Yesteryear is a word that has been used in a variety of ways. The Walking Tour Guides of our Historic Downtown District, who have adopted the personas of some of Petaluma’s prominent citizens from the late 19th or early 20th Century, have created a unique team of historical enthusiasts who are known as the Petalumans of Yesteryear. Through special presentations, Adult School history classes, and cemetery tours, they help preserve knowledge about our town’s past.
Several years ago, a website was created that included, in addition to a historical time line of Petaluma; a write-up about the contributions each of the Petalumans of Yesteryear made as our river town grew and developed over the years was created. Since then, some of the original Petalumans of Yesteryear have died or moved away. New volunteers have stepped up to the plate to replace them and to add new historic personalities. Over the past few weeks, a new website has been designed and is now available for the public:
PETALUMANS OF YESTERYEAR
Stay tuned as we continue to preserve and to share many of the interesting stories about the people and events that made Petaluma what it is today. Look for future “Lest We Forget” posts about prominent citizens, past and present, on this site and my blog “Our River Town” on Argus-Courier’s Petaluma360.
Pictured above, left to right, are: Linda & Steve Buffo (Mr. & Mrs. E.S. Lippett, Susan Coolidge (Clara McNear), Homer Johnstone (Capt. Thomas Baylis), Sherri Ortegren (Addie Adwater), Marshall West (Isaac Wickersham), Bill Hammerman (William Howard Pepper).
Just in case you missed the announcement about the Historic Downtown Walking Tour schedule for 2015, and the fact that several of the volunteer guides are members of “The Petalumans of Yesteryear,” I wanted to share the following information.
The Petalumans of Yesteryear evolved from the original group of volunteers who spent three months studying the history of Petaluma and its downtown area, using the Research Library of the Petaluma Historical Museum at 4th & B Streets. Gradually, several members of the group adopted the persona of an early Petaluma, who contributed to the development of our favorite river town in the late 1880s, with whom they identified. In my case, since I had been a professional educators for 40 years, I identified with William Howard Pepper, a local nursery and orchard owner who eventually founded the first Kindergarten in 1894. Although some of the original Petalumans of Yesteryear have died or moved away, they have been replaced and currently lead the free downtown walking tours on Saturday mornings, from the Museum’s front steps at 10:30 a.m., May to October.