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Oral History of Ruth Lescohier

@ Mill Valley Public Library


In this oral history interview, Ruth Lescohier recounts a long career steeped in local history and political activism. Ruth first moved to Mill Valley with her husband after his naval service during World War II. The couple eventually built a home in Blithedale Canyon with two decks and a "beautiful view" of the Bay. Ruth was teaching elementary school in Marin City when a credentialing requirement led to a serendipitous discovery of her passion for local history. Mentored early on by formidable local historians Lucretia Hanson Little and Helen Van Cleave Park, Ruth researched, wrote and self-published books on early Marin County, including the popular The Coast Miwok People, and the more divisive The Search for Samuel Throckmorton. In this interview, Ruth shares her opinions on the lives and personalities of early Mill Valley pioneers Samuel Throckmorton and William Reed, gleaned from her familiarity with both primary and secondary sources. Ruth further discusses her large range of community involvement, including membership in the local chapters of the League of Women Voters and the Independent Progressive Party, church participation and the founding of the Redwoods Retirement Community. She speaks candidly about some of the attitudes that emerged in Mill Valley during the McCarthy Era and, later, the Vietnam War, as well as her understanding of racial tension at Tamalpais High School as viewed through the lens of her daughter's experiences. Ruth also touches upon the compassionate - if not entirely successful - efforts of the Community Church to respond to the...
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Mill Valley Public Library

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California Digital Library