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Forestville - The Good Life -December 2014


Forestville - The Good Life -December 2014

by Richard Naegle

Holiday Tree Lighting 11-30  

The best of small town magic. Sunday at 4pm. Now on our own land and in our own park!  Bring baked goodies to share, come sing with El Molino High School’s band and choir, bring books to donate to the free Bookmobile (and take couple of books home with you).

A heartfelt thank you to The Forestville Firefighters Association, which will be collecting toys for the Holidays starting now through Christmas. Donations will go to the Forestville Giving Tree Program, the Methodist Church, as well as the Toys for Tots program. Your new and unwrapped gifts may be dropped off at the Forestville Fire Station. (Recalled or used toys cannot be accepted.) The Firefighters are also again putting up the holiday lights/decoration along our main thoroughfare downtown. Thank you!

Conservation Contest Winners 

The Green Valley Creek Restoration Committee announces the winners of its contest of artistic input into the conservation effort: 1st Prize ($100), Dierdre McNamara, a 7th grader; 2nd prize ($50) Neil Scheier; 3rd Prize ($25), Elizabeth Lovera; with Honorable Mentions for Art Poulin and Brianna Lashley. From Brianna, a young local student:

Rolling waves that

Unite with the rocks in this

Swerving river, can easily

Sail to the ocean blue.

I love the trees that surround us,

And the rocks that you can skip across the river.

Not that I don’t like the stabbing

Rocks when you run on them,

It’s just that this

Very river has

Everyone gathering to one place, the

Russian River.

Whistle Stop  

Two railroads used to come into Forestville. The Petaluma and Santa Rosa Electric Railway (P&SR) brought vacationers from San Francisco to the Russian River from 1903-1919. At Forestville they would catch the Russell Stage, a chain-driven hard-rubber-tire vehicle, to Guerneville or to their summer homes in Forestville along the river. 

Up until 1914, the Northwestern Pacific Railroad (NWP) from Santa Rosa also stopped near Forestville while going to Guerneville, crossing over the River at Hacienda Bridge. The NWP train depot was located close to the Farm House Inn.  

The electric railway station was near what is now the American Wine building at the south end of First Street. To accommodate the tourist trade, the Electric Hotel, which was originally called Johnson Hotel and located where Carr’s Drive-In is today, was wholly moved across Main Street to Rail Road Avenue at the P&SR train station.  …In an 1876 Sonoma Democrat article, the blacksmith Charles Oliver said, “Mr. Foster at the Johnson Hotel bar on the hill was serving drinks to the thirsty for ten cents apiece or two for a quarter, so the more you bought, the more each drink would cost.”  “One would think that is how the town was given the nickname Swindle Rig or Swindle Ridge.” (From Forestville, by Penny Hutten and the Forestville Historical Society.) For more info, go to

The original depot building with its unique triangular shape platform is now used as a wood shed on a nearby property. Possible plans for the new Town Square envision a return to a railroad theme.

Our Schools  

The El Molino Music Department presents its annual Winter Concert in the Cafe Theater on Friday, December 12 (donations accepted). The Dance Program will also be presenting their Winter Showcase on December 4th-6th at 7:30pm in the Cafe Theater. Admission is $9.

The School thanks all those that made the recent El Molino Night successful! The “We Are El Molino” video, put together by the Digital Media Department and highlighting El Molino’s small school community with the offerings of large schools, is on the El Molino website. Those interested in learning more are invited to contact the school to schedule a campus tour, shadow a student, or to meet with the Principal.

El Molino has a wonderful community service program. For example, 11 students are volunteering with the Forestville Teen Clinic as Peer Educators…The El Molino Mountain Bike Team, currently the number one high school team in Sonoma County, is seeking more sponsors.  If interested, contact teacher/coach Miguel Crawford at 824-6534.

…The Forestville Education Foundation holds its annual holiday Craft Fair on Thursday, December 18th, from 4-7pm, at Forestville Elementary. Purchase tickets to enjoy craft activities for kids as well as popcorn, nachos, & cocoa. All proceeds benefit programs for children at Forestville Elementary and Academy.

Holiday Music  

The Forestville Methodist Church: Dec 13—Madrigal Dinner of Merriment and Festivities. Be entertained by the music, pageantry, dance and dining of 17th Century England as if you were among the gentry in a country manor. But in reality, you are in the Church enjoying a four-course meal with our hosts in full costume. 6:30 pm at the Church, Covey Rd, in downtown Forestville. Tickets: Adults: $25, Children (5-12 yrs): $15 Family (of 4): $65. Seating is limited! Tickets at 887-2020.

Christmas Cantata, Dec 21 during the 9:30 am service of the Methodist Church.  Hear the Christmas story in scripture and song, including the lively performance of The Joyful Noise Gospel Choir.

Leak Sprung  

A well driller accidentally broke a 48-inch County Water District water main beneath Vine Hill Ranch, spilling an estimated 610,000 gallons of water. So let’s keep saving water and hoping for more rain.


Enjoy the harvest. There is much to be grateful for.