Sportsmens Report
December 14, 2018
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Sturgeon’s Mill and first SRMGS

  • Here is the first attempt at lost wax casting to reproduce redwood pine cones. Two are redwood the third is from a 'plain' tree. Bill Hanson

By: Bill Hanson
September 14, 2018
Sportsman’s Report

As we head into typical late summer weather patterns keep in mind the ocean can become becalmed, this is also when two or three really hot days in a row can sneak up and spoil a day at the beach. There is another hot spot for late season salmon in the bay, California City, check your computer map system for a precise location. If you look up motion sickness in the dictionary (do they still make those?) you will see my picture. As a kid I could not ride on the swings or the merry-go-round, to do so would risk losing my slice of birthday cake and Kool-Aid. For me California City and most spots inside the bay and delta are my only choices for saltwater fishing. 

This weekend is the third of four annual ‘Steam-up’ weekends at Sturgeon’s Mill, a restored steam powered saw mill that was common in the early 1900’s. The site is still occupied by the Sturgeon family, many of whom are actively involved in this living history museum. Google the name for exact directions, hours and photos. It is a great place to visit for families with one exception, small children who are sensitive to loud noises should not go, the steam whistles are very loud. Parking and admissions are free, however the mill has a fuel cost of over $900 for a weekend. Donations are gladly accepted. If you have a need for rough-sawn lumber you can’t beat their prices and every dollar goes directly to the mill. The drive from Rohnert Park Expressway is under thirty minutes, hard to beat for convenience sake. Volunteers also operate a great lunch cafe although you are free to pack your own and sit in the shade of the redwoods. Most people leave with a big smile and come back for another visit. Beware, you may get recruited to be a docent. 

Our local rock club, Santa Rosa Mineral and Gem Society (SRMGS) is hosting the annual show at the Veterans Memorial Building in Santa Rosa October 21 and 22. There will be excellent displays of rocks, gems, minerals, fossils and things rock. Vendors will offer booths of spectacular, sparkly and beautiful selections from the rock world. One favorite is the Meteorite booth; owner Michael Santos has updated his booth to include examples of this rock from space. To hold one in your hand is to hold one of the true mysteries of the universe. Michael said in an interview, “90 percent of the meteorites people buy are not meteorites but fakes, buy from a trusted dealer.” His reputation is excellent and he will explain what to do to retain the value of your meteorite. If you have one in your collection, he will give you advice on how to care for it. To visit the web site, go to: and click on the ‘Gem Show’ link on the ribbon. The club teaches new members how to cut, polish and mount your treasures and members teach skills in rock and jewelry manufacturing. In a recent class members Wendy and Heidi taught us how to use ‘lost wax casting’ to produce stunningly accurate art. I am not artist but my redwood pine cones reproduced in pure silver are gorgeous.


Bill Hanson is a Sonoma County native and a lifelong sportsman. He is the former president of the Mycological Society. Look for his column each week in The Community Voice.