Healdsburg Chronicles Reviews
Editor, Healdsburg Museum’s Russian River Recorder
Prune Packers pitcher, WW II pilot, Healdsburg principal, Healdsburg
Recreational Park’s “Clarence Ruonavaara Grandstands” honoree
Most cities have a rich heritage and great stories to tell about its past. Ted, by interviewing over 70 former and current Healdsburg residence, has produced a manuscript that speaks of the vibrancy and nostalgia that was, and is, Healdsburg today. His interviews are written like a personal diary that someone wrote about their experiences in Healdsburg. They are alive and give you the feeling this is a city that had much to offer to its citizens and visitors.
Besides the personal interviews, the colorful pictures tell a story that cannot always by captured through the written word. The past has truly come alive with the many pictures. What Ted has done so well is to introduce us to places, like the Palomar Bar, Dance and Roller Skating Hall and events like the waterskiing on the Russian River and told a great story through interviews and personal reflections of the people of Healdsburg. In Ted’s book, the past comes alive with interviews of Native American Pomo, Wappo, and Miwok Indians to locals like Zelma Ratchford who reflects on growing up on Fitch Mountain.
Ted writings captured in both the interviews and his own personal commentary provides a history of a town that has gone through many changes, but still reflects some of the old charm. This is must reading for anyone that wants to become acquainted with a city that is rich in heritage, and provides a local culture that is sustained even today.”
Healdsburg Chamber of Commerce’s
Economic Development Chairperson
Former Healdsburg Mayor, President of the Healdsburg
Museum & Historical Society, and the Healdsburg Rotary Club
The book explores the changes and development of the Dry Creek area from the 1800’s to present time with an emphasis on geography and architecture.
“A lot of people came forward and shared their stories with me,” Calvert said. “It was very labor intensive but it was a labor of love.”
Calvert began his passion for writing about his community after receiving honorable mention for an essay contest he entered through Outside Magazine. The essay talked of his love for nature and the many days he has spent hiking the hills of Fitch Mountain, swimming and kayaking the local rivers and biking the trails since his move to Healdsburg in 1980.
“My respect for our local agricultural lands, Fitch Mountain, the Russian River and its irreplaceable natural habitats, spurred me on to write of its value and the connectedness to our community,” Calvert said.
The book begins with a history of California Indian tribes; Pomo, Wappo, and Miwok that are native to the Healdsburg region. After a few visits to tribal councils, Calvert was invited to speak with ancestors of the native tribes and was approved to retell their stories.
“You realize that there are some things that you don’t want to forget in history,”
Calvert said, explaining that one of the more difficult tasks of writing the book was gaining access to some of the information. “There are some pretty mind blowing things that happened.”
Calvert goes on to investigate the establishment of Rancherias and later writes of the resorts that were built to attract and entertain city dwellers. Calvert spent many hours at the Healdsburg Museum & Historical Society searching through photos and jotting down notes that would lead him to his next story.
Decade by decade Calvert complies the stories of local residents who were part of the changes and development of Healdsburg. He describes how the town has retained its charm through the merge of community and nature.
After releasing the book to the public this fall, Calvert said, “he hopes Healdsburg Chronicles will help keep our local history and heritage alive.”
Calvert raised two boys in Healdsburg and was a member of the school board. He currently sits on the board for the Healdsburg Rotary Club and is a member of the Healdsburg Literary Guild.
A copy of Healdsburg Chronicles can be found at any of the local bookstores and includes a short DVD about Calvert’s journey and discoveries.
By Robin Hug for the Healdsburg Tribune
Publisher, Sonoma West Publishers
Publisher, The Healdsburg Tribune
Legacy of Fitch Mountain Reviews
“Ted Calvert has assembled a book that celebrates what is most worthy of our respect, reflection, and protection: the natural beauty of our own backyard, and the place we call home. It should be read not only by residents of Sonoma County but by anyone who admires the ever changing Northern California hills.”
—Dan Imhoff, author of Farming with the Wild, president
and cofounder of Watershed Media Publishing House
“Legacy of Fitch Mountain encircles this iconic peak from so many angles and voices, historic and ecological, personal and philosophical, that its forested slopes come to life. The mountain’s geology and presence parallel its essence as a place inspiring generations past and present.
“Ted Calvert’s serious reflections on this “Backyard Wilderness‟ will inspire both those living within the site of this mountain and visitors from near and far to find and develop their own sense of place with land close to home that can forever nourish mind, body and spirit.”
—Craig Anderson, Executive Director of LandPaths
(Land Partners Through Stewardship), Sonoma County, CA
“Layered with history and enhanced by poetry and vivid descriptive details, Ted Calvert’s aptly-titled book about Fitch Mountain conveys an excellent sense of place. The numerous photos are well chosen and stunningly reproduced. At once intimate and expansive in scope, the multiple storytellers in this volume provide a richly textured view of Healdsburg’s beloved local landmark.”
—Holly Hoods, Research Curator, Executive Director
Healdsburg Museum and Historical Society