Celebrating Fairfax History: Maps, Pictures, and an Ode to the Town

By Carol Acquaviva

Map of Fairfax Manor, 1910. Anne T. Kent California Room Collection

In case you missed it, the Fairfax Library, in partnership with the Anne T. Kent California Room, recently hosted an illustrated presentation by California Room Map Archivist Dewey Livingston, titled “Fairfax History: Patterns on the Land.” The June 9th talk which highlighted the evolution of roads, neighborhood developments, and geographic landmarks by way of photographs and maps, was recorded and may be viewed online.

In addition, the Fairfax Library has on exhibit through the end of the month, a collection of images from the California Room, titled “Fairfax History Through Photos.” We invite you to visit this exhibit during during Fairfax library hours. If you can’t make it in person, you can always browse many photos of Fairfax on the California Room’s Digital Archive.

Apropos of celebrating Fairfax, here is an ode to the town, written by resident and published poet Agnes Miller in 1946.

Fairfax

A little town with winding roads
And wooded hills above it;
A peaceful, quiet little place —
That’s just the way we love it.

It’s still the thing to say “good day”
If anyone should meet you,
And out along the main highway
The bob-o-links will greet you.

The squirrels lightly leap and frisk
Among the bending branches,
And geometric spiders spin
Their nylon in the grasses.

At night the cricket’s unison
Beats drowsily around us,
And deer go softly through the dark
On little trails beyond us.

The warming sun makes lazy days
A time for pleasant dreaming;
Just let me live upon my hill —
The world may have its scheming!

View from Fairfax, with San Anselmo in the distance, circa 1945. Anne T. Kent California Room Collection.

Agnes Caroline Oppel (1891–1968) was born in 1891 in the eastern part of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She married Claude Miller in 1915 in Portland, Oregon. They lived in the East Bay for a time, and then settled in Fairfax with their two daughters, Doris and Verna, at their home on Manor Road. Claude, who passed away in 1958, was the owner of the Orchid Fernery. Agnes was active in local organizations, including the literary and drama groups at the Tamalpais Centre Women’s Club in Kentfield. Her poetry frequently appeared in the local papers.

View of Mt. Tamalpais from Cascades area of Fairfax, circa 1922. Lothers & Young Studios. Anne T. Kent California Room Collection.

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Anne T. Kent California Room

Anne T. Kent California Room

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