Ken Taplin

Ken Taplin

Q: 2002 and were interviewing Ken Taplin. My name is Lorin Sorenson, and Ken, lets start from the beginning. Ken Taplin

A: I was born June 10, 1921 at the St. Helena Sanitarium.

Q: OK. Who were your parents?

A: My parents were Ethel Lewelling (sp?) Taplin and Albert John Taplin.

Q: All right, and do you know their birthdates?

A: No, not offhand. A.J.T. 2-4-89 E.L.T. 2-11-88

Q: You know the year of birth?

A: No.

Q: OK, not offhand. And, then you married Alice. What was Alices maiden name?

A: Gaylord.

Q: Alice Gaylord.

A: Yes.

Q: And what is her middle name?

A: Alice Elizabeth.

Q: Gaylord. And do you know her date of birth?

A: August 7, 1922.

Q: And were her parents from Napa Valley?

A: They came here when her father took over the principalship of the high school.

Q: St. Helena High School?

A: St. Helena High School.

Q: So her father was a principal of St. Helena High School.

A: Right.

Q: And his name was

A: William Luther Gaylord.

Q: All right, and so then Alice was born in

A: She was born in Berkley. Came here when she was three years old.

Q: OK. And, who are her brothers and sisters?

A: She had an older sister, Edith, and has a younger brother, Bill.

Q: And, what years did her father Alices father what years was he principal at St. Helena High School?

A: I cant tell you that. I can find out.

Q: What roughly would be the years, do you know? The twenties and thirties, or forties? 1924-33

A: Probably the mid-twenties to the early thirties.

Q: All right, and when did your the earliest members of your family are the Lewellings, is that right they pre-date the Taplins in Napa Valley?

A: No, the Taplins pre-date the Lewellings, as I found out.

Q: Oh, really. So, when did the Taplins come to the valley, then?

A: The Taplins arrived in California in 1849 and St. Helena in 1867. Oh, Im sorry, the Lewellings arrived in St. Helena earlier, but

Q: But youre not sure what year?

A: Yeah, the Lewellings arrived in 1864 in St. Helena. They arrived in California in 1854.

Q: All right, and the Taplins arrived in St. Helena in 1867?

A: The Taplins arrived in St. Helena in 1867.

Q: All right. And do you know who the original Lewelling was that led his family here?

A: John.

Q: John Lewelling? And where did he come from? I mean, before he came to Napa Valley, where was he?

A: He came from, San Lorenzo.

Q: Somewhere in the Bay area.

A: Yes.

Q: And before that, were they in Oregon?

A: Yes.

Q: And they came over the Oregon Trail then, or the California Trail in that case, the Oregon Trail.

A: They came from Milwaukee, Oregon, from, Salem, Iowa?

Q: Salem, Michigan, I mean, Salem, Oregon.

A: Well, there were Salems across the United States if you look at a map. These were Quaker meeting houses.

Q: Is this the Lewelling that was the horticulturist?

A: All three bothers were. Henderson, Seth & John

Q: They were in the Wilamett (sp?) alley in Oregon then.

A: Yes.

Q: OK. And so they came from over the Oregon Trail from Iowa and settled in Oregon and were in the nursery business and then, from there, I take it that he went to Mission San Jose the Bay area John did, and from there, to Hayward & San Lorenzo to the Napa Valley. Does that sound right?

A: At least one of them did, yes. John did & later Henderson built a home & called it Fruitvalle in Oakland.

Q: And that would probably be your relative, your ancestor.

A: John.

Q: Do you know what nationality the Lewellings were? What nationality that name is?

A: I believe theres some Welsh. Ive got all that information. Welsh & English.

Q: Youve got a copy of that. Let me just look at that. Let me read this and, according to this that youve just handed me, William Hunt Taplin was a pioneer dairy man of Napa County whose ranch was two miles south of St. Helena. He was born June 21, 1864, the son of John O. and Louisa B. her maiden name was Benjamin Hunt (Taplin.) His father came to California by ox team in 1849. His mother came to San Francisco in a sailing vessel around Cape Horn in 1850. They were residents of St. Helena from 1867 til their death. William Hunt Taplin, Jr. attended Napa County schools and then went into the dairying business. He was enterprising and progressive. He was a member of the St. Helena School Board in the 1920s. Now who is William Hunt Taplin to you?

A: He was a great-uncle. My grandfathers brother, one of the 3 Taplin Brothers

Q: OK. He played the flute in the St. Helena town band. He founded the Sring Valley Farm Center and his mother donated land for the Spring Valley Elementary School.

A: Can I interrupt?

Q: Sure, Ken, go ahead. Any time.

A: My understanding of that was that his mother donated that land, and I think I have a deed to show that, and that the land reverted back to the owners, which, I think, occurred when the Lynches owned it. Yes

Q: OK. Now is Spring Valley the Taplin Road area?

A: Yes.

Q: Thats Spring Valley which is out basically where Joseph (inaudible) Phelps is.

A: Yes. The little building as you turn from the silver ado (inaudible) Trail onto Taplin Road, down to the left is the old schoolhouse. Its been remodeled several times.

Q: Did you go to school there?

A: No. My father did.

Q: Oh, that was Spring Valley Elementary School.

A: Yeah.

Q: So William Hunt Taplin, your great-uncle, as you say, married according to this document he married Clara Ann Griffith, daughter of Calvin Chesterfield Griffith. He was a member of the Women of the World, the Grange, and the Native Sons. Now, do you know anything about the Griffith family?

A: Well, some.

Q: Can you tell us something about them?

A: Well, they were another old-time family here. Albert Griffith was in the real estate business in St. Helena; he was one of the sons. His sister Clara married William Hunt Taplin.

Q: OK. How about Mike Griffith, whos in town here. Is that a relative to them?

A: I dont believe so. No

Q: OK. All right. Then, in the history of Napa County, theres a story about the in this document you just gave me a story about the Taplin Brothers Creamery, and this was evidently run by two brothers, J.O. Taplin, Jr., and W.H. Taplin. Now who are they to you? D.O. Taplin joined his older brothers some time later

A: Thats William H., and John O. Taplin is my grandfather.

Q: J.O. Taplin is your grandfather. I believe you gave it to me, but what does J.O. stand for?

A: John Orange Taplin.

Q: Orange, as in the fruit. OK. It says here this Taplin Brothers Creamery was located on the Taplin Ranch, two and one-quarter miles from St. Helena, on Edgehill (sp?) Road to Napa. Now, is there an Edgehill Road there?

A: Well, that was a little confusing to me. I thought Edgehill Road, the only Edgehill. I knew about was on the west side of the valley that ran out to the Sulphur Creek from Highway 29.

Q: Which is where the Edgehill Winery now is being restored.

A: Yes, and that was yes.

Q: All right. And what relationship do you suppose this Edgehill Road has to ?

A: I dont know whether that was the previous name of the [Silverado?] Trail. It seems to indicate that.

Q: Its something lost to history not necessarily OK. So this was located on these roads, and it says here that it receives from 4,000- 6,000 pounds of milk, according to the season, but generally makes about 200 pounds of butter daily. The capacity of the churn is 375 gallons of cream. The separators and all other machinery is driven by steam power. The butter is shipped to Napa and St. Helena. This Creamery has a fine reputation for fine products and commands highest prices on the market. Now it says here that Mr. Taplin was a Vermonter yes J.O. Taplin Sr.

A: Yes.

Q: and he was born July 22, 1830. Now this is William Taplin?

A: No, thats John Orange.

Q: And John Orange was Williams brother.

A: John Orange was the father of William and John Orange, Jr.

Q: OK. Lets go back to now why did they call this Taplin Brothers Creamery? Who were the brothers?

A: The brothers were J.O. and W.H. & D.O. (Daniel Otis)

Q: OK. Then it says here that J.O. Jr. was a Vermonter, and so doesnt that make his son, your grandfather, William John O. H., born in S.F.

A: No, they were born I think in San Francisco.

Q: OK. Heres what it says. It says that J.O. Taplin, Sr. oh, heres a clue, J.O. Taplin, Jr., was a partner in the Taplin Brothers Creamery.

A: Thats right.

Q: His father here it is was J.O. Taplin, Sr., who was a Vermonter, born July 22, 1839. He came to California in 1849 and settled in Napa County in 1866. He died January 22,1877. Now this is J.O. Taplin, Sr., father of the brothers who had the creamery. He married Louisa Benjamin Hunt, January 10, 1861. She was born in Concord, Massachusetts in 1834. Their children were William H. Taplin, who youre descended from no, youre not descended from him?

A: Not from William H. from J.O.

Q: Youre from J.O. Im getting it confused here. The children of J.O. Taplin, Sr., was William H. Taplin, born in San Francisco, 1864; John O. Taplin, who youre descended from, born in San Francisco in 1865, and he again was what, your grandfather; Clara C. Taplin, whose married name was Mayfield, born in Napa County in 1868; and Daniel Otis Taplin, born in 1874, named from his mothers brother, D.O. Hunt. Now theres always been a prominent Hunt family is that your family? And the Hunts, for instance, Greg Hunt, and the insurance man, Hunt.

A: No. I dont think thats the connection?

Q: No, not? OK, whats the other Hunt family then?

A: Well, there was D.O. Hunt, for which Hunt Ave

Q: Hunt Ave in St. Helena was named for D.O. Hunt.

A: I think he built the building on the corner of Hunt and Main, that was Rigsbys (sp?) drugstore, I believe thats right.

Q: OK. Well, lets go back here then. Louisa Benjamin Hunt, who married

A: John Orange Taplin Sr. Her brother was D.O. Hunt.

Q: OK, now was he the prominent

A: Thats wrong

Q: OK, thats wrong.

A: My great-grandmother Louisa Benjamin was a sister of D.O. Hunt.

Q: And was D.O. Hunt the prominent Hunt that the street was names for?

A: Yes.

Q: And what occupation was he in?

A: Well, he did a lot of clearing of land apparently. I saw some reference to D.O. Hunts wood yard, where he sold wood and I dont know what else.

Q: OK. But he was prominent enough to have a street named after him. Was he a developer of lots maybe?

A: Probably it was his land.

Q: OK. Now, theres more about the Taplin Brothers Creamery and Dairy in Spring Valley. This ranch contains 275 acres at the time it was flourishing thats my notes 138 acres cultivated. There was 100 cows on the property and oh it says here that W.H. Taplin, a partner in the Creamery, married Clara Ann Griffith in 1887 at St. Helena. She was born in Santa Rosa. Her children were Clara Louise, born January 19, 1887, William H., born February 1, 1892, and Alice E., born March 12, 1897. Now which of those children, if any, were you related to? They were my 1st cousins

A: OK. Alice E., which I have as March 4 born March 4, 1894.

Q: They changed it to March 12 here.

A: Yeah.

Q: In this one.

A: OK.

Q: Alice E. is

A: is Dorothy Knachbauers mother.

Q: All right. Dorothy Knachbauers mother. Now are you related to any of these children?

A: Well, shes a second cousin. Dorothy & I are children of 1st cousins

Q: No, no, I mean by that, of the thats right, youre from J.O. Taplin and not W.H. OK, I understand that. So now, J.O. Taplin, who youre descended from, married Frances St. Ores, married May 15, 1888. She was born in Wisconsin. Their children were Albert John Taplin, born February 4, 1889, Laura M. Taplin, born November 8, 1896, and Mildred born on the Taplin Ranch. Now which of these lets see, J.O. Taplin

A: Albert John was my father.

Q: OK, your father was Albert John Taplin, born February 4, 1889, and I imagine, on the ranch, or where?

A: I imagine so.

Q: OK. Then, what business was your father in?

A: He was a farmer.

Q: Elsewhere, other than the Taplin Brother Dairy?

A: Yes. He settled on land that was given to my mother by her father, and thats on the west side of the valley.

Q: Is that where youre located now?

A: Approximately.

Q: Whats your address on ?

A: On Sulfur Springs? 1989, but the property that my mother had is on Lewelling Lane.

Q: And who lives on the property now?

A: Its rented (inaudible).

Q: But, is it still in your family?

A: Yes.

Q: Oh, it is.

A: Yes.

Q: Oh, that isnt the Lewelling property?

A: Well, it was all part of the original Lewelling property, yes.

Q: Well, lets start from the highway and at Zumwalt (sp?) Ford there on the corner, and I know that you developed and owned your familys own property out there Arrowhead Drive and whatnot, and was that an old family property?

A: Yes. My grandmother sold to Fred Beraldo (sp?) in I believe 1945 or 47, from Highway 29 back to an unnamed crossroad, with the exception of a ten acre parcel that my folks bought at the same time. And that adjoined Lewelling Lane, and they were on the opposite side of the line with their original twenty acres.

Q: OK. So, between your family, the Taplins, which is you, and the Lewellings, you literally owned from Highway 29, opposite Zumwalt Ford, all the land from the highway to the including land that the Ray Lewelling family, Vera Lewellings property, contains, which is clear into the foothills.

A: Yes.

Q: And how many acres was that, would you guess?

A: Its a 113-acre parcel. Theres a 74.83-acre parcel. Theres a (R. & V 20-acre parcel,) a 7.16-acre parcel & 32.42 acres

Q: OK. So on the one side of the valley by the Silverado Trail in Spring Valley, which is on Taplin Road, you had 300+ acres there, it says here on this paper. So that was the Taplins holdings, and then on the other side, you had Taplin and Lewelling holdings

A: No, no, no Taplin at that time.

Q: No Taplin. And what was the name, then, besides Lewelling on that property? Just Lewelling?

A: Just Lewelling.

Q: Oh that was all Lewelling property then?

A: Clear to the highway, yeah.

Q: OK. So that was all Lewelling. All right. Now can you show me another document here?

A: I just grabbed this one for

Q: This is going to be something to read here. Let me look at this. Heres some more. Now to continue, Mr. Taplin has just given me a clipping here from the St. Helena Star dated February 27, 1948, that starts about The last of the original Taplin farm boys of Napa Valley, and it says here that St. Helena lost another scion of a pioneer family this week when death took John O. Taplin and John O. Taplin was Ken Taplins grandfather Tuesday morning. He died at his home at 1337 Pine Street in St. Helena. He was born in San Francisco 82 years ago. Mr. Taplin had lived most of his life in this valley. With his brothers, he had operated a large dairy on Silver Road Trail, until his retirement in 1944 when he and his wife moved to the Pine Street house. Mrs. Taplin died in 1946, not long after the couple had celebrated their 57th wedding anniversary. He is survived by his children, Albert J. Taplin, Mrs. Oscar Anderson, and Mrs. Mildred Fleischer, all of St. Helena; a sister, Mrs. Clara Mayfield of Napa; and the following grandchildren: Kenneth L. Taplin who Im speaking to today of Davis at that time Donald K. Anderson, Alan A. Anderson, Joan Anderson, and Nancy Fleischer, all of St. Helena. Two brothers, William H. Taplin and Daniel Otis Taplin, have passed away. Well, this clipping here gives us a lot of clues here of some of the relatives. Now it mentions here Donald Anderson was that Anderson Brothers Garage here in St. H.?

A: Yes.

Q: OK. Now who ran the Anderson Brothers garage?

A: Oscar Anderson and Martin Anderson, brothers. Father of Donald, Alan & Joan

Q: Thats right. I knew Martin Anderson. He lived in Petilia? Father of Leroy (sp?) in the 1980s or so. Now he was what (inaudible)

A: Well, he was no relation to me. Oscar was my uncle by marriage.

Q: OK. So Oscar and Martin ran the lets just talk about that. What do you remember about Oscar and their service station in St. Helena, which was quite a prominent place to get gas and get your tires fixed, I understand?

A: Right. That was the first job I had, was at that service station 15 cents an hour, and my job was to pump up tires and fill radiators and sweep up, clean the restrooms, and that sort of thing.

Q: What year was that then?

A: That was 1935. I was just getting out of grammar school.

Q: All right.

A: And I went to work there.

Q: OK. And, I understand they ran a pretty tidy operation, didnt they?

A: Well, I think it was a pretty successful business

Q: But I mean, werent they pretty clean in their habits and operation?

A: (laughter) Yes.

Q: Or was it just a regular garage and service station?

A: Well, kind of, I think.

Q: I know some are run very neat and tidy, and some arent so neat and tidy.

A: Well, you see what they did, they re-treaded tires. They were one of the first to do that. They had some tire molds they were new at the time apparently the molds. They were called sectional molds, as I recall, and youd do the tire I think in three different cooks (sp?) instead of a complete round mold. That came later.

Q: So, did you work on that operation?

A: Well, no, I didnt work on it, but I was around there and so I saw what was going on. I was too young, yeah.

Q: Well, as we both know, for the uninformed, there was a time when especially during World War II, when you couldnt get tires they were rationed, and so what you did, or if you couldnt afford new tires, you took your set of tires in. They would grind off what was left of the tread, and they would cement on new rubber & then cure the new tread.

A: Retreads.

Q: And those were called retreads, or recaps.

A: Right.

Q: And, uh, so what youre saying is that they and that was sort of a dirty operation then. And they would have to first grind off that old tread and get clouds of rubber all over the place, and then they would have to go in and take a three-piece mold, you say, clamp it on the tire carcas with the did he have a lot of choices? No Before the mold was clamped to the carcas the old tread had been removed & new rubber cemented to the carcas, the mold was heated & provided the new tread as well as the bond between the carcas & new rubber.

A: He had rubber. Rubber came in cartons, as I recall, in rolls, and they would cement that rubber to the clean carcass (sp?) as you described, and then they would cook that.

Q: But would the customers say, Well I want a particular tread because I live up in the mountains, or, I want a highway tread, or did they have a choice?

A: Im not sure there may have been. I dont think there was a choice.

Q: OK. What do you suppose it would cost to re-cap a tire in those days?

A: Oh, I imagine twenty or thirty dollars.

Q: Now, lets see. So you started in 1935, OK. And, now, what kind of gas did they sell then?

A: Tidewater Associated

Q: Tidewater. Is that what it was? And, now 1935, can you name the automobile dealership in St. Helena, who they were, and what makes they sold?

A: Well, the Ford Garage, of course, was right across the street across Pope Street.

Q: Is that where

A: Where Stansberry (sp?) was yes.

Q: Where Sunshine is that where Sunshine Market is now? That was Al Michaels (sp?) Union Station

A: No, its where that new service was what is that service station? which replaced the Napa Valley Electric train depot.

Q: Oh, you mean on the corner of Pope and Main Street? No Across Main @ Pope

A: Yes.

Q: The fast gas-type service station there that keeps changing names?

A: Yes the market, Vintage Mkt, yes.

Q: OK. Thats where the Ford dealership

A: Thats where the Ford garage was, yes.

Q: And who had it in 1935?

A: I think it might have been Stansberry, but Im not sure.

Q: And what about the Chevy dealership?

A: The Chevy dealership was across Main Street from the Ford dealership, and that was Myers Chevrolet 1947, I believe. Beverly Myers Sterling Meadows Sterling 963-3588

Q: All right. Were was the Parriot Garage in business in those days?

A: The Parriot Garage might have been, in those days, on Adams Street.

Q: Yeah, where the SportyGo (sp?) clothing store is now, and was that a Pontiac dealership all the time the Parriots had it?

A: I believe so.

Q: And Parriot is spelled P-A-R-R-I-O-T-T, I believe. It was one T wasnt it? No 2 I think thats it. OK. Were there any other dealerships in town?

A: Any other dealerships?

Q: Automobile dealerships.

A: I dont believe so. Grants Garage had dealt in motorcycles, but it was prior to that time.

Q: Well, lets talk about Grants Garage for a moment. What do you remember about that place?

A: Well, the thing I remember about Grants Garage that you could drive in from Main Street and drive right straight through and come out on Railroad.

Q: It was that large of a in one building?

A: No, there were two or three buildings. in Tandem

Q: All right. So, you remember Philo Grant that ran that garage?

A: Yes.

Q: What do you remember about him?

A: I remember him as the father of the RV. He had one of the first. He bought a truck chassis and built a Grant Cairns his grandson can tell you about this and built a motor home which he and his wife traveled in

Q: What kind of a truck was it, do you know?

A: No I dont. I think Studebaker

Q: But they had a they had a house built basically on the back like you say, with an advance model of an RV.

A: RV.

Q: OK. What kind of work did they do there just mechanical work?

A: Mechanical work. Ed Bonhote worked there

Q: How do you spell his name?

A: Ed B-O-N-H-O-T-E. He later had the bicycle ship on Hunt and was very active in the Fire Dept.

Q: And he worked there? As a mechanic.

A: He worked there. He was fire chief part of that time when he worked there. Another mechanic was Joe Cheli (sp?), and I cant think of his first name.

Q: Do you remember, was there any colorful characters that hung around the garage there?

A: Yeah, Jinks. Wesley Jennings

Q: Oh the black?

A: Black he was

Q: Now what do you know about Jenks?

A: Well, Jenks was always the fix-it man around town did electrical work. Kept the street lights working. He was a handyman, well-liked.

Q: I understand he was quite respected in the community, and he was was he somewhat of a dapper-type person?

A: Well, I dont remember that, but

Q: How old a man do you think he was when you knew him?

A: When I knew him? Probably in his fifties or sixties

Q: And, do you remember, did he speak with the typical southern accent, or did he speak more or less Californian?

A: I dont remember that Californian, yeah, I think.

Q: And did he have any family that you remember?

A: Yes, he had a wife who did, I believe, housework maybe not housework, maybe she was more like a nurses aid and very much respected END OF TAPE 1, SIDE A

A: would go into homes and help elderly people, and I believe they had one daughter, and I dont know what became of her.

Q: OK, and do you know of any of that family still around?

A: No.

Q: OK. Did you call him Jenks, or was there some other

A: Jenks, yeah.

Q: because his last name was Jenks. Jennings

A: I dont think I ever called him that because I was too young, but

Q: All right. So, that was your first job, at Martin Anderson and Oscar Andersons service station in 1935.

A: Right. I would like to say one thing.

Q: Go ahead.

A: As I would be sweeping off early in the morning into the gutter there

Q: At the service station?

A: at the service station, Bob Mendavi (sp?) would come walking down from his home, which was out at the Krug (sp?) place, to work, in his Levis, to work in the Sunny St. Helena Winery, which was owned by his family there, and then hed go back and be walking home in the afternoon.

Q: Really.

A: And Martin and Oscar

Q: Would that have been during that period of time?

A: About 35, 38, somewhere in there.

Q: OK. I wasnt aware that I know they bought the Krug Winery about 1943, I believe was the date, so they must have been here before they made that purchase then.

A: Was it that late that they bought that winery? Yes 1943

Q: Dont know. Ill have to check that, but I believe it was 1943 when they that doesnt mean they werent here for other reasons already.

A: Yeah. I dont know whether they owned the Sunny St. Helena, or whether they just used that for storage, or what.

Q: That brings up the name Louis Louie Stralla (sp?). Now Stralla leased the Krug Winery, didnt he, in 1933, yes isnt that the story?

A: Could be. I dont know.

Q: OK. You dont know that much about that. OK. Well, Ken, lets go back now, and you told me already, but what year were you born in?

A: 1921.

Q: 1921. OK. So you got that job at the service station when you were fourteen. Now, what was it like growing up in St. Helena? I mean, as a youngster I guess you went to, what, the St. Helena Elementary School?

A: Yes.

Q: What can you recall about that? And some of the teachers, or

A: Well, the first my biggest recollection was of the old three-story stone building, which was the elementary school.

Q: And where was that located?

A: Right where the present school is.

Q: Right there. Literally on the same footprint of that school?

A: Possibly a little bit east of the

Q: So behind it, somewhat.

A: No, it was on Adams near Oak.

Q: Oh, towards the corner of

A: Oak Avenue.

Q: Oak Avenue, oh. More or less where they have primary they have kindergarten and whatnot in that area.

A: Well, it wasnt that close to the corner. (overlapping dialogue; inaudible) It was there was some space there.

Q: OK, somewhere between Oak Ave (inaudible) and the present school.

A: Yeah. Or it may be right where part of the present school is. I dont remember.

Q: OK.

A: A three-story stone, and it was condemned when I was in the third grade, I remember that.

Q: Sometime in the late twenties then.

A: Yeah.

Q: And I believe the new school was built something like 1928 or so does that sound right?

A: No, the new school was well, I graduated from the new school in 1935. So did Charlie Varozza.

Q: Oh, but how old was it then when you graduated?

A: Well, I went there in the sixth grade sixth, seven, eight it was only three years old.

Q: In 35, so it opened sometime around 32 then.

A: Yes.

Q: OK, we can check that. Do you remember some of the teachers you had there?

A: Oh yes.

Q: Name some of them, if you will.

A: Well, Miss Wells was one of my teacher, Mis Raymond, Miss Gersky (sp?). Not one of them was Wilma Mitchell, Catherine Miss Dowdell (sp?), Miss Hansen (later Mrs. Ray Lewelling) I didnt have them.

Q: But you they were there.

A: They were there. Vera Hanson Lewelling was there. Virginia Dufour (sp?).

Q: OK. Well, you mentioned Raymond. Does that have anything to do with Roy Raymond?

A: No.

Q: OK. And you mentioned, of course, Vera Lewelling, and thats Ray Lewellings wife.

A: Later she became

Q: Yeah later after that, yeah. OK. Do you remembersome of your classmates that came up through school besides Charlie Varozza (sp?)?

A: Harold Smith. Robert Gallion, Marshall Sears, Aldo Micheli Robert Thorsen, Marie Mati tzi (sp?) Bppbard Booth, George Rutherford, Betty Stockwell (later married Jorge Carbela) Harold Smith, Ardith Gree Alice Eymard, Paul Engli, Mott Zopfi, Edie Beroldo

Q: Harold Smith.

A: Nellie Salverstrin (sp?)

Q: Now are you talking about Snuffy Smith Harold, Jr. And who was the other Salvestrin?

A: Nellie Salvestrin.

Q: Nellie Salvestrin. Thats Suzannes mother I met her. No, thats Eds.

A: No, Eds sister.

Q: Ed Salvestrins mother, Im sorry. Thats right. She married Ed. Anyone else?

A: Well, there was Betty Stockwell (sp?). Her mother was a hairdresser in town. Lois Schneider (sp?).

Q: Lois Schneider?

A: Uh huh. Her father worked in one of the wineries. Louise Keller (sp?) not the other Keller.

Q: Not the Keller market people.

A: No, I dont believe so, no.

Q: How about Knachbauer? Any Knachbauers?

A: Knachbauer was ahead of me one year. Mott Zopfi was in my class.

Q: How do you spell that last name?

A: Z-O-P-F-I, I think Robert Gallion, Marshal Sears

Q: OK.

A: Rina Contini (sp?), one of the Merciers (sp?). Bobbie

Q: Merciers? They had the funeral home, & later White Sulphur Springs?

A: They had White Sulphur Springs and also a furniture store where the Galeron (sp?) Building is. They had the Galeron Building.

Q: All right.

A: A Greer. I cant think of his first name. Alton He was killed during the War.

Q: OK. Well, thats plenty to think about. Do you remember anything of great interest that happened when you were in elementary school? Earthquakes, fires, or murders?

A: Yes the fire at John Booths end of Sulphur Spgs. (now Garden) Main house burnt down due to penny under fuse

Q: Nothing like that OK. Yet, was it a good experience as a child?

A: Elementary school? Oh, it was a good experience, sure, it has to be. Thats where I met Al, so. (laughter)

Q: Did you? Oh, did you meet Alice there?

A: Yeah.

Q: In what grade?

A: Well, I became aware of her when I was I guess in the eighth grade, and she was in seventh grade, and she was Queen of the May Day.

Q: Oh.

A: So

Q: Yeah, well, she was a pretty girl I can imagine she would be yeah. Well, so, you got through that. Now your father, again, what did he do?

A: He ranched, farmed, mainly raised turkeys.

Q: Just ranched and farmed. Where did he live?

A: On Lewelling Lane.

Q: On Lewelling Lane. OK. Now, did you have a role in that farming operation?

A: Oh, yeah. I had to help on Saturdays, and

Q: Did you have a tractor you had to drive, or ?

A: Oh yeah. & a Model T Ford truck with hardrubber in back

Q: What kind of tractor was it, do you know?

A: Well, a two-ton that I still have. A Holt two-ton I still have. I also worked later as I was about to enter or I guess I was in college, or about to enter college, I worked over at Taplin Brothers with I think it was the first or second rubber-tired Ford Ferguson tractor that came into the valley that they bought to work over there.

Q: OK.

A: A notable experience in running that was that tractor had a brake on each side, a clutch and a brake on the left and a brake on the right, and as I would be plowing and coming towards the end fence, there was always the question of can I make the turn with my foot on the brake, is it going to make it or not, and if you took it off the brake and hit the clutch, then you were usually in the fence.

Q: (laughter) So did you go into the fence once in awhile?

A: I did, trying to plow up to the fence

Q: And your dad wasnt too happy about that.

A: No.

Q: Yeah. So what did you farm with horses at all? Taplin Bros. did

A: Yes but not me personally.

Q: You did. And what would you use the horses for?

A: That was at Taplin Brothers.

Q: Oh, now youre over at the Creamery.

A: Yeah. But the Creamerys long gone, its just

Q: I understand, but now did you also work at the Creamery?

A: No, I just did field work worked yes I did work over there, but

Q: As a hired hand.

A: Yes.

Q: Doing what?

A: Well, running the tractor, helping with the corn silage, hauling the corn in, and that was after the tractor came. Before that, I was just along with my dad as a kid, on the wagon with the horses.

Q: With the horses so, do you have strong memories of those days on the wagon with the horses, and all that?

A: One really stands out. We were coming up Silverado (sp?) Trail with a load of corn or hay or something, and a rattlesnake fell off of a bank & scared the horses and I can still show you approximately where it was it fell off of the bank and came down, and my dad took the team and the wagon up a few feet and just parked it, right in the middle of the road. In those days, there wasnt a car an hour, I guess. And he grabbed a pitchfork and he went back, and the snake challenged him, hed fallen at the face of the cliff and he came right out after him, and my dad made a jab with a three- tine pitchfork and caught the snake right behind the head with the center tine. A very lucky jab.

Q: Yeah. So he stabbed that snake with one stab, and you were pretty impressed with that.

A: I was pretty impressed

Q: Like hed done it every day, huh?

A: And he said, one chance in a million that he could have done that.

Q: Yeah. OK. Well, what kind of horses did you have out there?

A: I dont know. They were pretty big horses.

Q: Were horses in your childhood were they still a pretty important part of the ranch life?

A: Well, what was I then? Probably ten or twelve years old. Up until that point, the change to tractors and mechanical came right after that.

Q: Right after that, yeah. But you got in on the tail end of the horses.

A: Horses. I never got to drive horses or anything like that.

Q: OK. Yeah. So a lot of the output of the farm was to feed the cows, literally.

A: Well, they have a barn for it. In those years they were down to two horses but, before that, theyd had four to six horses in the barn.

Q: So, along came the tractor, and the wonderful thing about a tractor is you didnt have to feed the horses anymore.

A: Right.

Q: So, you parked the tractor, and youd let it sit as long as you want and go start it up and do it again, and where the horses had to be maintained year around.

A: Right.

Q: OK. Did you ever get involved in the vineyard business at all in those years growing up?

A: Yes I drove tractor for my uncle Lester Lewelling in his vineyard.

Q: You didnt. Now, in one of these articles, it said that you were at Davis at the time of the death of J.O. Taplin. Were you going to school in Davis?

A: Yeah.

Q: What were you studying in Davis?

A: Well, I started out

Q: University of California at Davis, of course.

A: Yes. I started out in poultry husbandry. I took a two- year course, and then the War came along, and then when I came back, I thought I wanted to go into ag engineering. Well, I did until I hit calculus, and that wiped me out. So then I thought, well maybe I could teach ag mechanics, and I took a few courses. Then I found out that most of the high schools thats where lots of the misfits ended up, was in the ag mechanics class, so I decided I didnt want that. I just graduated in general agriculture.

Q: Uh-hum. In what year?

A: 1949.

Q: OK. You mentioned the war came along, did you get caught up in that?

A: Yes.

Q: What, drafted, or

A: No, I enlisted in the Airforce, the Cadet program.

Q: OK, lets go back now. In 1941, you would have been about twenty.

A: Right.

Q: Where were you when you heard about Pearl Harbor?

A: It was a Sunday morning, and I was on the campus.

Q: At Davis.

A: At Davis.

Q: And, how did you hear about it?

A: I imagine we heard it over the radio.

Q: But you dont remember what your reaction was to it, or

A: Well, yeah, we were just we knew we were going to be called, and I remember walking across the quad thinking about it.

Q: And, you werent married at the time.

A: No.

Q: And so you had no exemptions. No children, no wife.

A: No, no.

Q: And so, and youre draft age, and so that became the topic of the campus.

A: Oh yeah. (laugh)

Q: OK, so and that of course was December 7, 1941, so then you did what you joined the Air Force?

A: I enlisted in the Air Force.

Q: In what year?

A: In the Cadet program.

Q: In what year?

A: 43.

Q: Roughly what month?

A: February of 43, I believe it was.

Q: February of 43, so, had you already gotten your draft notice?

A: I dont remember. Probably I was getting close. I was working I dont think I got any deferment for working at Taplin Brothers in the field. I dont think I got anything.

Q: So, now you enlist in the Air Force as a Cadet.

A: Yes.

Q: To learn what?

A: To fly.

Q: OK. Had you had any flying experience before?

A: No.

Q: Why did you pick that service?

A: Well, Id always been interested in flying. I always wanted to fly.

Q: OK. So, now you enlisted, and you went into training where?

A: Lets see, I first went to Fresno for basic and then I was transferred to Elensburg (sp?), Washington in a pre- cadet program. We took courses there in math and geography and these sorts of things, in preparation for going to Santa Anna in the Cadet program. And we also did have up to ten hours of flying. We were not allowed to solo, but we could do that.

Q: Yeah. Were you also studying officers training?

A: I guess so, I dont know. They kept telling you that you were the cream of the crop, so you washed out, and then you became the scum of the earth. (laughter)

Q: Well, did you get your wings?

A: No.

Q: Oh, you washed out?

A: I washed out.

Q: What did you do, come in too heavy?

A: They said I had hypertension. I was too nervous to fly. A Sorensen Ken Taplin 2/3

Q: Ill be darned. So, was that a blow to your ego?

A: Oh, sure was. As I said, they kept telling you, Youre the cream of the crop, you guys, and then when you wash out, youre the scum of the earth.

Q: (laughter)

A: And then I went to gunnery school. And when I got there, I said, well I dont know, do you want to hear this kind of thing?

Q: Sure, this we want to hear.

A: I got there, and I knew that my service record had big purple letters across it saying, Unfit for air crew training, so I went in and I said, What kind of training am I going to get here? Gunnery. Well, thats flying. Yes, thats flying. Well, I said, I think theres some mistake. My service record says unfit for air crew training, and he says, Whats your name? and I told him, and he reached down in the paper carton, and pretty quick, he says, Is this it, right here? and I said, Yeah, and he said, Oh, well fix that, and he tore the cover off, stapled a new cover on, and he says, Youre all set. So I

Q: So it didnt work.

A: No, I became an aerial gunner on a medium bomber, B26.

Q: A B26. All right. So now, where did you take training on that?

A: I took training at gunnery armor training was in Denver two fields, cant remember the names of them. Hickem & Lowery

Q: OK.

A: And then I went to transition training at Barksdale Field. Shreveport LA

Q: Barksdale?

A: Barksdale.

Q: And what states that?

A: Louisiana. Shreveport, Louisiana.

Q: OK.

A: Thats where our crew formed. We formed and then trained together as a crew.

Q: OK. So you were on a B26. What gun were you handling?

A: I had two fifty-calibers in the tail.

Q: So you were a tail gunner.

A: Tail gunner.

Q: And that was below the tail, or at the back end of the tail?

A: Right in the tail.

Q: Right in the it was a bubble in the tail?

A: Tail.

Q: And, so, in your training, you did in-flight training shooting at targets?

A: Targets.

Q: Towed targets?

A: Right. Were these the canvas type towed behind the plane? And, did you hit the target quite a bit, or miss it quite a bit?

Q: Well, apparently, enough to get by. I dont know one of the favorite tricks was to try, after you thought youd hit it a few times, just to move up to see if you could get the tow rope, because then it was all over for the day.

Q: Youd go home.

A: Yes.

Q: OK. So, that that was pretty chancy hittin that (break in tape)

Q: So do you remember, did you always have one crew that you went into active duty with? One crew?

A: Pretty much. They did change us around a little bit, but mainly I flew with the same there were six of us.

Q: And what was the average age of the crew, would you guess?

A: Lets see Sam Tate (sp?) was the radio gunner, and I think he was two years older than I was, and the rest of them were all younger. The pilots were nineteen.

Q: Twenty-two on down

A: Yeah.

Q: to probably eighteen, maybe.

A: Yeah.

Q: And the captain do you remember his name?

A: The pilot? Was, yeah, Bill White. 2nd Lt.

Q: OK. Does that have any significance that name?

A: That name? Well, we lost contact after the War. Seventeen years later I finally found him through the help of my son- in-law and the computer, and I called him, and a man answered the phone. I had this number, and I said, Did you ever fly a B26? And he said, Yeah, who the hell are you? So I told him, and we got together, just once, and we went to a reunion. I talked him into coming, and we said good-bye on a Sunday. 12 hours later he was dead. Heart attack.

Q: Did you have these reunions after the War with like you say?

A: I was late in making contact with the group, but I have attended probably seven, in the last eight or ten years.

Q: After training, did you go into some theatre of the war and see action?

A: Yeah.

Q: OK, where did you go?

A: We went first to England. We flew two missions out of England, picked up a few holes the first mission, none the second, and then we moved

Q: Excuse me. Lets go back, now. So if you flew into France, thats after the Normandy Invasion, so now youre into France, and youre flying missions out of where what city or airport?

A: It was Matching Green, England, was the name of the field.

Q: Oh, you were originally at Matching Green, but then you say you went into France and were flying out of there?

A: Yes.

Q: Where was that at?

A: Well, it was Roye-Ami (sp?) between Amiens (sp?) and whats the other one? Rheims

Q: What did you have, like a captured German airfield that you were flying out of?

A: Yeah.

Q: And you say you picked up some holes, meaning that you got some flack flying missions over where?

A: Over Germany.

Q: Over Germany. Industrial areas?

A: Mainly the B26s went after railroad marshalling yards bridges highway intersections, that sort of thing.

Q: And your job was to fend off attacking fighting planes.

A: Fighters.

Q: Now, what did you see in that kind of a situation.

A: On two missions, I saw fighters, but they didnt challenge us.

Q: So, you didnt have to unlock your guns, literally.

A: No.

Q: OK. So now youre flying out of France, and what year was that?

A: 44.

Q: 44. Well, the war was still going on pretty hot and heavy.

A: Yeah. Well, by the time we got there, it was starting to taper off a little I believe. We got into some brief, hot missions.

Q: Yeah, and as I understand it, all of the people in the bombers and probably the fighters, too, had to do at least fifty missions. Is that what you had to do before you could come home?

A: I think it was sixty or sixty-five on the mediums, because we didnt go as far. Heavies were still coming from England.

Q: Now, what would you call a heavy?

A: B17, B24.

Q: B29s werent out yet?

A: Uh-huh.

Q: OK. And so you went on light bombing runs what you might call shorter-range bombing runs?

A: Yeah. Medium.

Q: And your mission was to get over your target area, drop your bombs, and get out of there and get back. OK, so you got shot up a few times, but not enough that you had to parachute out anytime.

A: Never. No.

Q: OK. So, did you have any other missions where you lost an engine or had any crisis?

A: Well, we had the top turret gunner, who was the engineer gunner. He got flack in the back. Didnt break the skin, but came up through the ship & went right out the top.

Q: Came up through the floorboard, so to speak, and went out through the top, and then sort of swiped him as it went?

A: Yeah. I got a pretty loud bang right under me. Pulled up the extra flack suit that I used to line the compartment for more protection. Pulled off my gloves, and it was still hot. Thats the closest I came to being hit.

Q: Speaking to that, did you take parachute training then? Jump training?

A: Never jumped.

Q: Did they teach you how to jump off of a roof?

A: I dont think they figured it was worth teaching us. We had chest packs that we had to pick up and snap on. I couldnt wear it and fire the guns. So if wed ever gotten hit, there wouldve been a slight chance that I would have ever gotten the pack on and gotten out of that plane.

Q: And if you did go out from the tail gunners position, where would you go out?

A: The waist. It was just, oh, from here, that close. About six, seven feet in back of me. But I knew, in my position, and my chute was right here, but as I watched ships go down, I just couldnt believe that I could ever get that chute on.

Q: Now, when you say some that went down, were they some of your B26s?

A: Oh, yeah.

Q: Yeah. And did you sort of consider yourself lucky that you didnt

A: Extremely lucky. And as I go to these reunions, I learn a lot more than I knew at the time because I was flying backwards.

Q: Yeah. OK, so now, you were part of a squadron, I imagine.

A: Right.

Q: How many planes in a squadron?

A: Well, we put up 36 ships, frequently, and I think we went more than that, to 48. I was in one six-ship flight. There were three and three.

Q: Flying in formation?

A: In formation, yeah. And that was our advantage over the 17s, is that we were much more maneuverable. We could change direction every twenty seconds. Thats the time it took them to get a shell to us. And we could dive all six in formation and go right or left or up.

Q: Once you saw the bursts, you could see where they were and what altitude?

A: If you see the bursts, then you better start moving. Changing direction.

Q: So out of your 30 to 40 or so planes that were in your squadron at given times, what percentage loss do you suppose you had?

A: The B26s overall had less than two-and-a-half percent.

Q: Two-and-a-half. Was that a good plane?

A: Oh, terrific.

Q: What did a flay, a Pratt-Whitney engine, or

A: They were built by Ford. R2800s.

Q: But they were Pratt-Whitney engines, built by Ford.

A: I guess. They were [radials] . And a lots of the guys, I didnt know about this until I started going to these reunions, they said they promised themselves theyd never ever buy anything but a Ford.

Q: After that. Because of those Ford engines, yeah. I got you.

A: I was in one mission a guy wrote a book about. 45 minutes of continuous flack, which was supposedly the longest recorded in the war.

Q: 45 minutes of continuous flack, and they go through this some way?

A: We got through it and got back.

Q: Oh. In other words, you guys went through 45 minutes of continuous flack. END OF TAPE 1, SIDE B

Q: But in all that time, you only got hit on two missions?

A: No, I dont say we got hit on two missions. That mission, we picked up 50 holes, I remember that.

Q: Now of course, at this point, one reason that the Messerschmitts, the Germans, werent coming after you, is because they pretty well were running out of planes to get up in the air, and they were just shooting at you. And so thats one reason you didnt have to be as busy, maybe as a bombardier.

A: Well, we had escorts, too, quite a bit. 50s and

Q: 51s, P-51s?

A: P-51s, yeah.

Q: Yeah, OK. So then how many missions do you suppose you went to

A: I just went 36. And you had to have 36 to come home.

Q: OK. You went 36 missions, and you feel like you were getting flack the whole time?

A: No, not on every mission. Some of them were milk runs. Nothing.

Q: Yeah, all right. But you went on one that was you had 45 minutes of continuous flack and somehow got through that.

A: And I missed the mission which took down 16 ships and 101 men. I was scheduled for it on the bulletin board the night before, and for some reason, our crew was scratched. And I feel that was the luckiest day of my life.

Q: I guess. 16 planes out of how many?

A: I dont know how many. Probably 32 or 36

Q: Maybe half (inaudible), if of 30 planes, maybe half.

A: Yeah. Probably. Maybe more.

Q: Maybe half went down, with all their men. 100 and how many?

A: 101 men. 16 ships.

Q: 101. What rank in the Air Force now, this was the Army Air Corps at this time, wasnt it? Because it didnt become Air Force until later, after the war.

A: No, I think it was Air Force. I dont think

Q: Well, originally it was Army Air Corps.

A: Yeah, I know it was.

Q: But you may have been the Air Force?

A: I think I was in the Air Force. I dont know when that changed.

Q: Yeah. What rank were you?

A: Well, I started out, after I washed out of Cadet training, as a Private, and I came home as a Staff Sergeant.

Q: Staff Sergeant. OK. Well as staff sergeant, you must have had men under you then.

A: Not in the Air Force.

Q: OK. It was just a pay grade then.

A: It was just a pay grade, yeah.

Q: So, when you got out of the Air Force, then you went back to school and graduated from Davis in what?

A: In 49, in general agriculture.

Q: But now, in your occupation, arent you a civil engeineer?

A: Im not, no.

Q: Youre not.

A: That was always my interest, but, as I say, calculus doomed me.

Q: OK. So then, what did your occupation become? Your life occupation?

A: After graduated in 49, I went to work for a farm machinery manufacturing company in Manteca (sp?). They were making a walnut & almond harvester. Mr. Goodwin (sp?) was quite an inventor. Hed invented an almond huller, which was very popular. Sold a lot of those. Then he developed this harvester, and so I went to work with them, and I stayed there five years. Then I came back to St. Helena to work for Conrad Weil, who was the city engineer at that time.

Q: Lets go back to the huller manufacturer, what did you do there? Was it sales, or what?

A: I was purchasing agent, and I assembled all the materials to build these machines.

Q: OK, so you dealt with the sources for all these items they purchased to make them.

A: Did some design work, too.

Q: So then you went to work for the city engineer?

A: Yes, I worked for Conrad Weil, who was

Q: How do you spell his last name?

A: W-E-I-L.

Q: Conrad Weil, OK.

A: Junior. He was also an attorney an attorney and a civil engineer.

Q: He was? And what were your duties with him?

A: I was kind of the office manager. That was when the city that was in 54, I believe, when the City Hall was brand new. And after it was built, it looked kind of empty. There was just Marie Volper (sp?) was the City Clerk, and she had an assistant, and there were all these offices with nobody in them.

Q: You mean the present city hall? OK.

A: So the council decided theyd give Conrad Weil office space some arrangement I dont know what the arrangement was.

Q: Was he also city attorney?

A: No he wasnt. I dont think he paid anything I dont recall for that space, but thats where he had his office. He did private work as well as city work.

Q: OK. And so then you did what for him?

A: I was office manager. I did the payroll and did drafting mainly drafting.

Q: Office manager in the planning department, or?

A: No, no. It was just for him, which didnt mean a hill of beans, I mean, I wrote the payroll checks, but most of the time, I was doing drafting of maps and that sort of thing. I drew the plans for Bell Canyon Dam.

Q: OK. You were actually working for him and not the city.

A: Thats right.

Q: And so, he would do these engineering things for the city on the side, so to speak, on a contract basis, and you would help him carry them out.

A: Right. He had a total of 4 employees

Q: And, so then you were dealing with the city powers , the city fathers, at that time. Who was the mayor, for instance, in 1950?

A: Stralla (sp?) was the mayor at that time.

Q: Louie Stralla, and of course hes the father of Bell Canyon project

A: Right.

Q: on the City Council, so you got involved in, what, the land acquisition?

A: No, I got involved in drawing the plans for the dam.

Q: Drawing the plans, OK. Did you draw in that big leak that it had for years?

A: (laughter) I knew that leak was there. That was a concern at the time.

Q: Looking back, that was good for the city that they got such a good water system.

A: It sure was.

Q: And a lot of people were, I think, against it at the time a big expense but it was the best place they could have put it, I guess.

A: Right.

Q: And that was put on the old Rossini property, which gets us back to Charlie Varozza (sp?) family in talking about that, So now, its 1954, and now somewhere along in that era, you sort of became a developer of sorts.

A: Well, I think I worked for Conrad Weil for probably five years. Stu Rhodes came to work for him too. And then, so.

Q: Now Stu Rhoades was who, and what did he do?

A: He became a councilman later. He was a civil engineer Stanford graduate. He had thought of going to work for a stock brokerage firm, and somebody in San Francisco knew Conrad Weil and suggested that he come talk to him about engineering work, which he did.

Q: And his name is spelled S-T-U-A-R-T R-H-O-D-E-S. OK.

A: There may be an NO A in there.

Q: Yeah. OK.

A: I forget. (laughing)

Q: Yeah. Ive seen it. So

A: So then we broke off from Conrad and formed a partnership.

Q: You and Stuart Rhodes?

A: Yes.

Q: OK. And what kind of partnership?

A: just a business partnership.

Q: Business partnership.

A: And we did Indian Valley Subdivision on Arrowhead Dr. We did that development on Sulphur Springs Ave. We did some on the coast between Albion (sp?) and Little River. We developed some property there.

Q: OK. Now, what you would do in those days now in the case of Indian Valley, that was not family property at that time.

A: Well, we bought it it had been sold to Fred Beraldo (sp?) by my grandmother & we bought it from Beraldo.

Q: Meaning you and Alice?

A: No. Well, all three of us Stuart Rhoades and I and Alice yeah.

Q: All right. Oh, OK. So you, as the new business partnership, bought some land on Sulfur Springs Avenue and developed some now how about the lots, for instance, that Laurie Woods house is on, and the Knachbouers?

A: Yeah. That was property that was sold by my uncle, Raymond Lewelling its just a strip along Sulphur Springs.

Q: Those lots. So, when you put in Arrowhead, that was your new partnerships venture.

A: Right.

Q: OK, and how many lots did you put in there, would you guess?

A: [Nineteen?] Yes. (inaudible)

Q: OK, thats right. And then so you did the same thing. You bought some land up around Albion, up on the Mendocino coast and put in some, what, a small subdivision?

A: We divided it and we built a house on it and sold the house.

Q: OK. Now didnt you put in, also, or have something to do with the Fawn Park area, and what was that all about?

A: Well, we formed, I guess, we had a partnership with Ray Bentley (sp?), Glenn Buller

Q: Glenn Buller (sp?).

A: Glenn Buller and Rhoades and I oh, Dr. Baldwin.

Q: Dr. Baldwin, the dentist.

A: Yes.

Q: All right.

A: Five of us, I guess.

Q: Meade Baldwin (sp?)

A: Mead Baldwin.

Q: And hes still around I see him at the post office. And so

A: And then we developed some lots up there.

Q: OK. And did you name the streets?

A: Yes.

Q: Who was involved in naming the streets?

A: Well, Alice and I and Stu, I think.

Q: OK. And, can you name any other properties you developed around the valley? That was about it. What year did you marry Alice?

A: I married her when I was 23 she came down to see me at Barksdale Field, and we got married.

Q: During the war.

A: Yeah.

Q: Yeah, yeah.

A: Crazy, but it worked.

Q: Yeah, and then you had Ive asked you so many names, but I dont think you told me the names of your children and their birthdates.

A: Well, Melinda was born May 15, 1949. Just before I graduated from U.C. Davis.

Q: Melinda Taplin.

A: Yes just before I graduated. 5-15-49

Q: And whats her middle name?

A: None.

Q: No middle name OK, Melinda Taplin. And then who else?

A: Stephen Hunt.

Q: Hunt Taplin. OK. And born 1951

A: 51, I believe.

Q: OK. 1951.

A: And then Bill was born in 1956, I think.

Q: OK. And are they, hopefully, happily married and occupied these days? Anything you want to tell us?

A: Well, Melinda obtained a teaching credential. She works for EPA in a teaching capacity around the different regions. There are fourteen regions, and she works to coordinate paperwork between regions. Stephen became a doctor, Masters in Public Health. Hes in Seattle. Seems to be in demand to give talks on his research on breast cancer mamography. Hes going to Japan next month. Bill is a civil engineer works for Montgomery Engineers a big engineering firm. They have 200 engineers in the Walnut Creek office where he is. And hes been to Hong Kong working on water systems and

Q: Well, obviously, the children are not an embarrassment to the parents.

A: No.

Q: It sounds like a wonderful group of children to be proud of.

A: I picked the right girl.

Q: Boy, you sure did. Alice what a sweetheart. Well, did Alice I know Alice, but I dont remember what she did.

A: Well, she went to Davis. She graduated from Cal because they closed the Davis campus during the war. They opened a Signal Corps training school there.

Q: During the war?

A: Yes. She taught nursery school in Mantica when we lived there.

Q: You say nursery school?

A: Nursery school.

Q: As in children?

A: Small children, yeah. She was interested in that.

Q: OK.

A: And other than that, when we came back here, she eventually went to work for Red Cross as Bill got into school and she had some time, she worked for Red Cross as Executive Director, I think they called it at that time.

Q: OK. Well, lets go back to lets talk about the Lewellings now. Vera Lewelling you say was the elementary school teacher. Is that what she did that was her teaching area was elementary school? And she never went to high school teaching? What was her maiden name?

A: Hansen. Vera Hansen.

Q: Sen or son?

A: Sen, I believe, and her father was the manager of To Kalon vineyards.

Q: To Kalon, which is To Kalon, which now is owned by Mondavi (sp?)?

A: Probably.

Q: And its in Oakville.

A: Yeah.

Q: Now her family was quite a pioneer family, werent they?

A: I think so.

Q: And she married evidently the youngest Lewelling, Ray, or Raymond Lewelling, who was a bachelor well into his fifties. And she was somewhere around fifty, I imagine, when they got married in the fifties.

A: I think so. In the fifties.

Q: All right. So, they never had any children.

A: No.

Q: And they are living at the old home which dates back probably to the 1850s.

A: 1870, it was built.

Q: The house was built in 1870

A: Or finished in 1870.

Q: on Sulfur Springs Avenue, and what can you tell us about Ray? What did he do?

A: Well, he was the youngest, as you say. He went to Stanford and graduated in electrical engineering. I think he was first or second in his class. He had a nervous breakdown I dont know whether I should say that or not, but that kind of set him back.

Q: Well I knew him, and he was a little bit of a nervous type.

A: Yeah, yeah. He worked for radio manufacturers early on. [Brandies?] and [Kohler?] I remember were two of the names that were manufactured. In fact, when he was at Stanford, he would go and park his car with instruments to find out locations for transmission towers. And actually, some of them were built, I understand. But he developed those radios for Kohler and Brandies and the elementary school at one time had one of them the system for the rooms that went to all the rooms. But he they wanted him during the way to go to work at the Lawrence Lab, and he wouldnt. He stayed on the farm stayed with his mother and

Q: Stayed with his mother, and who was that, do you remember her? What was her name?

A: She was an Alstrom (sp?), who was the other set of grandparents that I had. Her name was Annie.

Q: Annie Letetia Alstrom?

A: Annie.

Q: And she was the heir to the property, then.

A: Yes.

Q: And, so is the mother and the bachelor son living there for many years.

A: Right. And then a sister came back after her marriage. Her husband died and she came back.

Q: OK, well now talking about the Alstroms, I see here that theres an entry in the St. Helena Star for April of 1875, and it says that S. Alstrom will soon open White Sulfur Springs, now who is that?

A: That was my great-grandfather.

Q: So, is he the originator of the White Sulfur Springs?

A: No.

Q: He bought it from someone else, already a going concern?

A: Yes, Swen Alstrom.

Q: OK, his name is Swen. S-W-E-N, I suppose?

A: Uh-huh.

Q: And it says that he had the business, the White Sulfur Springs, in 1876. By 1880, it says, hes removing the furniture from White Sulfur Springs and planning a large hotel in St. Helena in 1881. Did that ? And then he built it, it says here, in 1881.

A: Yeah. The hotel St. Helena. But the story about White Sulfur Springs that I remember is that he built a new hotel out there, completed not too long before the Fourth of July, and there was a Fourth of July celebration out there, and somebody threw a lighted pack of firecrackers on the roof and burned it all down. He had no insurance or anything. He was running into hard luck all the way along.

Q: Well, he had enough money, or investors, but he built a large hotel in St. Helena. He called it the [Windsor?] Hotel, according to this article here, and then that became what we now know as the St. Helena Hotel, which is on Main Street, across from Hunt, roughly Hunt Street.

A: Right.

Q: And his daughter had a wedding June 29, 1883 who would that be? Or, would you know?

A: Probably my grandmother to Lewelling, but Im not sure.

Q: Well, Swen Alstroms obituary was in the St. Helena Star June 26th, 1885, page 2, column 1. What else do we have here on Swen? Now Sophie Alstrom was who?

A: His stepdaughter.

Q: She was wed it says on June 29, 1883, page 3, column 3.

A: Maybe thats the one.

Q: Now we switch over to the Lewellings and look at these cards.

A: Sophie Alstrom yeah married a Mitchell.

Q: In 1878, Charlese Lewelling never heard of, according to the Star, gets a new telephone, and its January 18, 1878. That would be page 3, column 1. Now that was a my knowledge of history, that was the first telephone, maybe in Napa Valley. Now what do you know about that?

A: I know I dont know who Charles Lewelling was, but my grandfather, Harvey, supposedly hooked up Krug, Beringers, Lewellings the other name escapes me now. There were five of them who were hooked up with telephones very early on.

Q: So they had their own little telephone system. It was like an intercom, that probably was battery-powered of some kind, or electrical powered some way.

A: Well, you cranked it was a magneto that gave you power to make it ring.

Q: Oh, thats the way it went OK. It says, it doesnt give a name, but one of the Lewellings shipped some almonds in 1879.

A: Thats John or his son, Harvey. I think it was John.

Q: Who was Eli Lewelling?

A: Eli was Johns brother. He was at San Lorenzo.

Q: Well, there was also Elvy Elliot Lewelling. Is that also

A: Elvy is a wife of Johns.

Q: It says Mr. Elvy Lewelling. So it was a lady named Elvy Elliot Lewelling.

A: No.

Q: Lets see what else we have here. It says that H.J. Lewelling resigns from warehouse June 12, 1883, Now, I imagine thats a U.S. bonded warehouse that is still existing. Thats on Railroad Avenue.

A: Church Street.

Q: Church Street is that Church Street there?

A: Yes.

Q: OK, its Church Street, its the stone building that now houses Jim Loomiss (sp?) business among others.

A: Jim Loomis, State Farm Insurance, 55 degrees.

Q: It was built. Well, it was originally a bonded warehouse for storing Brandy by the U.S. Revenue Service, I believe. Also, H.J. Lewelling was having a reservoir built. Now, who is H.J. again?

A: Thats Harvey John thats Johns son, Harvey.

Q: John Orange Lewellings son? No

A: No, thats John Orange Taplin. This is H.J. John

Q: Well, well try to sort that out later. He was having a reservoir built. Any idea where that might be? 1885?

A: No, one behind the main house & two further up in the hill. There are three reservoirs on the property.

Q: Are there?

A: Yes.

Q: OK. Well, he must have built one then. H.J. was also director of the St. Helena Bank in 1884. Now, heres a Harvey Lewelling, Johns son.

A: Thats his son.

Q: He got telegraph poles to his house in 1876.

A: Yeah. Uh-huh.

Q: So, do you suppose those are also what we call telephone poles?

A: Right.

Q: Oh, here it is in 1878, hes testing a telephone, and he has water wheels to run the machines. Now whats that mean?

A: Well, theres still a Pelton water wheel out there in the shop, and that

Q: P-E-L-T-O-N? And whats the significance of that?

A: Well, the story that I had and I dont know it was the second power plant on the Pacific Coast. I dont know whether thats true or not

Q: Whats the principle of a Pelton?

A: Water pressure gravity-fed water from the springs to reservoir on the hill come down and drive this water wheel, which drives an electric generator armature.

Q: So they have to somehow pressurize that gravity flow a little bit or is it just the fall of the water?

A: Yeah. Just the fall of the water. creates approximately 170 # of pressure.

Q: And the wheel is, what, like no perpetual motion? If you can get it going, it will keep going? Caps on a wheel driven by gravity fed water pressure

A: No, you have to keep the water flowing on it.

Q: Thats what I mean, but, it must be weighted some way so that it gives you more than just a regular wheel

A: Well, waters flowing through it all the time to keep it moving, and its generating power.

Q: What does it look like?

A: As I recall, it looks something like a centrifugal pump.

Q: So its enclosed?

A: Yes. Many cup like tips on a wheel.

Q: And it has like turbines in there?

A: I think there are little cups on the end of the wheels. Similar to what they used in the mining country up in Grass Valley.

Q: For hydraulic mining?

A: Yeah.

Q: And you say that now this says here that he has water wheels to run machines and has a 30-inch turbine water wheel in 1879. Is that the one thats still there?

A: I think its probably the one.

Q: The one OK. Theres articles in the St. Helena Star about it. He also has be new machine in his workshop, Hes planted an orange grove in 1886. Hes director of Grangers Bank in St. Helena in 1884, and there are quite a few entries in here about the Lewellings. Lets seem ships grapes in 1876. It says he farms near Pine Station. Now actually, that Pine Station district runs clear out to Zinfandel practically, didnt it? Do you recall that name as Pine Station?

A: No, I dont recall that. Vineland, I recall.

Q: Well, lets just talk about that for a minute. Now, do you remember the trains that came through Napa Valley?

A: Yes.

Q: Both the steam train and the electric, urban?

A: Yes.

Q: What do you remember about those?

A: I remember my one ride on the steam train with my dad. It stopped at Sulfur Springs, and we got on. I guess we went to Hayward where Eli Lewellings place was, Im not sure.

Q: It stopped at Sulfur Springs.

A: Yeah. END OF TAPE 2, SIDE A

Q: Where would it stop? You mean it stopped opposite Zumwalt (sp?)?

A: Yeah. Right where the tracks are, still.

Q: But, now there was a stop on the urban in front of the high school.

A: Well, it also stopped the electric one, youre talking about?

Q: Electric yeah.

A: It stopped at Sulfur Springs.

Q: Oh it did?

A: Oh yes.

Q: Was there a platform there?

A: No.

Q: It just stopped.

A: It just stopped for passengers getting on or off.

Q: It was just like flagging down a taxicab?

A: Yeah. My aunt Mabel Lewelling would come from Crocket (sp?) where she taught, and wed go down and meet her in the evening, and shed get off the train right there.

Q: So, if someone was anywhere down the line if there was a road that intersected with the tracks, they could just stop there and the trainman would stop and pick them up?

A: I cant say for sure. I dont know.

Q: OK. But youd go down to Hwy 79 at Sulphor Springs, in front of the present Zumwalt, and get on the train there the electric.

A: You could get off. I think she got on there, too.

Q: OK. How often did you use the train?

A: Well, during a certain period, my aunt was teaching school in Crocket, and she would come home weekends.

Q: And you say you could connect then to ferries to San Francisco?

A: Uh-huh.

Q: So you would go where to Vallejo (sp?)

A: Vallejo.

Q: and get a ferry there, and it would take you where to the ferry building in San Francisco?

A: San Francisco, Martinez, Benicia.

Q: What other ferries did you take the Marin County ferries at all?

A: I took the Benicia (sp?) with my folks coming from we lived, just before I entered school we lived on the Eli Lewelling property at San Lorenzo, and we would come back and forth in the old Model T and come across in the Benicia Ferry to Vallejo, and it was always a question wonder as to whether you would just miss the ferry or just make it. The wait between ferries was long.

Q: OK, now lets go back to 1939. You were eighteen years old, and they had the 1939 Worlds Fair on Treasure Island. Did you go to that?

A: Yes.

Q: And what do you remember? And how did you get there?

A: We were in high school. We went. How did we get there?

Q: Did you take the train or we took the train

A: Im not sure. I think maybe we did take the train.

Q: Take the train, and then you would have been able to take the Bay Bridge in some way because it had just been

A: No, it was just being built then.

Q: No, it had already opened.

A: The Bay Bridge?

Q: It should.

A: Well, I remember going, I think, on the ferryboat and seeing them doing the construction. B Sorensen Ken Taplin 3/3

Q: OK, his name is Swen. S-W-E-N, I suppose?

A: Uh-huh.

Q: And it says that he had the business, the White Sulfur Springs, in 1876. By 1880, it says, hes removing the furniture from White Sulfur Springs and planning a large hotel in St. Helena in 1881. Did that ? And then he built it, it says here, in 1881.

A: Yeah. The hotel St. Helena. But the story about White Sulfur Springs that I remember is that he built a new hotel out there, completed not too long before the Fourth of July, and there was a Fourth of July celebration out there, and somebody threw a lighted pack of firecrackers on the roof and burned it all down. He had no insurance or anything. He was running into hard luck all the way along.

Q: Well, he had enough money, or investors, but he built a large hotel in St. Helena. He called it the [Windsor?] Hotel, according to this article here, and then that became what we now know as the St. Helena Hotel, which is on Main Street, across from Hunt, roughly Hunt Street.

A: Right.

Q: And his daughter had a wedding June 29, 1883 who would that be? Or, would you know?

A: Probably my grandmother to Llewelling, but Im not sure.

Q: Well, Swen Alstroms obituary was in the St. Helena Star June 26th, 1885, page 2, column 1. What else do we have here on Swen? Now Sophie Alstrom was who?

A: His daughter.

Q: She was wed it says on June 29, 1883, page 3, column 3.

A: Maybe thats the one.

Q: Now we switch over to the Llewelling s and look at these cards.

A: Sophie Alstrom yeah married a Mitchell.

Q: In 1878, Charles Llewelling, according to the Star, gets a new telephone, and its January 18, 1878. That would be page 3, column 1. Now that was a my knowledge of history, that was the first telephone, maybe in Napa Valley. Now what do you know about that?

A: I know I dont know who Charles Llewelling was, but my grandfather, Harvey, supposedly hooked up Krug, Beringers, Llewellings the other name escapes me now. There were five of them who were hooked up with telephones very early on.

Q: So they had their own little telephone system. It was like an intercom, that probably was battery-powered of some kind, or electrical powered some way.

A: Well, you cranked it was a magneto that gave you power to make it ring.

Q: Oh, thats the way it went OK. It says, it doesnt give a name, but one of the Llewellings shipped some almonds in 1879.

A: Thats John or his son, Harvey. I think it was John.

Q: Who was Eli Llewelling?

A: Eli was Johns brother. He was at San Lorenzo.

Q: Well, there was also Elvie (sp?) Llewelling. Is that also

A: Elvie is a granddaughter of Johns.

Q: It says Mr. Elvie Llewelling. So it was a lady named Elvie.

A: She was Elvie King as far as I know.

Q: Lets see what else we have here. It says that H.J. Llewelling resigns from warehouse June 12, 1883, Now, I imagine thats a U.S. bonded warehouse that is still existing. Thats on Railroad Avenue.

A: Church Street.

Q: Church Street is that Church Street there?

A: Uh-huh.

Q: OK, its Church Street, its the stone building that now houses Jim Loomiss (sp?) business.

A: Jim Loomis, State Farm Insurance, 55 degrees.

Q: It was built. Well, it was originally a bonded warehouse for Brandy by the U.S. Revenue Service, I believe. Also, H.J. Llewelling was having a reservoir built. Now, who is H.J. again?

A: Thats Harvey John thats Johns son, Harvey.

Q: John Orange Llewellings son?

A: No, thats John Orange Taplin. This is H.J. John I dont know that John had a middle name.

Q: Well, well try to sort that out later. He was having a reservoir built. Any idea where that might be? 1885?

A: No, there are three reservoirs on the property.

Q: Are there?

A: Yes.

Q: OK. Well, he must have built one then. H.J. was also director of the St. Helena Bank in 1884. Now, heres a Harvey Llewelling.

A: Thats his son.

Q: He got telegraph poles to his house in 1876.

A: Yeah. Uh-huh.

Q: So, do you suppose those are also what we call telephone poles?

A: Right.

Q: Oh, here it is in 1878, hes testing a telephone, and he has water wheels to run the machines. Now whats that mean?

A: Well, theres still a Pelton water wheel out there in the shop, and that

Q: P-E-L-T-O-N? And whats the significance of that?

A: Well, the story that I had and I dont know it was the second power plant on the Pacific Coast. I dont know whether thats true or not

Q: Whats the principle of a Pelton?

A: Water pressure gravity-fed water from the springs on the hill come down and drive this water wheel, which has an armature or whatever it is.

Q: So they have to somehow pressurize that gravity flow a little bit or is it just the fall of the water?

A: Yeah. Just the fall of the water.

Q: And the wheel is, what, like perpetual motion? If you can get it going, it will keep going?

A: No, you have to keep the water flowing on it.

Q: Thats what I mean, but, it must be weighted some way so that it gives you more than just a regular wheel

A: Well, waters flowing through it all the time to keep it moving, and its generating power.

Q: What does it look like?

A: As I recall, it looks something like a centrifugal pump.

Q: So its enclosed?

A: Yes.

Q: And it has like turbines in there?

A: I think there are little cups on the end of the wheels. Similar to what they used in the mining country up in Grass Valley.

Q: For hydraulic mining?

A: Yeah.

Q: And you say that now this says here that he has water wheels to run machines and has a 30-inch turbine water wheel in 1879. Is that the one thats still there?

A: I think its probably the one.

Q: The one OK. Theres articles in the St. Helena Star about it. He also has be new machine in his workshop, Hes planted an orange grove in 1886. Hes director of Grangers Bank in St. Helena in 1884, and there are quite a few entries in here about the Llewellings. Lets seem ships grapes in 1876. It says he farms near Pine Station. Now actually, that Pine Station district runs clear out to Zinfandel practically, didnt it? Do you recall that name as Pine Station?

A: No, I dont recall that. Vineland, I recall.

Q: Well, lets just talk about that for a minute. Now, do you remember the trains that came through Napa Valley?

A: Yes.

Q: Both the steam train and the electric, urban?

A: Yes.

Q: What do you remember about those?

A: I remember my one ride on the steam train with my dad. It stopped at Sulfur Springs, and we got on. I guess we went to Hayward where Eli Llewellings place was, Im not sure.

Q: It stopped at Sulfur Springs.

A: Yeah. END OF TAPE 2, SIDE A

Q: Where would it stop? You mean it stopped opposite Zumwaldt (sp?)?

A: Yeah. Right where the tracks are, still.

Q: But, now there was a stop on the urban in front of the high school.

A: Well, it also stopped the electric one, youre talking about?

Q: Electric yeah.

A: It stopped at Sulfur Springs.

Q: Oh it did?

A: Oh yes.

Q: Was there a platform there?

A: No.

Q: It just stopped.

A: It just stopped.

Q: It was just like flagging down a taxicab?

A: Yeah. My aunt would come from Crocket (sp?) and wed go down and meet her in the evening, and shed get off the train right there.

Q: So, if someone was anywhere down the line if there was a road that intersected with the tracks, they could just stop there and the trainman would stop and pick them up?

A: I cant say for sure. I dont know.

Q: OK. But youd go down to Silver Springs, in front of the present Zumwalt, and get on the train there the electric.

A: You could get off. I think, sure, I think she got on there, too.

Q: OK. How often did you use the train?

A: Well, during a certain period, my aunt was teaching school in Crocket, and she would come home weekends.

Q: And you say you could connect then to ferries to San Francisco?

A: Uh-huh.

Q: So you would go where to Vallejo (sp?)

A: Vallejo.

Q: and get a ferry there, and it would take you where to the ferry building in San Francisco?

A: San Francisco.

Q: What other ferries did you take the Marin County ferries at all?

A: I took the Benicia (sp?) with my folks coming from we lived, just before I entered school we lived on the Platt property at San Lorenzo, and we would come back and forth in the old Model T and come across in the Benicia Ferry, and it was always a wonder as to whether you would just miss the ferry or just make it.

Q: OK, now lets go back to 1939. You were eighteen years old, and they had the 1939 Worlds Fair on Treasure Island. Did you go to that?

A: Yes.

Q: And what do you remember? And how did you get there?

A: We were in high school. We went. How did we get there?

Q: Did you take the train or

A: Im not sure. I think maybe we did take the train.

Q: Take the train, and then you would have been able to take the Bay Bridge in some way because it had just been

A: No, it was just being built then.

Q: No, it had already opened.

A: The Bay Bridge?

Q: It should.

A: Well, I remember going, I think, on the ferryboat and seeing them doing the construction.

Q: Oh, I thought it opened in 1937, but thats OK, well check that out. Then do you remember them having the Panama Clipper flying boats there that ?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you remember much about that?

A: No, just seeing them and being amazed at (laughter) the size of those things.

Q: Because they were at the hanger right along the bridge there.

A: Well, they came in right on the water there.

Q: That little bay there, yeah. Well, what do you remember about the Fair? Anything stand out in your mind?

A: Uh, the Follies, which I couldnt go into.

Q: Sally Rands (sp?) Nude Ranch?

A: (laughter) Something like that.

Q: Do you remember that?

A: Yeah, but then there were the Water Escapades with Esther Williams, I think I remember that was very impressive.

Q: But it was pretty colorful yeah.

A: Yeah, yeah.

Q: Well, lets get back to the Llewellings here. Now we got John Llewelling, and thats who Raymonds Rays father?

A: Thats Raymonds grandfather.

Q: Raymonds grandfather. Hes got legal problems over a fruit dryer in June of 1875. He has fire losses, but then in 1876, the grape crop looks good. Hes got a winery. Did they have a winery?

A: On Spring Street.

Q: On Spring Street oh, the old building there on that was made into a courtyard for a home.

A: Yeah, they preserved the building, but they dont

Q: That would be about the 1800 block of Spring Street, and it would be on the south side.

A: Yes.

Q: Right on the sidewalk, that building they stopped.

A: pretty much, yeah.

Q: Yeah. And that was the Llewelling Winery. What do you know about that?

A: Not much.

Q: Not much. OK. But the Llewellings were purveyors of fruit products.

A: Right.

Q: They have a fruit products industry in St. Helena. What was that they had a market to fill something to get the fresh fruit somewhere?

A: I dont know what they did up here. At the place in San Leandro or San Lorenzo, I have some I know where there are diaries in the old house telling of going to San Francisco with berries and rhubarb, and the prices they were getting for peaches and apples, and all of those things were pretty rare, apparently. And I just read an article after you told me about this, of how John Llewelling came here a very wealthy man from the fruit business in the Bay area.

Q: Uh-huh. Yeah. Well, Ive heard, and maybe you know something about this, but they were sort of like the the family, collectively, were like the Luther Burbank of Oregon.

A: Second only to Luther Burbank, I read.

Q: On the West Coast, they were great for plant breeding and the selective process of getting the best fruit, and they were famous in their time in horticulture, is that right?

A: Thats right.

Q: The Llewelling family.

A: They came, you know, they brought saplings across the plans in covered wagons especially built to hold a mixture of charcoal and something else, and they had these big deep wagons that they kept those trees alive, and the Indians reportedly helped them because they had living things. They didnt attack them. They just kept them headed for water so they could keep them alive, and they landed in Milwaukee with all these trees, apparently.

Q: Now when you say Milwaukee, that would be Milwaukee, Oregon.

A: Milwaukee, Oregon, uh-huh.

Q: And he had something to do with the St. Helena Academy John did. What was that about?

A: I dont know.

Q: OK. And he died in 18 no that was William Henderson Llewelling. Do you know who that would be?

A: Yeah. Thats Henderson he may have been Seth and Henderson were two other brothers of John, and they OK, Ive got all kinds of stuff that you know, that you could read and tie it together maybe you want me to try and tie it together.

Q: Sure. Well get this transcribed and then take it and see what we want to do with it from there. Getting back to Daniel Hunt the Hunt family Im looking in their St. Helena card file here, on the St. Helena Star items. And it says, Theres a description of cave on property on Hal (sp?) Mountain in 1881. What do you know about that?

A: I know nothing about that.

Q: Yeah. Theres a number of caves up there, and I just wondered if you might know. OK. Theres quite a bit on the Hunts. He had a general oh thats Hunter thats somebody else. So, now the Llewellings were known as not only great innovators in horticulture, but also in these mechanical devices.

A: Well, this was Harvey John. This was John Sr.s son, who only had one eye, and apparently was kind of the favored son. So the shop thats out there thats still standing today was built for him, I understand, and equipped with all these tools the lathe, the

Q: You say built for him, or built by him?

A: Built for him by his father.

Q: Who was not as mechanical?

A: I dont know whether he was or not, but Harvey was, I know. And so the father encouraged that.

Q: And what are some of the things that he built and innovated out there?

A: Well, he did some things on the lathe. HE made some dustpans. There was one item that I remember with a turned handle and a [meddle?]. I still have one, and Ive seen other members of the family they still have them. He did tops for kids playthings. He did lathe work.

Q: Theres a story that he built his own automobile. It may have been the first automobile in California. Was that him that did that?

A: He in connection with Munney.

Q: John Munney (sp?)?

A: John Munney. I have pictures of that.

Q: Now, of course Munney built the Ritchie Building. Is that the Munney?

A: I think so.

Q: Yeah.

A: Not to be confused with Mooney.

Q: No, no. John Munney. So, was he the money man, or was he also a mechanical type? Munney? Or do you know?

A: I dont know, but there wasnt a lot of money involved in this thing. It was an old four-wheel wagon with a great big pumph-pumph engine on it.

Q: So they took like a stationary engine

A: Yes.

Q: that you would pump your water with, or something like that

A: Right.

Q: and they put it on like a farm wagon-type and put a steering device on it, and probably ran a belt to the wheel, and had an automobile.

A: Yeah. They went down the lane, couldnt turn it around because it had no differential.

Q: OK. So what year would that have been

A: I dont know I have the picture.

Q: Turn of the century maybe 1900?

A: Probably.

Q: Around there? OK. Now, the Llewelling house is literally a museum of St. Helena history and time, I understand. It was built in 1870 and has a lot of its original furnishings, I understand, has a lot of its original farm implements what?

A: Not much in the way of farm implements, I dont think, any more.

Q: You had mentioned to me through the years that you have some, for instance, like the old Holt tractor. Was that a Taplin ?

A: Yeah, that was my dad

Q: thing, and then you have an old Model T Ford.

A: Ford yeah.

Q: Is that a Taplin

A: Yeah.

Q: item? And you have an old truck, I think an old 32 or so truck.

A: Well, there are a couple of Model A trucks, yeah.

Q: OK. Who was the photographer in the family? Which Llewellyn?

A: That was H.J., the son that the shop was build for.

Q: Thats Harvey. Harvey J. was a photographer. An amateur photographer or a professional?

A: Yeah, amateur.

Q: OK, now you say that you have a number of glass plate negatives that he took. What kind of subjects would he take pictures of?

A: Oh, some of them are of Main St Fourth of July parade some of that. Gosh, I dont know, there are books of them out there I cant tell you.

Q: OK. And you also said that you have the old St. Helena High School yearbooks from about 1909 to whenever.

A: Our daughters collection of those.

Q: Now, who collected those?

A: Oh, different members of the family, I imagine.

Q: OK. And those are like in the house?

A: Yes, theyre in the house.

Q: You also mentioned one time about the large dining room a beautiful dining room that they built there. Was that for entertaining a lot of did they do a lot of entertaining back in the early days?

A: Well, I wasnt around, I cant tell you.

Q: OK. What other interesting in the last few minutes of the tape here, what could you tell us about the Llewellings that you remember besides Ray his mother, for instance, what can you remember about her?

A: Well, she was a large woman, and the favorite family story about her is when she would sit down at the table and there would be fresh corn she loved fresh corn so she would go through that, yeah. She taught me how to make apple pies, when I was a little kid I did that. She was a very gracious woman, loved to entertain, always had people coming, which was not my mothers style at all. She didn’t like entertaining. She was, you know, Swedish and

Q: She was the Alstrom (sp?)

A: Alstrom, uh-huh.

Q: You mentioned earlier that Dorothy Nachbaur is your cousin then.