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Stories from Gaye LeBaron

LeBaron: Historic wildfires' catastrophic lessons

We coastal Californians tend to disrespect our disasters.

LeBaron: Fountaingrove's vanishing winery

More than 130 years old, winery could have been historical landmark today — if anyone had cared.

LeBaron: Continuing Sonoma County's community theater tradition

The proposed Shakespeare in the Cannery is just the latest act in a long-running play.

LeBaron: If those old stone walls could talk

The story of St. Rose Church can’t be told without mention of the skilled stonemasons who accounted for many of the historic buildings in Santa Rosa and around Sonoma County.

LeBaron: Longtime guardians of our dead trees

Party at Petrified Forest will mark 100th anniversary of dedicated stewardship.

LeBaron: SRJC oaks just the latest to be mourned

Our oaks have been disappearing ever since settlers first laid eyes on them.

LeBaron: Europe cheesed off over our curds

Cheese is a relatively new player in our agricultural marketing game.

LeBaron: Fighting in Sebastopol, across the centuries

It's been about 10 days now since the bedside radio woke me with the news that the city of Sebastopol was an armed camp. Men with guns were in the streets.

LeBaron: When wine got its own library

If you were born in the 1960s, you probably don't remember when this wasn’t Wine Country.

LeBaron: Drought? We've been here before

Californians have never been realistic about weather.

LeBaron: Sonoma County's early attempts at a breakup

County has history of attempted division, mostly based on old Santa Rosa, Petaluma rivalry.

LeBaron: Looking at Sonoma County from the outside in

It was the poet Robert Burns who suggested that it is a great gift to be able to see ourselves as others see us. Sometimes I’m not so sure.

LeBaron: When Memorial Hospital changed health care in Sonoma County

New hospital was priority for postwar Santa Rosa and triumph for community activism.

LeBaron: The moment we learned JFK had been shot

Some of what we have become as a society and a nation began Nov. 22, 1963, in Dallas.

LeBaron: A bank robbery prank gone wrong

Longtime Santa Rosans are remembering the make-believe bank robbery that came close to becoming a disaster.

LeBaron: Gathering on courthouse steps in a different era

Recently rescinded ruling on protests recalls prior courthouse gatherings.

LeBaron: Santa Rosa's connection to the mob

In the 1940s, the mysterious death of a retired furniture dealer uncovered the victim's secret link to Al Capone.

LeBaron: Remembering Ruth Asawa's gift to Sonoma County history

Her sculpted panels transformed Old Courthouse Square fountain into a genuine work of art.

LeBaron: How Sonoma County's prized potato got its start

History comes in many forms — some of it, apparently, edible.

LeBARON: The story behind Bohemian Grove

The annual encampment is a fascinating part of our local history.

LeBARON: Gettysburg veterans rest at Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery

There are 166 Civil War veterans buried in Santa Rosa's Rural Cemetery.

LeBARON: Pot and a previous time of prohibition

Do you think the next generations will want to hear amusing stories about the pot farmers, if and when the marijuana laws are 'repealed?'

LeBARON: Bear sightings, and stories, abundant in local history

The bears were here first. And, despite the efforts of man, they have never really left.

LeBARON: If those Railroad Square cannery walls could talk

Shall we play 'Jeopardy?' The answer is: Nothing. The question is: What's happening to the historic cannery site on the tracks across from Railroad Square?

LeBARON: Hidden gem among Modini Ranch finds

The gifts of the Modini Ranch keep on giving — a rare, valuable painting was found at the former ranch turned nature preserve.

LeBARON: A blast from Santa Rosa's beer past

A couple of weeks back, a man stopped in at the Sonoma County Museum and left a package with a letter addressed to me.

LeBARON: The off-the-wall queries about Sonoma County tourism

At the several visitors centers in the county, staff and volunteers will tell you that sometimes it's hard to keep a straight face.

LeBARON: Saralee Kunde and the shifts of the Harvest Fair

Saralee Kunde knows as much about the Harvest Fair as anyone. She's been involved in all kinds of ways since it began.

LeBARON: Losing the art of the letter

It's not the discontinuance of Saturday mail, but the disappearance of the letter, that marks a significant change in American life, Gaye LeBaron writes.

LeBARON: Sonoma County political pioneer Helen Rudee turns 95

Helen Rudee is the 'poster person' for the beginnings of women's politics in Sonoma County.

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