Thursday, September 29, 2011

A Walk Around Town

The year was 1968. I remember following the preparations of one competitor who was training for the World Arm Wrestling Championship.

Petaluma was the site of the competition, and that was my introduction to the California city.

The competitor? None other than Snoopy, fresh from his training preparations for the Olympics held earlier that year in Grenoble, France.

Unfortunately, Snoopy was eliminated because the official arm wrestling rules stated you must lock your thumbs with the opposing competitor. Snoopy had no thumb.

We took a walk around Petaluma’s Historic Downtown. Many of the city's commercial buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Masonic Lodge (photos #1-3) was built in 1882.

The clock atop the Lodge building contains the original works.

The tree-lined Petaluma Boulevard took us past the Odd Fellows Hall (left and below),

which was constructed between 1871 and 1879 and

the American Trust Building, housing the Vintage Bank Antiques (a portion is shown to the left of the Odd Fellows Hall in the photo above).

Details of the Vintage Bank Antiques exterior are shown (above and right).

The McNear Buildings appear in the photo (right). The building on the left in the photo housed the Mystic Theater, and

the building on the right, built in 1886, housed a national guard armory on the upper floors.

The buildings in the next three photos constitute Iron Front Row. In the last century, builders believed cast iron fronts on buildings made them fireproof (not true), and the practice flourished.

The buildings on this block (built in the 1880s) are considered excellent examples of the once-popular style

Shown here is some of the detail in the building pictured above.

I included the next two photos because of the brick structure and

the sign for "Elmer Lamb Real Estate" that still is easy to read.

The Old Opera House was built in 1870 to replace Main Street’s Music Hall as the city’s culture center. Thirty years later it was completely renovated as a commercial facility and remodeled again in the 1970s.

The former Sonoma County National Bank, built in the 1920s, now houses the Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company.

It’s a beacon for gardeners, foodies, shoppers, and tourists alike, offering over 1,200 varieties of heirloom seeds, tools, and books.

Before heading out of town, past the newer shops in town toward the hills, we stopped for

a drink.

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