The First Rejuvenation

Nearing completion of façade addition, 1931. Photo: Ella Jorgensen; courtesy Tomales Regional History Center.

Nearing completion of façade addition, 1931. Photo: Ella Jorgensen; courtesy Tomales Regional History Center.

The building was almost torn down

In the late 1920s the very existence of the old Hall — even then the building was more than fifty years old — was the subject of discussion and dissent, and it came perilously close to being demolished.

Members of the Tomales Farm Center acted as the Hall’s Trustees at the time, and that organization’s minutes tell the story. It was an all-too-familiar dilemma: 

There appears to be a sentiment for the old Hall, while on the other hand, practical consideration [demands] a new structure.
— Minutes of the Tomales Farm Center, 1926

A vote taken at a 1926 meeting resulted in “one member in favor of repairing the present building and all the other members in favor of a new building.” But for some reason the majority did not take immediate action.

A Lone Dissenter Leads to a Remodel

By 1930 the decision was still not made. Nonetheless, toward whatever solution was eventually agreed upon, money began to be raised. Fundraising events — a minstrel show, various card parties and dinners, a raffle for what was only described as “the Chevrolet” — were held.

In the end, feelings somehow changed. Romeo Cerini, Chairman of the Hall Committee and the original, lone dissenter, reported that he had met with “a practical man” who advised digging out a basement “and adding a 12-foot front onto the present building for greater floor space.”

With a motion made by A.L. (Dod) Cunninghame, grandfather of one of today’s Trustees, the money raised was turned over to a committee to implement the remodeling plan. Ed Hunter suggested that “help such as the use of trucks and labor on the building by all members would be appreciated.”

Thus began what, in retrospect, can be considered the Town Hall’s first Rejuvenation.