Included with a nice donation of books, photos, and maps received last week, was this post card. The card had no identifying information and we were not sure that it was related to Sonoma County history.
By using the Library’s subscription to Ancestry.com I found a U.S. Census entry for a Newton Allen Lark living in Guerneville in 1920. He was employed as a druggist. Now that I had a full name I was able to search the Sonoma County History Index, which is accessible through the Sonoma County Library’s online catalog. It was through this index that I found a reference to Mr. Larkin, as well his partner Fred L. Warne, in C. Raymond Clar’s book Out of the River Mist.
C. Raymond Clar writes about a fire that occurred on Main Street, Guerneville in 1919. He includes a photo of the ruins which was the words Lark & Warne printed in the corner of the image. Clar states that “I remember the fire well. And I know why Newton Lark made the photograph. He was a local photographer as well as the town druggist. He was also a primary fire victim. He and his uncle Fred Warne were associated in business at the time.”
In another Clar publication, A Time and a Season of Incidents and Memories written in 1962, Fred Warne is described as a “brilliant cornetist.”
A simple Google search for Lark & Warne led me to an article in the Sonoma County Gazette dated May 28, 2014, which stated that the “historic Lark Drugs in Guerneville is one of the oldest independent pharmacies in the state of California.” The name change occurred when Newton’s son, Warne Lark, purchased the business in 1948 by which time his great uncle Fred had been dead for 20 years and his father was 66 years of age – a good time retire.
All this from one post card! Now if I could figure out who the man is seated in the car. Is it Newton, Fred or someone else? I bet John Schubert of the Russian River Historical Society knows.