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Category Archives: Past Events

Up From the Ashes: A Historical Panel Discussion

arm-in-slingSanta Rosa’s fires left large portions of the city devastated, with enormous challenges ahead. But if you ask local historians, we’ve been here before. A partnership between KQED, the Historical Society of Santa Rosa, and KSRO held a discussion about fires, earthquakes and floods in Sonoma County and Santa Rosa’s history, and the many ways the community came together then – and how we can recuperate now.

The event was held on November 14, 2017 at the Roxy Stadium 14. Panelists included: Gaye LeBaron, Press Democrat; John Schubert, Historian; and Pat Kerrigan, of KSRO. Moderation by: Gabe Meline of KQED.

All ticket proceeds — 100% of gross ticket sales — and additional donations collected at the event – were donated directly to the Redwood Credit Union Fire Recovery Fund and Redwood Empire Food Bank.


Eighth Night at the Museum: Equine Epochs: History of Sonoma County Horses

On September 26, 2017 members enjoyed our Eighth Night at the History Museum of Sonoma county. Viewing of the exhibit, Equine Epochs, History of Sonoma County Horses, complemented our August 15 panel discussion on the topic. The exhibit was enjoyed by all who attended.



Fourth Annual Great Santa Rosa History Hunt

On September 9, 2017 the HSSR held the Fourth Annual Great Santa Rosa History Hunt – the most attended yet. Held on McDonald Avenue, participants – members and guests – were provided a set of clues regarding the residences on the Avenue.

mcdonal-aveSleuthing ensued resulting in a 3-way tie for first and second places, with 13 and 12 correct answers. Pedestrian safety was greatly aided by community volunteers with the Santa Rosa Police Department. A fun and safe history hunt brought out residents of the Avenue to talk and discuss the neighborhood, event, and exhibited Santa Rosa’s strong community celebrating its history.


The HSSR would like to the thank the event  sponsor, Grohe Florists


History of the Horse in Sonoma County – Panel Discussion

On August 15, 2017 HSSR members and guests enjoyed a moderated panel discussion on the History of the Horse in Sonoma County.  Held at the Saturday Afternoon Club, attendance was over 100. Author Wanda Smith, local horse trainer Ted Draper, and owner of Cloverleaf Ranch Ginger DeGrange, told stories accompanied by a visual projection of me of the local Champions.


At the Movies: The Theater Experience of the ’50s & ’60s in Santa Rosa

On June 13, 2017 HSSR guests enjoyed a moderated panel focusing on the theater experience in Santa Rosa. Gaye LeBaron moderated the talk with Dan Tocchini and Hal Wright. Great stories were shared from the perspective of the theater operator, the movie goer, and theater employees. Guests enjoyed a hosted beverage reception before the talk and Q & A session that followed.

Day of Discovery

The Sonoma County Genealogy Library hosted a Day of Discovery at the De Turk Round Barn where the public was invited to discover the hidden treasures in many Sonoma County historical archive collections.



Seventh Night at the Museum: Fighting the Great War at Home and Abroad

HSSR Members enjoyed a private viewing of the Sonoma County Museum exhibit:

Fighting the Great War at Home and Abroad

The exhibit showed how the war touched lives both at home and abroad.  Curator Eric Stanley spoke presenting the exhibit afterward members explored independently. The event included a hosted beverage reception.


Double Feature at the Roxy: Pollyanna and our Documentary Film

HSSR members enjoyed a double feature of Pollyanna, filmed on McDonald Avenue, and the HSSR’s documentary film at the Roxy Stadium 14.

pollyanna-flyer at rosy 4-11-17

Tales of Santa Rosa Police

HSSR hosted a moderated talk on February 28, 2017:  Tales of the Santa Rosa Police Department. The introduction was made by Don Silverek. The talk was moderated by Chris Smith featuring Rod “Smokey” Sverko and Gaye LeBaron. Guests enjoyed a hosted beverage reception before the talk and Q & A session that followed. Rod shared police tales from his 40 year career in the Department, many from the era of Melvin F. “Dutch” Flohr as Chief of Police.


The names of 4 SRPD officers filled the night’s stories: Lee Gleason, George Scinto, Karl Meister and Walt Gesek. Their long careers required three to pull the trigger just once, and the fourth, Geason, never did.   Knowledge or sight of the officer’s weapon would suffice.  LeBaron retold of one such situation. A suspect was fleeing over a fence, the officer shot off the gun as a warning and out of sheer shock and fear the suspect fell to the ground. The officer gasped, fearing he’d actually shot him.

Great stories of Santa Rosa past, told well.

Sixth Night at the Museum: The Beat Goes On: Peace, Love and Rock and Roll in the North Bay

Historical Society Members enjoyed a free private viewing of the History Museum of Sonoma County’s new exhibit with hosted beer, wine, water reception:
The Beat Goes On:
Peace, Love and Rock & Roll
in the North Bay
Eric Stanley, the Museum Curator, gave a short introduction after which members explored the exhibit.  The exhibit chronicled the history of the rock poster in our area.
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