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Vino In My Dino

History Lesson: The Family Home

January 26, 2018 17:05

History Lesson: The Family Home

I write my blog posts from my office which was also my bedroom when I grew up here at the winery. It is the family home to two generations. Thanks to my cousin Ken Walker I have a clipping from January 22, 1937 about our home. There weren’t too many catastrophes over the years-although I remember watching the hill next to our house give way after a rainstorm while at breakfast one morning-it only slid enough to form a crevice along the top third of the hill; I remember feeling the 1969 earthquake that damaged Santa Rosa as well as the 1989 earthquake when only John Pedroncelli and I were here as it shook both the office and cellar without doing any damage.

On January 22, 1937 this building took a direct hit. As you’ll see by the headlines it was a school bus full of children (including my two aunts) that saved it from burning down. My dad was 5 years old at the time, Uncle John was 12 and aunts Margaret and Marianne were 16 and 14 respectively. My grandmother Julia, as reported, was the only one home at the time and she didn’t know the house was on fire.

The children and bus driver got to work putting out the fire even before the fire department arrived! I remember Bill Black-he was the same bus driver I had when I was in kindergarten attending Geyserville Elementary School. I am so glad they all were able to help out and save our home and, later, office. It was originally built around 1904 and at 113 years old it is the oldest building on the property. It's still here through all those trials and happier times of family gatherings. Its' windows look over our Mother Clone vineyard like it has been all those years and will keep watch for more years to come.


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