Spring 2015 Botanical Art by Dr Linda Ann
Under the Gables
Volume XIX, Number 4
Linda Ann Vorobik
Exhibit at the Jack Mason Museum of West Marin History
March 7 - May 31, 2015
Jack Mason Museum of West Marin History
Inverness Way at Park Avenue, Inverness
Our new exhibit, opening on March 7, features the fine botanical
art of Dr. Linda Ann Vorobik, a well-known botanist and botanical artist.
Her work includes pen and ink drawings, watercolors and some handpainted silks of birds and flowers in the form of both wall hangings
and scarves. Copies will be for sale during the exhibit and a portion of
sales will benefit our museum. For details about Linda and her work
see her beautiful website: wwwVorobikBotanicalArt.com. There will be
an Open House on Sunday March 8 from 1 – 4 p.m. and also an Open
House on the last day of the exhibit, May 31, again from 1 – 4 p.m.
On Sunday, March 8, after the Open House Linda Vorobik will give
an illustrated lecture at the Dance Palace starting at 7 p.m. Linda
will explain what botanical illustration is, how it is done and share
stories of her work in the field. She will show beautiful photographs
of plants in their natural habitats as well as some of her art images.
Although serious information is provided, look forward to a lively
presentation style, as Linda loves the opportunity to have a good
laugh whenever possible. Donation requested at the door.
Dewey Livingston is working on an exhibit about Second Valley,
Inverness which will be up June through September, 2015. He would
welcome contributions, especially early photographs of the people and
houses of Second Valley. Material may be donated directly or loaned
briefly for the Museum to scan the images.
Meg Linden is working with Ginny Magan of the Tomales Regional
History Center to create an exhibit about the narrow-gauge railroad
which ran from Sausalito all the way up through Point Reyes Station
and then to Tomales and on to the redwoods in the Cazadero-Duncan
Mills area. The railroad first opened as far as Tomales in 1875. Part of
the exhibit will be at our Museum and part at the Tomales Regional
History Center October through December, 2015.
THE JACK MASON MUSEUM NEEDS VOLUNTEERS
FOR ARCHIVAL, ORGANIZATIONAL, OUTREACH,
AND COMPUTER RELATED TASKS. PLEASE CALL
DEWEY AT 669-7706, OR THE MUSEUM AT 669-1099.
“POINT REYES PENINSULA”
Copies signed by the authors, Carola DeRooy and
Dewey Livingston are available at Museum Open
Houses and from the Archives for only $20.00. The
proceeds benefit the Museum.
ON THE COVER:
Lilium columbianum, illustrated by our
featured exhibitor Linda Ann Vorobik.
Tom Branan, Chair
Barbara Mason McClellan
THE JACK MASON MUSEUM
OF WEST MARIN HISTORY
IS AN AFFILIATE OF THE
Under the Gables
is produced by
Meg Linden and
Drawing and Painting Wildflowers throughout the West
Illustrated talk at The Dance Palace Community Center, Sunday March 8 at 7:00 pm.
Linda Ann Vorobik weaves through her life as a
botanist and botanical artist, explains what botanical illustration is from a scientific perspective, how
this type of art is done, but also shares stories of
natural hybrids in the field, discusses the idea of
a “species,” and tells other biological stories—all
this coupled with beautiful photographs of plants
and their habitats, and of course, with a selection
of Linda’s art images. For those who love nature,
Linda’s knowledge and stories will provoke a different perspective of nature’s diversity. She will
explain how plant taxonomists parse observed
diversity into species, and how botanical illustrators go about their work. For the botanical artist,
Linda provides a broader picture of what the botanist’s work that ultimately leads to their need of
illustrations. Although much serious information
is provided, look forward to a lively presentation
style, as Linda loves the opportunity to have a
good laugh whenever possible.
Linda Ann Vorobik is a PhD botanist and botanical artist, and is affiliated with the University
and Jepson Herbaria, University of California, Berkeley, and at the Herbarium, Burke Museum,
University of Washington, Seattle. Linda is the principal illustrator for botanical publications including Flora North America Volume 25 (Grasses), The Jepson Manual: Vascular Plants of California,
The Jepson Desert Manual, A Flora of San Nicolas Island, and A Flora of Santa Cruz Island, but is also
know by California botanists as the Editor of Fremontia, Journal of the California Native Plant
Society, from 2000-2006.
Linda cherishes all three west coast states as home: she holds a PhD from the University of
Oregon, Eugene; conducts field research and teaches in the Siskiyou Mountains of southwestern
Oregon; is writing a book on the flora of the Sierra Nevada, California; and lives at her family
home on Lopez Island, Washington. She conducts research on the genus Arabis (rockcress, Mustard Family) and most recently is studying relationships between populations of Erysimum (wallflower, Mustard Family) that grow in California coastal dunes and coastal prairies, and include
the federally endangered Erysimum menziesii and the wallflower with cream-colored flowers that
grows at Point Reyes.
As well as executing precise and accurate botanical illustrations for books and journals, Linda
sells her color work as originals, prints, and cards, and teaches botany and botanical illustration
workshops. She also creates hand-painted silk scarves and wall hangings. For more information,
by Meg Linden
ack Mason opens the one major article he wrote-
“Louis was president of the corporation,
delegating responsibility to his sons according to
their skills. Reno was general manager in charge
of what a future scribe would call “an astoundingly diverse inventory.” (Point Reyes Light, April
16, 1970). Ennio was treasurer and ran the lumber
yard. Oliver had the garage.
“Reno and Ennio were experienced storekeepers, having bought and operated their Uncle
Salvatore’s “mercantile company” on the opposite
corner [now the Western].
“Salvatore sold to Reno and partner Joe
Codoni in 1908 [or 1910]. Codoni got out and Ennio
came in. Sister Lydia (Mrs. Al Bianchi) was never
active in the store. See Ira B. Cross’ Financing an
about the 100-year-old Grandi Building (Point
Reyes Historian Spring 1983), thus:
“The Grandi Company sold everything
from hardware to shoelaces out of its big brick
building on A Street, Point Reyes Station. There
were hotel rooms and ballroom upstairs.
“The company was incorporated in 1915 by
rancher Louis Grandi and his four children Reno,
Ennio , Oliver and Lydia. With $250,000 in capital
stock, they put up their building that same year on
a square block purchased from George F. Farley.
(Book 158 of Deeds, page 315)
“Farley’s wooden hotel, which dated back to
the 1880s, was moved aside and later razed.
Empire vol. IV, S.J. Clarke,
“In keeping with the
firm’s importance, the railroad laid down a spur track
to the warehouse down
which it shunted freight
cars of lumber, pipe and
“The hotel management
descended on Ennio’s young
wife Ethel, who remembers
to this day  (she lives
in Arizona) with what a sigh
of relief she turned it over
to Helen Dodge in or about
1916 (see page 402 et seq.).”
However, we now know
a few more things about the
beginnings of this store. The
Sausalito News March 28,
1914 had a story illustrating
the growth of Point Reyes
Station that included this
“In the past week the Pt.
Reyes Hotel, known as the
Rochfort property, opposite At top, the sketch by Petaluma architect Stewart H. Scott shows a more grand
the station at Pt. Reyes, was version of the future building (courtesy of Jan Langdon). Above, workers have
framed the upstairs windows. In the background right, the Grandis’ competitor, the
sold by Mr. Frank Farley to R. Point Reyes Emporium, can be seen.
L. Grandi and E. S. Grandi for
about $20,000. To show that
Grandi Bros. have faith in the future of Pt. Reyes
Some sources say the Grandi Company was
Station … they intend investing in improvements incorporated in 1914 and some say it was 1915
at once. They are having plans and specifications but it is certain that, although Louis was the chief
prepared for an up-to-date two story concrete incorporator and President, his sons were the ones
store building (100 x 100). They also intend to who took responsibility for the company and did
erect a building which when completed will be all the work. By 1910 Louis Grandi lived in Petaoccupied as a feed, wood, coal and lumber yard. luma and in 1914 he was already 64 years old. Reno
They have also ordered machinery for the latest was named Vice President, Secretary and General
model planing mill. Included in the plans is a nice Manager. Ennio was named Treasurer. Louis’ son
modern two-story hotel and cafe. These additional Oliver was 14 or 15 at the time of incorporation
improvements will cost in the neighborhood of and he was added later, when he came of age. Most
$20,000.” A sketch by Stewart H. Scott, a Petaluma sources say his daughter Lydia, who married Al
architectural designer, showed what the building Bianchi, was not involved in the Grandi Company
might look like. The details are not quite the same at all. Al and Lydia ran the family ranch, located
as the actual building that was built, including north of Point Reyes Station.
two entry doors on the side street façade. The lot
The Grandi Company bought the entire
already had several buildings on it in addition to square block, some 2.5 acres and, except for a
the local hotel.
(Continued on page 8)
A panorama of Point Reyes Windmill
Station, circa 1914: a small town poised for change
Water tank Site of soonNew spur track
Reyes Hotel Company yard livery
Future site of
now Highway 1
In one of those serendipitous occurrences we get to enjoy now and then, two 100-year-old photographs of
Point Reyes Station were recently reunited and have here been put together as originally intended.
Moulton collection; right, Jack Mason Museum of West Marin History.
of A and
On a graypanorama
the railroad water tank. Left image
In the photo at above right, we
high Northwestern Pacific Railroad water tower at the south end of town and took at least two pictures,
see the early configuration of
forming a panorama of the small town that was about to undergo many changes.
downtown buildings, left to right:
The Jack Mason Museum has long had a copy of a high view showing the rail yards. A similar
a two-story house, Burdell’s
view was found in a private collection many years ago, offered for copying, and then filed away. Last
little saloon, and the Point Reyes
month I was invited to help a fellow history buff organize a batch of copy negatives I had taken 25
Hotel. At right, a photo taken in
1915, the former saloon has been
years ago, and there was the “lost” view, although I didn’t know it at the time. I brought it back and
moved south and the two-story
realized that the view was similar to the one in the Mason collection; comparing the two, I realized
house (left) has been moved to
that they were taken on the same day by the same photographer.
behind the saloon; the old Point
Putting the two together formed a magnificent and historic panorama of Point Reyes Station at
Reyes Hotel awaits its move a few
the exact time it was about to grow. Within a year, the Grandi Building, the Point Reyes Cooperative
hundred feet south to make way
Creamery and the Foresters Building would be constructed, making the little railroad town into a
for the Grandi Building, as seen
in the left part of the panorama.
bigger and more important town in the West Marin region.
MOVING BUILDINGS AROUND
to build out of brick.
The completed building
(22,000 square feet) is
frequently described as
Mission Revival, but has
many elements reminiscent of the family’s
Italian-Swiss origins. The
store was considered
important enough that
the railroad built a spur
line onto the property at
the very beginning. Their
rival, Pietro Scilacci, who
had worked for Uncle
Salvatore until he went
into business for himself
in 1898, wanted a spur
as well but never was
granted one (see Under
the Gables, Spring 2014.).
The upstairs of the
Grandi Building was
occupied by the Hotel
Point Reyes and a ballroom used for community gatherings. (The
hotel and restaurant
operation will have a
more complete story in a
later issue.) A restaurant
was located downstairs,
At top, in 1915 the Grandi building rises next to the old hotel, which has been moved to
but the majority of floor
make way for the new mercantile and hotel. The finished Hotel Point Reyes, operated by
space was devoted to a
the Grandi Company, dominated the Point Reyes Station streetscape and has ever since.
wide range of merchandise from fine furnishings and elegant clothing
THE GRANDI BUILDING AT 100
Continued from page 5
to work boots and dungarees as well as all sorts of
small parcel sold to Pacific Telephone Company, hardware and items needed to run a ranch; they
continued to own it until the company was dis- even sold pianos and other musical instruments.
solved in 1973. The second two-story building on If the proprietors didn’t have it they could order it
the property was moved to the back of the prop- for you. The Grandis also built sheds for wagons
erty and the small building that served as the bar and for grain & feed, as well as a large water tower.
was later moved south to the far side of Highway They had horse and buggy rigs for rent for those
One. Eventually (after 1927) the old hotel building getting off the train who did not have their own
rig to meet them. When automobiles came along
Even though Uncle Salvatore’s brick store they had cars for hire as well.
The Sausalito News, June 10, 1916 has an inwas the only major local building to be destroyed
in the 1906 earthquake, Louis and his sons decided teresting note. The County Supervisors were con8
The Grandi store was
a busy place, as seen
in this rare interior
around 1920. Sarah
courtesy of the Point
will be fitted up with barbecue pits, benches and
all other necessary platforms, etc.”
During the Great Depression times were tough
in Point Reyes Station. The Grandis’ rival, Wilford
Scilacci, went into bankruptcy, but survived with
a much smaller operation. The Grandis managed
to stay afloat and rumor has it that Reno carried
many of the folks by not collecting what they owed
the Company. When World War II started business started to pick up because a large number of
military men were training nearby and the dairy
business increased to support the war effort.
An early ad in the Baywood Press (1949)
says the Grandi Company sold electrical and
refrigeration contracting, hardware and tools,
sporting goods, dairy supplies, Fuller paints and
oils, electrical appliances, Frigidaire – domestic
and commercial – water pumps and repairs,
household goods, shoes and leather boots, rubber
footwear and clothing, garden tools and supplies,
and plumbing supplies. Other ads the stressed
the various lines of work clothing they carried.
They even sold groceries and meat. In 1953 the
grocery business closed due to competition from
the Palace Food Market (across the street from
its present location) and Harold’s Market (where
Whale of a Deli is today). The hotel closed also in
1953. After that the old building was primarily a
hardware store, with Adelbert Von Rotz’s Build-
sidering an appeal to the county liquor ordinance
that prohibited dancing in the same building, or
within 50 feet of where alcohol is being served.
This was creating a hardship in Novato where a
ballroom was in the same building as the saloon
and also in Point Reyes Station where the Grandi
building ballroom was in the same building as the
hotel bar. The newspaper item did not indicate a
solution to this issue nor was their further mention of it that came through in my search of online
In 1920 the railroad through town, which up to
that point had been narrow gauge, was replaced with
standard gauge tracks as far as Point Reyes Station.
This led to a number of improvements including the
building a large warehouse to expedite handling of
freight to the Grandi Company property.
By 1925 the grain and feed business had been
turned over to Lewis Simas & Jones Company of
San Francisco and they delivered hay and feed in
train loads. Dante Muscio, famed for his 22-inch
long moustache, considered the longest in the
United States, was the manager.
An issue of the Sausalito News in June 1932
says, “At noon on Monday, July 4, we will have a
big barbecue on the property of the Grandi Company which has been used in years past by the
Petaluma Lodge of Elks for its annual oyster bust.
Through the efforts of R. L. Grandi these grounds
The Grandi Building in its last years of use, taken in 1977 by Bill Booras. The post office occupied the annex, Tony
Veronda’s Western store, Spur, nestled in one of the alcoves, and Building Supply Center filled the old mercantile space.
ing Supply Center leasing the place from 1970
until they moved across the street to their own
building in 1978.
On July 9, 1973, prominent Point Reyes ranchers Joe and Scotty Mendoza bought the building
and the entire block, as well as other property from
Hilda (Reno’s widow ) and Ethel (Ennio’s widow)
and several other individuals, as well as several
banks representing the estate of the youngest son
Oliver Ulysses. On July 17 they sold the Grandi
property to Kenneth C. Wilson of Ross. Mr. Wilson
developed elaborate plans to restore the structure
into a plush Victorian hotel with 24 guest rooms.
Plans also included a restaurant, shops, arcade,
a meeting room and a garden terrace. However,
none of those plans were accomplished.
In 1977 the County ruled that the building
could be used for offices and studios but no one
could live there. This was not rigidly enforced, and
the upstairs rooms were occupied by various artists and tradespeople. In 1982 the County Building
and Fire Departments shut down the building and
evicted the all the tenants. The Coastal Post of March
21, 1982, reporting the closure, quoted one of the
county officials as saying “The building must be
brought up to a minimum code standard for earthquake safety, fire and life safety before occupancy
can be reestablished.” He outlined some relatively
inexpensive measures that would make it habitable. However, commercial occupancy would take
much more money to meet the codes.
In 1983 the Mendozas, who had carried a
$140,000 mortgage for Wilson, filed a Notice of
Default. It stated that $116,669.62 in principal
and interest was past due. In 1987 Wilson tried
to sell the entire block for $776,000. Gerry Coles,
agent for the sale said that it would cost almost as
much to bring it all up to code as it would to tear
it down, about $500,000. Although at least two
people took serious interest and announced plans
for the building in the Point Reyes Light, there was
no sale and almost thirty years later the building
still stands there empty, provoking curious questions from the tourists and occasionally serious
questions by the County and/or by the citizens
of Point Reyes Station.
RENO LOUIS GRANDI (1889-1952)
by Meg Linden
Novato. In 1946 he ran for County
Reno Grandi, the eldest son of Luigi
Supervisor for the 5th District and
(Louis) Grandi (1850-1928) and Placida
came in second of four candidates.
Agnes Maria Grandi (1867-1947), was
At some point he gave up actively
born on February 4, 1889 on a ranch
running the Grandi Company, and
near Point Reyes Station. His uncle
became an assistant vice-president
Salvatore Grandi was the proprietor of
of Central Valley Bank of Novato.
the Grandi mercantile that occupied the
However, in newspaper mentions
corner that is now the Western Saloon.
of his civic activities he is always
He grew up in Petaluma. After high
referred to as “of Point Reyes.” He
school he took some courses at a busiwas stricken by a cerebral hemorness college and worked as a clerk for
rhage while at his bank desk on May
several establishments in Petaluma.
6, 1952 and died the next day.
Reno moved to Point Reyes Station Reno Grandi.
His obituary in the Baywood
and started to work at his uncle’s store.
gives these additional details
Salvatore had by this time transferred his primary
interest to wholesaling dairy and egg products in of his career:
“Few residents of Marin have attained the
San Francisco and Reno probably had charge of
the Point Reyes Station store. None of Salvatore’s wide friendship and esteem which Reno Grandi
children were interested in retail trade. In 1910, enjoyed, or gave so unstintingly to civic, welfare,
when he was 21, his uncle Salvatore retired and religious and educational activities. He was a
sold his store to Reno and a partner Joe Codoni. trustee of both the Black elementary school at
Joe did not stay with the firm and soon Reno’s Point Reyes and Tomales High School. He was
brother Ennio joined him in the partnership. He also chairman of the Marin probation commitwas appointed Postmaster for Point Reyes Station tee, a past president of the Marin Coast Chamber
of Commerce, Director of the Redwood Empire
in 1911 and served for at least eleven years.
In 1914 his father Louis incorporated the Association and vice president of the California
Grandi Company with two of his three sons Reno Chamber of Commerce.”
“Active in religious affairs, he was a commuand Ennio, and in 1915 built a new store. Reno
and senior warden of St. Columba’s church,
became the General Manager. There is very little
detail of the years he ran the Grandi Company. He Inverness. He was a member of Marin Lodge Comwas a Registrar for the Draft Board in 1917-18 and mandery Knights Templar number 20 Petaluma
did such a good job of it that he was commended and Islam Temple of the Shrine in San Francisco.
by the Marin County District Attorney for his work, He was a member of the Marin Farm Bureau.”
In addition he was active in the Shoreline
along with Dante Muscio and Peter Scilacci.
Association and was involved in variAlso in 1917 he married Hilda G. Ingersoll,
daughter of the keeper of the Point Bonita Light- ous committees to study public transportation
house, who was a school teacher at Tocoloma and in Marin and make recommendations. He was
later at the Black School in Point Reyes Station. elected president of the Marin County Taxpayers
They had three sons, the first two—Reno Louis, Jr. Association and a director of the Marin Safety
born in 1917 and Wayne Louis, born in 1927—both Council when both organizations were formed in
died very young. The third son, Leonard Noel, 1947. He belonged to many other charitable and
born in 1935, outlived both his parents. Reno was fraternal organizations as well. His wife Hilda
a Republican in the early years, but later he was died in 1975 at the age of 82, spending a lot of her
sometimes involved in Democratic Party politics. time in Point Reyes Station before finally moving
Reno and Hilda later lived in Nicasio and to Fairfax to be near their son, Leonard.
RETURN SERVICE REQUESTED
Permit No. 5
Jack Mason Museum of West Marin History
P. O. Box 94
Inverness, CA 94937
An affiliate of the Inverness Foundation
Linda Ann Vorobik
Exhibit at the Jack Mason Museum
of West Marin History
March 7 - May 31, 2015
Open Houses on Sunday,
March 8 and May 31, 2015 from 1 – 4 p.m
Illustrated talk at The Dance Palace
Community Center, Sunday March 8, 7:00 pm