History Corner April 2022

april 1922

The new Grocerteria on Main Street is to be called Sebastopol Groceteria and will be the first venture of this nature to open here. It will be conducted as a Cash and Carry, self service grocery. 

There is more to this, by June 1922 Stillings purchased the Crawford Grocery and closed the Sebastopol Groceteria and moved its stock to the new location.  In April 1927 Al Stillings announced that the Stillings Grocery Company would close after 17 years, and shortly thereafter the Metcalf Hardware Co. took over the space.

april 1947

Forestville and Oak Grove schools held an exhibit of articles collected and studied in connection with the Laura Griffith Huffine Nature Contest.  The contest is in honor of the late Laura Griffith Huffine and is sponsored by the Graton Community Club.  Mrs. Huffine was a teacher of Astronomy, geology and botany.  She died in 1941 at the age of 82.  For this contest 16 of the original 21 entrants turned in notebooks.  Each contestant to qualify, must take a test of 25 questions, make a notebook on his chosen subject and prepare an exhibit to be shown in the Graton Community Hall.  Seventh and eighth grade students from Oak Grove, Pacific Academy, Green Valley, Forestville and Vine Hill schools are all eligible to compete.  There were four 100% and five 99% test scores turned in.  Winners this year are: Merton Tyrell, Bernard McChristian, Josephine Perry, Mary Lou Roberts, and Ron Crawford.

April 1972

All mining equipment and pumps were removed recently for the closing of the Mount Jackson, Great Eastern Quicksilver mine at Guerneville owned by Sonoma International.  Located on the Sweetwater Springs Rd., the mine is in the hills four miles from Guerneville.  Some of its history: for a period of 30 years it was one of the nation’s leading mercury producers; and at time operated with as many as 60 men on the payroll.  One of the problems has been the increase in labor costs which have skyrocketed from $2 per hour to $5 per hour, and quicksilver prices are now $263 for a 76-pound flask as compared with a price of $410 a year ago.

Mercury was first produced when A.J. Lane filed a claim in January 1875 and it was later incorporated as the Mount Jackson Mine.  In Lane’s first year the mine produced 438 flasks.  In 1880, Lane deeded Mount Jackson to a group of men, who produced an average of 103 flasks per month.

The third and last period started in 1940 when Sonoma Quicksilver Mines Inc. was formed and in 1947 the mine was purchased by the Great Eastern Mining Co., and at that time, 450 acres of property was included in the deal.  For a long period of time, the mine made good contributions to the economy of the Russian River area, except for 1962 to 1964 when low mercury prices created an unprofitable operating situation.