONIAL OUTPOST TO NATIONAL PARK, a look at the history of the Presidio as it evolved from a Spanish military outpost to a U. S. Army base to a National Historic Landmark District run by the National Park Service and the Presidio Trust. Gary Widman presented the talk for Dr. Cherny, painting a fascinating portrait of this historic place. Learn more at

September 15 ~ TALES FROM THE EARLY DAYS OF THE MARIN ART & GARDEN CENTER was the subject of a program by Moya-RHS Librarian FRAN CAPPELLETTI. In 1945, a small community came together for a large cause and started the Center. For more information on the Center History, visit

June 2 ~ DR. MARTY GRIFFIN, well known since WWII for his role in saving coastal watersheds and wildlife, talked about some of the fascinating people and events in his medical and environmental career. The battle for Bolinas Lagoon, Tomales Bay and the Point Reyes National Seashore were shown in a brief historic video. Dr. Griffin is founder of the Audubon Canyon Ranch and authored Saving the Marin Sonoma Coast, the basis for the film Rebels With a Cause. For more about visit the L. Martin Griffin website.

May 5 ~ With an illustrated presentation, Project Director ALAN OLSON explained how modern technology has been blended with traditional techniques to build the wooden historic tall ship MATTHEW TURNER, which will be used to provide educational programs for S. F. Bay Area students of all ages. For more information, visit

April 7 ~ The KENTFIELD GREENBRAE HISTORICAL SOCIETY presented a documentary about long time Kentfield resident GEORGE DEMONT OTIS, an American Impressionist Painter. The final thirty years of his life were dedicated to celebrating Marin’s landscapes in many mediums. Otis family members were on hand to share memories, original paintings and memorabilia. View the documentary, Visions of Marin: George Demont Otis, American Impressionist for more information.

March 3 ~  ERNEST BRAUN - A LIFE IN PHOTOGRAPHY. With clients spanning the globe, exhibitions in major museums, seven published books and many devoted students, Mr. Braun's career spanned more than 60 years. His son JONATHAN BRAUN presented an illustrated retrospective of his Ernest's work. For more information, visit .

2016 RHS/Moya First Friday Speakers

November 4 ~  TIM WOOD, a Great Great Grandson of Dr. John Jenkes Cushing and John Oscar Eldridge, gave an illustrated presentation on THE CUSHING AND ELDRIDGE FAMILIES IN MARIN, bringing to life the legacies of these men and their families. Read Tim's fascinating Oral History conducted by Debra Schwartz for the Mill Valley Library.

October 7 ~ KORLA PANDIT is the subject of a film made by JOHN TURNER and ERIC CHRISTENSEN. The filmmakers showed clips and described the making of the film. Visit for more information.

September 16 ~ THE HISTORY OF THE ROSS FIRE DEPARTMENT. Recently retired Ross Fire Chief  TOM VALLEE talked about the over 100 year old Ross Fire Department. The recorded presentation is available on the wonderful site hosted by Marin County Fire History.


June 3 ~ JOE GARBARINO explained how in 1948 he began his career as a garbage collector and scavenger in North Beach, and went on to operate the groundbreaking Marin Recycling Center at Marin Sanitary Service.

May 6 ~ Local golf historian SEAN TULLY gave an illustrated presentation on the early history of GOLF AND GOLF COURSES IN MARIN, 1898 -1935, featuring the locations of Marin’s earliest golf courses and brought to light some of the stories they have to tell. Read more about the Meadow Club course where Sean is Superintendent.

April 1 ~ JOE BREEZE, curator of the MARIN MUSEUM OF BICYCLING, presented a history of bicycling in Marin County from the 19th century. Learn more about the Marin Museum of Bicycling.

March 4 ~ THE MANY FACES OF TAMALPAIS.  Roy Farrington Jones narrated his slide show featuring photos of nearly 100 paintings of Mt. Tamalpais done by well-known artists from the 1850’s to the 1940’s.

2015 RHS/Moya First Friday Speakers

October 2 ~ MIKE CASEY presented his new book about his Great Grandfather HENRY E. BOTHIN, Philanthropist of Steel. We learned about his achievements from farm boy to businessman, industrialist, real estate investor,  benefactor, and finally founder of a private foundation, still a major force in Bay Area philanthropy nearly a century after its inception.

September 18 ~ The ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING AND LUNCHEON featured a celebration commemorating the 70th ANNIVERSARY OF MAGC (The Marin Art and Garden Center). 

June 5 ~ After 15 years of research and study, LAURA ACKLEY presented her new book SAN FRANCISCO'S JEWEL CITY: The Panama Pacific International Exposition of 1915. Her work examined the planning, design, exhibits, music, midway, technology, scandals, and political and cultural elements of the great San Francisco fair, just in time for its centennial. For more information visit

May 1 ~ Author DR. JUDITH TAYLOR returned to present her 4th book, VISIONS OF LOVELINESS, Great flower breeders of the Past. In this book she brings the wonderful and quirky people who developed many of our beloved flowers back to life.

April 3 ~ CALIFORNIA AND THE CIVIL WAR. In April 1865, the war was over, the Union preserved, and the President dead. Historian ROBERT J. CHANDLER spoke on the political revolution that occurred in California from 1861 to 1865.

March 6 ~ National Park historian STEPHEN HALLER presented an illustrated talk on the stories from his book, SHIPWRECKS AT THE GOLDEN GATE and recent efforts to learn more about these underwater artifacts of our maritime history.

2014 RHS/Moya First Friday Speakers

November 7 ~ MAGICAL MARIN COUNTY FAIR. As a child, JIM FARLEY attended the Marin County Fair at the Marin Art & Garden Center in Ross.  From the 1970’s forward, he worked on the fair, and then served as the Marin County Fair manager at the Marin County Civic Center for nearly 40 years. With an illustrated presentation, Jim Farley shared the fair’s highlights, history, and Marin County Fair innovations that shaped the fair industry nationwide.

October 3 ~ JEAN MOULIN presented a selection of images from three generations of photographers in the MOULIN STUDIOS of SAN FRANCISCO. In this collection there are over 100,000 photographs of people, places, and notable events from the 1880's to the present, showing the Bay Area, California, and beyond.

Architect JAMES DIXON gave a program featuring the OCTAGON HOUSE at the Marin Art & Garden Center, the home of our own Moya Library/Ross Historical Society. Built 150 years ago, this event was part of the celebration of this landmark building. 

Ross author JULIA FLYNN SILER presented her bestselling history, LOST KINGDOM: Hawaii's Last Queen, the Sugar Kings, and America's First Imperial Venture. Visit her site at for more information.

May 2 ~ Marin author DEWEY LIVINGSTON presented his new book "IN THE HEART OF MARIN, The History of Kentfield and Greenbrae, California", celebrating the 1914 Kent School Centennial. A presentation of historic photos by RICHARD TORNEY was included. 

April 4 ~ Civil War re-enactor BARBARA GERLEMAN demonstrated from a southerners point of view how women supported the war effort while coping with many difficulties and limitations.

March 7 ~ Marin producer GEORGE THELEN showed his award winning film "San Agustin, California Shipwreck", documenting the November 1595 Spanish galleon shipwreck off of Point Reyes. 

2013 RHS/Moya First Friday Speakers

November 1 ~ THERE'S A TRAIN COMING TO TOWN. SMART Community Outreach Commissioner MATT STEVENS explained the history of SMART, and presented an update of construction, equipment, manufacturing progress, and planned operational scheduling. Yes, the SMART trains are now running.

October 4 ~ SAN ANSELMO NOW AND THEN. San Anselmo Historical commissioner JUDY COY took us on a virtual tour and shared the hidden histories behind some of San Anselmo’s landmarks. Copies of her new book SAN ANSELMO were available. Judy is still at the San Anselmo Historical Museum.

September 20 ~ Moya/RHS Director GARY SCALES provided an update on the effort to recount the Life of Jose Moya del Pino, including photos of many of Moya’s public paintings, murals, and paintings from his family’s private collections. Visit our Moya page for more about the artist.

June 7 ~ HERB ROWLAND talked about his great-great grandfather Ignacio Pacheco’s Mexican land grant Rancho San Jose, and the history of the surrounding Novato countryside. There was also a tasting of wine made from grapes grown on the same property.

May 3  ~ Marking the 150th anniversary of the MASSACHUSETTS 54th VOLUNTARY INFANTRY REGIMENT. Writer and life long student of the 54th NOAH GRIFFIN explained who they were and why they are important to present day history.

April 5 ~ KRISTIN TAGUE has been researching the disappearance of AMELIA EARHART for over 25 years, and presented an illustrated program describing historic information and new discoveries using archaeology, scientific research, oral history, archival research and other academic tools.

March 1 ~ Bartender and writer JEFF “The Barfly” BURKHART talked about his new book TWENTY YEARS BEHIND BARS, and demonstrated his bartending skills. You can still read his column today at

2012 RHS/Moya First Friday Speakers

November 2 ~ MODERN SAN RAFAEL: 1940 – 2000 begins where the Museum’s first volume, Early San Rafael, left off. With dramatic changes after WW II, the gentle hills with roaming cattle gave way to housing developments and shopping centers. Author and librarian JOCELYN MOSS, and book contributor BRUCE SCHWARZE researched photos from the Marin History Museum’s collection to make this lively history available to a modern audience. Copies of their new book MODERN SAN RAFAEL, 1940–2000 were available.

October 5 ~ The History of the MMWD: A Century of Service and Stewardship. MMWD Director & author JACK GIBSON and MMWD Park Ranger MATT CERKEL presented an illustrated talk on the history of the Marin Municipal Water District and its Mount Tamalpais Watershed. The MMWD is the oldest Municipal Water district in California, founded in 1912, and has managed the majority of Mount Tamalpais since 1917.

September 21 ~ Tamalpais Conservation Club President LARRY MINIJES and MMWD Chief Ranger BILL HOGAN presented an illustrated program on the efforts to protect and preserve Mt. Tamalpais and its watershed. Since 1912 the Tamalpais Conservation Club has served as the guardian of Mt. Tam. Generations of club  members who appreciate the mountain for its scenic beauty have helped protect Mt. Tam.

June 1 ~ MOVIES IN MARIN COUNTY. The ESSANAY FILM COMPANY arrived in San Rafael on May 31, 1911, and spent the next 7 months making westerns, comedies and dramas. This was their story told by Bay Area Silent Film Historian DAVID KIEHN.

May 4MARY CURRIE, Golden Gate Bridge Public Affairs Director, talked about the Golden Gate Bridge 75th Anniversary.

April 6 ~ JOHN MARTINI presented an illustrated program on the Civil War, Defending San Francisco. See a related talk by John here.

March 2 ~ LAUREL COLLINS, a Bay Area geomorphologist, presented an illustrated talk on the effects of natural processes and historical human interactions on Corte Madera Creek. See another talk on the Creek by Laura here.

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