Friday, December 7, 2012

Marin County - Ecology and Glessner Family History

Today I was clear it was time to see the area on Market Street where Lewis W Glessner and son Robert, ran a business.  In 1945 City Directory, LWGlessner and Son, manufacturers agent,was listed at 265 Market and his home at 940 Union.   Here is a corner on Market with the current state flag with the bear, as I walked toward the iconic Ferry Building, the building that survived the 1906 earthquake and fire in this part of San Francisco.

This is the PG&E building at 245 Market, covering the block likely where the Glessners had their business office.   Fun to discover the area of the smaller town that was here, when they arrived in 1925. Lewis died in the iconic Elks Lodge nearby at 456 Post Street in May of 1964.
Entrance to Ferry Building where there are mostly shops now.  I went to find a vending machine on the dock to make my way to Marin County.  Interesting to see a Tsunami alert here at sea level in the bay. No seismic activity today. 
Ferry Building Description 
Here is the view of the NE corner of the City with the TransAmerica tower and the Coit Tower in view.  Nice to be out on the bay.
The opening between the bay and the ocean was called the Golden Gate, well before the Bridge was completed in 1937.  Interesting that the Glessners lived in the City, Lewis remaining there and Robert to Mill Valley in 1946.  .Here I am on a journey to see the environment where he lived and worked. 
An image on the 20 cent regular stamp, in circulation in the 1920's when the LW Glessner Family moved to San Francisco.  Only after the Bridge was completed in 1937, did Robert Glessner move to Marin County in 1946. 

History of the maritime "discovery" by Eurocentic explorers.  The Pomo and other coastal tribes lived here harvesting the live oak acorns and other native food plants. 

The Upper one of two buildings now on the site of 432 Live Oak, in Mill Valley.  It looks like Robert Glessner, the oldest son of Lewis moved to Mill Valley around 1946 and was listed there with his first wife Gertrude in 1948 in a City Directory. Robert died in Dec 1975, and on his death certificate his was listed as living in Marin Co for 29 years.  At that time, his second wife Florence continued to live at the address. 

Here is the lower building now at 432 Live Oak.  Likely Roberts home was much more modest back in the day.   No one was home and the neighbors up the street though the current folks have been here for 30+ years.

After visiting the site of the Robert Glessner Home in Mill Valley, my gardener friend Garth noticed this very tall Dahlia, with purple blossoms. The climate here supports so many diverse plant people! 
Grateful for the day and a great walk in Muir woods with Garth with the tall tree nation with intertwined roots that allow stability.   Interesting metaphor for me!   Thanks to the spirit of John Muir as channeled by my tehanshi, Garth. 
We had only a bit of daylight and we went down to Stinson Beach on a back road and then up to Muir Woods, where the recent rains had swelled this river lined with beautiful alder trees. 

Here the shrubs and trees create a beautiful tapestry that made my heart open and cry.  The white flowered one in front he mentioned is a coyote bush, with trees with fallen leaves, willows on the right and alders on the left, with California Bay the green in behind. Wow!

My guide Garth, stopped on the road to Muir Woods with a stream filled with recent rain. First noticing the alders, I became very moved by the somber beauty of this fog and moisture nourished valley. Here is the winter shape of the California Buckeye.  

These beautiful golden orbs are the fruits, the nuts of the California Buckeye.  Interesting to me, the Glessners left one Buckeye State to venture to the golden West with another kind of buckeye. 
Another seminal experience for me on my learning path connecting the history of the tree nation with my family tree! 


  1. 好漂亮的风景啊!我很喜欢ferry和stamp.什么是nuts of the California Buckeye?

    Hah, I try to type some Chinese characters here. Maybe you could try MDBG to translate it?

  2. Xie Xie Ni Zijun! "good beautiful of scenery surprise" "I am very fond of" -ferry'"together with" - stamp. "What are the " nuts of the California Buckeye. Is what I got from the MDBG translation tools. Hope this is correct. The buckeye nuts are from a special nut tree. In the old times, my friend Garth, who knows about Nature in California, said the Indians of the area, soaked these nuts in water to get out a toxin and then made flour for food.