A local history buff, Alan Cooper of Monkey Ranch, sent me an interesting story about the history of the American Flag that flew on the American Legion Hall, when it was located on 4th Street, east of “B” Street. The following blog includes many parts of his original message.
Alan and his wife, Sue, purchased the old Fred Zimmerman dairy ranch, which was located about four mikes out on the “D” Street Extension, four years ago. “The Ranch was divided into smaller parcels, but we own the largest one (about 50 acres) with most of the buildings. We live in the old farmhouse, originally built in 1879. We love it here and call our slice of heaven Monkey Ranch.”
“My neighbor, Don Gilardi, knows that I’m a history buff and an amateur woodworker, so he gave me an old wooden flagpole. It had been sitting out in a field in his son, Donny’s, ranch, which is adjacent to ours, for a dozen or so years. Evidently, a friend of Don’s had been involved in the demolition of the old American Legion Hall on 4th Street (where the Bank of Marin’s parking lot is now). He snatched the treasure from destruction and gave it to Don for safe keeping. Don gave it to me, and I’m in the process of restoring it for Monkey Ranch. I’m contacting you to find out more about the flagpole’s life story.”
“The old pole is rough but beautiful. It’s made from a single, old growth Douglas Fir tree and is 30′ tall. It is square at the base and tapering round at the top, with an octagonal transition area. It has the original bronze hardware (rotating truck with halyard block and halyard cleat) manufactured in San Francisco, although the topmost bronze ball was lost.”
Alan spent some time in the Hoppy Hopkins Research Library, located on the second floor of the Petaluma Historical Museum & Library, located on 4th and B Streets. He was able to find one photograph that claims to be of the original, 1907, Legion Hall. The flagpole in the photo isn’t as tall as the one that Alan currently has in his possession; however, he is in the process of restoring the old pole, fabricating new mounting hardware, and building a plinth in my front yard.
Alan is interested in finding any additional information, history, pictures, or memories, about the Legion Hall and its flagpole. He plans to affix an explanatory plaque to the pole so its purview will be known to all. Readers may contact Alan by telephone (650) 454-6903 or e-mail: Alan@cooper.com
P.S. Permission was granted by the Petaluma Museum and Library staff to use the photograph with this blog.