History Corner October 2022


Residents of Cloverdale were hosts last Saturday to prominent State officials and members of many civic organizations of this county, when they staged a formal ceremony to dedicate the newly finished State highway to that city. Sebastopol was represented by Mayor Jewell, Secretary Robert Leopold of the Chamber of Commerce, J.P. McDonell, Joseph Valentine and Perry T. Allison. The first four mentioned participated in a double dedication ceremony.
Returning Saturday night, a light on a barricade across the highway at Lytton was mistaken for the tail light of another car. This barricade is on a sharp turn and in trying to make this turn the car was overturned against a tree, breaking the top and windshield and christening the new road with its first accident. Every member of the party suffered painful but no serious injuries.


Fire, bursting out in the kitchen of the Holy Ghost Society Hall at Mills Station, completely
destroyed the historic Sebastopol Portuguese hall. Fire first broke out in the ceiling around the chimney of the kitchen, and was extinguished by society members working on preparations for Sunday’s affair. While the women proceeded with their cooking, the blaze broke out again into a raging inferno in the attic and the structure was a blazing mass within a matter of a few minutes. Damage due to the total loss of the building and equipment was estimated at $12,500. Firefighters from the Santa Rosa Forestry Station and the Sebastopol Volunteer Fire Department responded but were unable to cope with the flames. The building included a large dance floor, dining room, kitchen, and stage. It was the largest meeting place in this area.
Construction of the new concrete building began in April 1949 by contractor Tammy Smith who also was the contractor for the original building.


Groundbreaking is set for a new firehouse on a one acre plot of land in downtown Freestone, part of the right of way of the old Sausalito to Occidental railroad, which was donated for the project. The history of the station goes back to 1952 when a system of fire prevention was clearly needed. Donations were taken and an old 1929 Chevy truck was purchased. An army Quonset hut, acquired in exchange for shingling someone’s house, was placed on the site of the present fire house to house the truck. Every three or four years upgrading took place. The present station is in an impressive, fading-red, barn-like structure that has proved inadequate for the department’s four fire trucks, an International pick-up equipped for brush fire fighting, a 1943 Ford tanker (parked on top of O’Farrell Hill where it is downhill in all directions), a 1954 GMC four wheel drive pumper and a new modern 1,000 gallon pumper truck.
The new station building will be designed in the style of 1880’s Freestone and will consist of an equipment room which will house all four trucks, and a function or recreation room to be used by people throughout the community.