Hello, I’m Natalie Snoyman, Supervising Librarian and Archivist in the Lucretia Little History Room. Let me ask you: Have you ever found yourself looking at a building downtown, wondering what it looked like in the past? What businesses were there before? Mapping Mill Valley History is a new, interactive project that invites you to tour familiar streets and buildings in the City and see how they’ve evolved over the years.
Mapping Mill Valley History is a collaboration between the Lucretia Little History Room and the Mill Valley Chamber of Commerce. Through this project, we’re educating users about Mill Valley’s commercial history and highlighting current businesses to forge connections between past and present. The project brings the City’s past to life while increasing accessibility to our holdings.
To date we’ve covered the O’Shaughnessy Building, Mill Valley French Laundry (which currently houses Revery Salon), City Hall, The Sweetwater music venue, and, most recently, the Mill Valley Lumber Yard where you are standing right now!
When I started my position in the History Room last May I was eager to showcase the archive’s vast collections in a fresh way. I, like many patrons who visit the History Room, also found myself wondering about Mill Valley’s architecture and commercial history. Each installment of the project tells the story of the building and its current and former inhabitants through unique material only available in the History Room, including photographs, correspondence, blueprints, and advertisements.
Here you can see what the Lumber Yard looked like in 1977 and compare it to its present-day appearance, but this is just one feature of Mapping Mill Valley History. If you visit our project—available via the History Room’s web page—you’ll learn about the history of the property and its vital connection to the City’s origins, the Lumber Yard’s former and current owners, and what the future holds for this Mill Valley institution. Be sure to visit the site to check out more photographs, advertisements, early plans, and correspondence that will enhance your understanding of the Lumber Yard’s colorful past!
One last thing: If you are curious about a particular building in Mill Valley and would like us to dig a little deeper, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You may just see it covered in the next installment of Mapping Mill Valley History!