A little Russian River History

The first inhabitants in the Russian River area were the Kashaya Indians. The population of pre-contact Kashaya is estimated to have included 1,500 persons living in large villages over the different environmental zones within their territory. Family life among the Kashaya and between children and adults involved strong, warm and close emotional relationships. Each village group was composed of any number of extended families which, with the immediate family, provided protection, moral support and identity to individuals. Children enjoyed a good deal of latitude in their behavior.

In 1812, Russian people from Sitka, Alaska settled in the coastal area founding Fort Ross. They had come to collect sea otter pelts and to grow food for their Alaskan colony. In 1841, being unable to adequately support themselves and Sitka, the Russians sold their stock at Fort Ross to John A. Sutter. After 1842 Americans began settling in the area as a result of Bear Flag Revolt, Mexican-American War, the Gold Rush, and California’s admission to the Union.

A little Cazadero History

Cazadero was originally named Ingrams, after Silas Ingram, who started the town in 1869. Cazadero was originally a hunting resort, which Ingram called "Ingrams". When Silas successfully negotiated a post office for his resort in 1881 it gained status as a town site. George Simpson Montgomery, a wealthy businessman from San Francisco, purchased the town in January 1888 and changed its name to "Cazadero" (Spanish for "The Hunting Place").

Cazadero quickly became a destination for hunters, wealthy San Franciscans on vacation, as well as a great location for the felling of a large cache of old growth redwood trees. The railroad became the primary transportation for these activities and turned Cazadero into a primary stop along the North Pacific Coast Railroad. In 1933, the last train left Cazadero. With the popularity of the automobile, the train was no longer profitable.

The very first school Cazadero children attended was in 1895 called Millericks (pictured above) located on Ward Creek just below the site of our present day Montgomery school. In 1904 Montgomery School was built as a one room school house (pictured below). Also pictured below is the progression of school buildings through the years to present day. George Montgomery donated the land for the school, thus the school is named for him.

The school buses and bus drivers from yesteryear and today.