Nice shout-out for the Sonoma County Library’s maps and digital collections: sonoma_county_map

Curious about the history of your parcel or maybe how downtown Healdsburg was laid out back in the day? The Sonoma County Library has a vast collection of historic maps including township maps, plat maps, Sanborn maps and historical atlases.

A complete set of Sanborn Insurance Company maps can be found at the library on microfilm. These maps were originally created to calculate fire insurance risks in a community. Lauded by historians and preservationists alike, they are a vital component in identifying what was located where in great detail. [read full story]


My uncle, Herb Pownall, helped transport several hundred head of cattle and horses to Germany as part of the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration’s post-war relief effort following the end of WWII. Herb  was recently interviewed by Wyoming Public Radio and his interview published as a Human Nature podcast. I loved hearing him tell this story in his own voice — particularly because I had never heard it before now. As a bonus, Human Nature has posted a great selection of photos Herb took during his adventure.

Herb Pownall wanted to see the world. So he boarded a ship bound for Europe…along with 800 cows.


Herb Pownall at his home. Credit Ali Grossman

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  • Sebastopol Walks Again — Little Free Libraries Walk, March 25, 2017 March 11, 2017
    Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to noon Meet at the downtown plaza 4.5 Miles – Moderate to brisk pace, with a rest stop half-way Take a walk that goes over a few hills as it connects Sebastopol’s eight Little Free Libraries along a delightfully varied route. We will stop and browse at each Library where, if you “take a book,” […]
  • Sebastopol Walks Again! — Sebastopol Walks its Lost Lanes and Alleyways February 14, 2017
    After a year-long break Sebastopol Walks is again leading monthly walks beginning with its first walk on Saturday, February 25th from 9:00 a.m. to noon. Lost Lanes and Alleyways is an 5 mile moderately-paced meander exploring the little-known alleys tucked in behind buildings, seldom-noticed walkways, and narrow street in out-of-the-way places. Meet in the d […]

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