Celebrate the Life of Louise Arner Boyd Sept 24

Celebrate the 130th birthday of Louise Arner Boyd with cake and a movie!

Join Save Marin’s History and the Elks Lodge for a movie short of San Rafael’s own Arctic Explorer, Louise Arner Boyd. Following this insightful film, we will listen to Durlynn Anema, Ph.D. share her research on Louise and then explore the haunts of the Elks Lodge, (fondly called Maple Lawn) second oldest house of San Rafael and the surrounding estate. Wear comfortable walking shoes 

Sunday Sept 24th at 10:00 AM sharp 

$10 per person

RSVP to savemarinshistory@gmail.com

Location: San Rafael Elks Lodge at Mission Ave at “C” Street, San Rafael. Look for the hidden driveway. 1312 Mission Ave.  Parking is in the rear of mansion, follow the one-way signs

Louise Arner Boyd, born in the late 19th century, grew up on San Rafael Hill in the home purchased by her grandmother. The home we call Maple Lawn. She avoided every expectation of a young woman of her day. Passing on marriage and raising a family she became an arctic explorer best known for her photography, land surveying, and scientific expeditions of Greenland.  Louise was a member of the National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in California. 

John Marsh House Free Event Oct. 15, 2016

Celebrate Heritage Day at the John Marsh Stone House!

Pioneer Dr. John Marsh built this stone house in the City of Brentwood in Eastern Contra Costa County.  When the house was completed in 1856, it was considered the “finest ranch home in California.”


On October 15, 2016 from 9 A.M. – 4 P.M. there will be a Free Community Event at 21789 Marsh Creek Road. 

  • Learn about Native American History, vaqueros, ancient archaeology and the Westward Movement.
  • Take a hike in the usually-closed park, hear music by the Brentwood Concert band and enjoy activities designed for kids.
  • Hot dogs, root beer floats, tri-tip sandwiches and Mexican food for purchase.

Have a Day of fun and help support the John Marsh Trust restore the Stone House and open the park.

For more information about the House see: http://johnmarshhouse.com/

And to learn more about the future Marsh Creek State Park see: http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=525



Members of the National Society of Colonial Dames in California and the Bay Area Historic House Museums visited Marsh Creek State Park and the John Marsh Stone House on Aug. 12. They enjoyed a talk by Trust President Gene Metz, followed by a box lunch in the front yard of the iconic, 160-year-old mansion. Afterwards, they participated in in another other local activity, picking fresh fruit at one of the nearby U-pick farms. If you’d like to arrange a visit like this, send an e-mail to marsh1856@yhoo.com, or call 925-679-5811.


Saving Casa de Estudillo, San Diego

Read about the history of Casa de Estudillo a long time project of the NSCDA-CA’s San Diego County Committee, in “Reconstructing a Landmark: How a Popular Book, Cultural Attitudes Transformed San Diego’s La Casa de Estudillo”  by Robert L. Pincus.

The article was posted on July 18, 2016 to KCETLink, formerly Community Television of Southern California, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Visiting Octagon House & Cow Hollow

Traveling to San Francisco?  Come check out our Cow Hollow’s neighborhood and its many enticements described by Adriana Jones in The Culture Trip’s, Top Ten Things to Do and See in Cow Hollow.  

And please visit the Octagon House. We are open on the Second Sunday of each month and on the Second and Fourth Thursday of each month -except January and on major holidays.


San Francisco History Days March 5 & 6

This weekend, March 5–6, 2016 the Old Mint becomes a pop-up museum of San Francisco history featuring more than 75 exhibitors. It will be open on Sat 11-5 and Sun 11-4.  Tours of the building begin at 12:30 PM, 1:30 PM, 2:30 PM, and 3:30 PM on both Saturday and Sunday.

Join community historians, archivists, genealogists, archaeologists, researchers, educators, reenactors and other history enthusiasts for a free Community Open House at this historic site.

This event is free, open to the public, and wheelchair accessible.

The Old Mint is located at Fifth and Mission Streets in downtown San Francisco. The address of the building is: 88 5th St, San Francisco CA 94103 The main entrance is on Fifth Street, and involves a steep staircase. The accessible entrance is on Mint Plaza, on the northwest side of the building.

For more information please see http://sfhistorydays.org/

Preserving Sulgrave Manor in the UK


Last Fall, George Washington’s ancestral home at Sulgrave Manor in Oxfordshire, had several farmhouses reroofed using the ancient craft of thatching.


Thatched roofs for cottages and farm buildings were the architectural norm in rural Britain for more than a thousand years.



We congratulate Sulgrave Manor’s successful restoration using this traditional and sustainable building material!


Sulgrave Manor is a superb example of a 16th century Manor House and Garden. It was built by Lawrence Washington, direct ancestor of George Washington, the first President of the United States of America. In 1914, Sulgrave Manor was presented by a body of British subscribers to the Peoples of Great Britian and the United States, in celebration of the Hundred Years of Peace between the two nations.

In 1924, the NSCDA raised $112,000 from 35,000 subscribers to endow the Manor and Grounds in perpetuity. The NSCDA and our members continue to support Sulgrave Manor through participation with the Friends of Sulgrave Manor.

For more information please visit Sulgrave Manor’s Website.

From SF Gate: Octagon House Video

Join Michael Callahan as he takes us on a journey back to January 11, 1960 …

Thank you SF Gate!

Closed Dec. 13: Due to Heavy Rain/High Winds

Dear Octagon House Visitors and Volunteers,

Sunday, December 13’s Open House a the Octagon House Museum is cancelled due to today’s storms. We look forward to seeing you at a future open house.


Gail Sollid, President


Welcoming Military Personnel and their Families

Starting this Memorial Day and through Labor Day, the Octagon House Museum is pleased to participate in Blue Star Museums.


What is Blue Star Museums?

Blue Star Museums is a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 2,000 museums across America to offer free admission to the nation’s active duty military personnel including National Guard and Reserve and their families from Memorial Day, May 25, through Labor Day, September 7, 2015.

In San Francisco – Blue Star Museums include:

– See more at: http://arts.gov/national/blue-star-museums#!CA

How many military personnel and/or family members are allowed in for free per visit?

The military ID holder plus up to five family members. The military ID holder can either be active duty service member or other dependent family member with the appropriate ID card. The active duty member does not have to be present for family members to use the program. – See more at: http://arts.gov/national/blue-star-museums/frequently-asked-questions


Book Signing & Talk on Hildreth Meiere: Rediscovered Woman Art Deco Muralist

ARION PRESS & GRABHORN INSTITUTE invite you to a book signing and illustrated talk by

Catherine Coleman Brawer

Hildreth Meière: Rediscovered Woman Art Deco Muralist

Hildreth Meière (1892-1961) is the unsung heroine of the Art Deco movement. A rare woman in the American architecture world of the 1920s onward, she designed the brilliant roundels at New York’s Radio City Music Hall and the mosaics at St. Bartholomew’s Church and Temple Emanu-El. Catherine Brawer accompanies dazzling color images with an account of Meière’s life, including the start of her career in San Francisco.  The author will sign copies of her book, The Art Deco Murals of Hildreth Meière.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015, 6:00 p.m. Refreshments from 5:00 p.m. THE ARION PRESS 1802 Hays Street, The Presidio, San Francisco, California 94129 Directions

West on Lake Street, north on 14th Avenue, to building with tall smokestack.

RSVP: 415-668-2548 or grabhorn@arionpress.com

Hildreth Meire, Nebraska State Capitol, Rotunda Dome

Nebraska Rotunda Dome. Photo by Hildreth Meière Dunn.

Supported by the Grabhorn Institute and National Endowment for the Arts.