Wednesday, July 3, 2013
Biking Along The Russian River
Two women, two bikes, but only one camera? So what's a lady to do? Why hand off the camera, of course. But why did each woman pose on the same bike? I am puzzled.
What's really puzzling is how I knew these photos were taken along the Russian River in Guerneville, Sonoma County, California, when theirs nothing written on the prints. Well, that took some figuring. I started with the building in the background. It didn't take too much to figure out that the sign was for the Henry Hess Co., Lumber and Building Material. I was pretty surprised when a Google search brought up some info. And not just info, but a photograph of the same building, damaged by a 1937 flood of the Russian River. The building was located on Ca. Route 116, at the intersection of River Road and Gravenstein Highway North.
Good old Henry was a bit of a local tycoon, owning the lumber yard, some logging interests and a shipping company. I couldn't find out what kind of shipping, but my guess would be either cartage, or local ferries, or maybe even some coastal steamers. In any case, he was successful enough that he could build a summer lodge near the Hacienda Bridge, overlooking the Russian River in the 1920s. At some point Henry lost control of his business. How, I couldn't determine. I do know that Giuseppe "Joseph" Bacci got a job there after World War 2. He stayed with the lumber yard through several ownership changes, and along with two partners, bought it in the 1970s. All that from Giuseppe's obituary.
Anyway, going by the hair does, I'm guessing sometime in the late thirties through early forties. If anyone out there knows when the roads were paved, that could narrow things down a bit.