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Stories from Gaye Lebaron

What exactly comprises Bennett Valley? And who the heck is Bennett — and why is it named for him? Gaye LeBaron recounts the tale of the man who lent his name to the place that played a pivotal role in the birth of Santa Rosa.
The 1936 New Deal-facility, called County Hospital for most of its working life, marked the arrival of a modern era of medical care in Sonoma County, an evolution one doctor described as ‘Pesthouse to penicillin in 100 years.’
Sonoma County has long been home to horses of every size and service. The most prominent horses — and their owners — are woven into our history.
In 1910, a Santa Rosa doctor was accused of planting dynamite in a cabin where his alleged lover and illegitimate son slept. Two decades before the kidnapping of Charles Lindbergh’s baby, newspapers proclaimed it the “Crime of the Century.”
Americans are a celebratory lot with a keen memory for anniversaries. Here are few you may not have noticed and other memories that mark the passage of time for many of us.
Oliver Clay Hopkins knew his Petaluma-to-San Francisco route so well, the conductors would hold their departure if he was late. He was something of a Bay Area celebrity.
There are at least four exhibits in Sonoma County museums about America’s role in World War I, a conflict known ironically as “The War to End All Wars.” PD columnist Gaye LeBaron takes a look back at how it changed our community.
It may not have a courthouse any more. But PD columnist Gaye LeBaron says the reunified Old Courthouse Square is poised to become the center of Santa Rosa once again, a role it fulfilled through the city’s history.
Sci-fi author Frank Herbert and ABC White House correspondent Cecilia Vega may be two of the best-known bylines that used to grace the pages of The Press Democrat, but the newspaper has a long history as a cradle of literary and journalistic talent.
It was a general merchandise outlet but also, in its heyday, it was something akin to the Capitol of the Sonoma Coast.