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December 8, 2023

Flashbacks from Healdsburg

Curated news from back issues of The Healdsburg Tribune

This column is provided by the Healdsburg Museum

100 years ago: Nov. 1, 1923

Grape Shipping Season Sets Record

A banner year for grape shipments and one of the best tomato seasons ever experienced, is the season’s record for the Healdsburg section on important autumn crops.

Approximately 7000 tons of grapes were shipped out of the district embraced by the Healdsburg, Lytton and Simi stations. These figures are reached through the shipping records of the Northwestern Pacific depot, which show that up to today 536 refrigerator cars were moved eastward from these points. The minimum load is 26,000 pounds. 

According to a local man connected with the grape industry, growers netted about $60 a ton for grapes. Many vineyardists received less than that and many received more; the figures are based on an estimated average covering all varieties in 1923. At this figure, and not including grapes hauled out of here by truck or shipped in open carriers, the crop of 1923 was valued at around $420,000.

75 years ago: Nov. 5, 1948

County Armistice Day Fete

The biggest day Healdsburg has seen in many a year was promised this Armistice Day, Thursday, November 11, by members of the Sotoyome Post of American Legion who will act as hosts to a county-wide observance of the day when America honors its war dead and the theme “World Unity” in this city. 

PARADE American Legion, Sotoyome Post 111 float depicting an eagle follows a Jeep for the Veterans Day Parade, date uncertain.

Scores of marching units will invade the city; bands, speeches, fun and entertainment will prevail from 10 a.m. in the morning when the parade will begin, to late at night with a dance at the American Legion Auditorium. At eleven o’clock in the morning a siren will sound, the parade will stop for a moment and the bells in the tower of St. John’s church will toll eleven times. This will be a moment of silence in honor of the brave men and women who have fallen doing service to their country. 

Another siren will signal for the parade to begin again. Trap and skeet shooters will have a field day as the Rod and Gun Club opens its ranges to an all-day shoot. Hams, bacon, turkeys and chickens will be awarded to trap shooters and the popular “running deer target” will be set up. In the afternoon four football teams will play a “double-header” program at Beeson Field.

50 years ago: Nov. 1, 1973

The Big Haul

Construction work at the Warm Springs Dam-Lake Sonoma project includes the largest earth moving project the area has ever seen. What is unique about the big earth move is not that the top of a hill will be taken off for dam embankments. It’s getting the earth to the dam. 

LAKE SONOMA Aerial View of Rockpile Road Bridge over Lake Sonoma, circa 1980.

The US Army Corps of Engineers decided to use a conveyor system. A series of conveyor belts can drop 4,000 tons an hour from the top of the 1,000-foot-high hill to the waiting scrappers 640 feet below. The project keeps a small fleet of scrappers busy hauling the earth to the embankment on the valley floor and an even larger number of bulldozers on top of the hill pushing the dirt onto the conveyor. 

As an environmental benefit the conveyor system operates virtually dust free since the earth is moist and doesn’t have time to dry out.

The Healdsburg Museum and Historical Society is located at 221 Matheson St. Hours are 11am to 4pm, Wednesday through Sunday. Admission is free; donations accepted.


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