Saturday Afternoon DVDs

Conversations about our history and legacy have been held every few months for the past several years— and many of them are available as DVDs, each presenting fascinating aspects of the heritage of Glen Ellen and the Valley of the Moon in a frequently stirring town hall setting with audience participation.

An Afternoon with Greg Sarris
Representing the Original People of our valley, the Pomo and the Miwok, Greg delivered a passionate and articulate presentation of the world of Native Americans in Sonoma County— before the arrival of the Europeans and since. $15

The Californios of Sonoma Valley
While a distant Mexico City ruled all of Alta California with a loose hand, an inchoate society occupied our valley. This conversation included Dan Markwyn, history professor emeritus from Sonoma State University, Juan Pedro Gaffney Rivera, director of Coro Hispaño de San Francisco, and Jim Danaher, manager of the Sonoma State Historic Park. $15

The Bear Flag, the Gold Rush, & Statehood
This panel discussion about the Americanization of California during five brief and tumultuous years featured George McKale, Sonoma City historian, Peter Meyerhof, Sonoma Valley historian, and George Webber, local historian and actor. $15


Who Knows Jack?
This panel discussion deconstructs the legend Jack London left behind him. It featured Jonah Raskin, author of The Radical Jack London, Clarice Stasz, author of Jack London’s Women, and Lou Leal, author of Finding the Real Jack London. Descendants of Jack London contributed some amazing statements from the audience. $15

Our Great Big Picture Show
Many people came to see and share historic photographs of Old Glen Ellen and to tell stories of interesting events that they remembered from long ago. Speakers included Loren McClurg and Cathy Ellis, descendants of pioneers of our valley. $15

Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch…
In collaboration with the Valley of the Moon Natural History Association, this double DVD set features a tour of Jack London State Historical Park conducted by Greg Hayes, a longtime docent at the park as well as president of the Valley of the Moon Natural History Association, which now manages the park. The tour is followed by a panel discussion on Jack London’s vision of sustainable farming at his Beauty Ranch. The panel includes Arthur Dawson, Dr. Susan Nuernberg, Greg Hayes, Tjiska Van Wyk, and Neil Shepard. $25

Mapping the Lay of the Land
In this presentation, Bob Curtis (widely considered the dean of Sonoma County surveyors) and Arthur Dawson (who wrote the popular book Stories Behind Sonoma Valley Place Names) tell us how the early maps of Sonoma Valley were drawn by the early surveyors and cartographers of Sonoma County and the Valley of the Moon. $15

Making Wine in the Valley of the Moon
Four winemakers tell the unfolding story of how winemaking first came to the Valley of the Moon, and what happened since then to make it flourish as the quintessential wine country of California. Speakers included George MacLeod, Val Haraszthy, Michael Topolos, and Squire Fridell. $15

Those Were the Daze, My Friend!
This double DVD set presents the sounds and stories of Glen Ellen from a half century ago, during the turnaround time of the Sixties and Seventies. Tommy Thomsen moderates a boisterous crowd of musicians, including Judy Williams, Timothy Dixon, Steve Kahn, Hugh Shacklett, “Diamond” Jim Corbett, Michael “Beargrease” Hansen, Jeff Falconer, Nina Gerber, David Aguilar, Misty Adana, and many others in a rambling and far-ranging conversation and music fest. $25

The Wildflowers of Glen Ellen
Edith Bruning taught in a one room schoolhouse on Sonoma Mountain, and became famous for her realistic paintings of the wildflowers of our region. In this presentation, family member Roger Dean tells her story and presents a slideshow of many of her paintings. $15

Our Great Fires and Our Great Fire Department
This very timely talk given about the great fires that burned in the Valley of the Moon over the past century took place recently at the Glen Ellen Fire Department, just as one of the most devastating wildfires of all was breaking out nearby. You can hear urgent reports from the fireline over the squawkbox in the background while retired Chief Peter Van Fleet, sitting in for Chief Matt Atkinson, tells the story of how our fire department evolved over the past century, from the early volunteer bucket brigades to the highly trained professionals that protect us today. $15

The Jim Berkland Story
This special program featured local luminary Jim Berkland, who was famous for accurate earthquake forecasts and was also an observant naturalist. He knew every square inch of the Valley of the Moon like the back of his hand. Raconteur and sage, he generously shared his poetry along with his extensive scientific knowledge with anyone who asked. $15


We are beginning to find books that tell the story of the Valley of the Moon. Watch for new titles as they become available.

What a Place for a Home: The Story of the Thompson/ Dodwell Property
This book was written by local resident, Linda Dodwell, and local ecological historian, Arthur Dawson, and tells a story about the unique history of the property 3820 and 3823 Warm Springs Road Glen Ellen, California. The book features historical photographs of early Glen Ellen and the property spanning five generations of the Thompson family. $25

Childhood Memories of Glen Ellen
Edited by Bob Glotzbach, this classic collection of oral histories presents stories and shows photographs of our region from 1910 until the early 50’s, as told by 34 people who either grew up here or were frequent visitors. The book provides one a feeling of the times and the people, and of the changes that took place from WWI through WWII. $20