Architecture, Boyes Hot Springs, History, Jewish History, Now and Then

Cabanot’s French Resort/the Casa Blanca Apartments

Bernard Cabanot was born in France in 1861 and came to the US in 1876. He lived and worked in San Francisco and Redwood City until 1914, when he came to Boyes Hot Springs and opened his French Resort. (There was another French Resort operated by the Dutil , Lounibos and Verdier families in El Verano. Please see:

“One block from the Northwestern Pacific station and the post office,” refers to the P.O. located at the Woodleaf Store.

He built several buildings in Boyes, including the Woodleaf Store, which was constructed in 1921 and rebuilt after the 1923 fire.

Woodleaf Store, Boyes Blvd. and Sonoma Highway, 1930s. This building still stands, part of the Sonoma Mission Inn.

We have images of two different buildings for the resort. The oldest ones are of pleasant one-story bungalows, dated 1919 (first two images). The second building is two stories and dates from 1925 (above).

According to the Index Tribune, Cabanot’s Resort was not destroyed by the great fire of 1923 so it’s possible the larger building was built along side of the smaller ones. Both places are described in ads as being “next to the theater,” which was at the corner of Boyes Blvd. and Gregor Street, where the apartment building is today.

The original Cabanot’s?
Index Tribune

The two story became the Casa Blanca Apartments, by which name it is still known today (2022).

Circa 1950

San Francisco Jewish Community Bulletin-
Index Tribune

As of September 2022, major repairs were taking place. All the exterior siding was removed, plywood was applied as earthquake bracing, and new doors and window were being fitted. Not historic preservation but perseverance. With several nearby historic buildings being bulldozed recently, we will take what we can get.

Thanks to Lorrie Baetge Fulton of the Sonoma Valley Historical Society for research help, and to the Gordon Lindberg Collection of the Sonoma Valley Historical Society, who also provided the Index Tribune material.

Boyes Hot Springs, History, Jewish History, Photographs

The Sonoma Valley Grange, Tradition,Change and Renewal

The Sonoma Valley Grange was chartered in 1924. Grange members were able to buy buy their own hall, from Selig Rosenthal of Rosenthal’s Resort, in 1934. Speculation has it the building, located on Hwy 12 adjacent to the Acacia Grove mobile home park, had been a dance hall, possibly a speak-easy during Prohibition. (Please click the link to read more about Rosenthal.)

The Grange prospered and the building was added on to. Events such as a semiannual flea market, pancake breakfast, and Christmas parties were popular. The Grange participated in the institution’s traditional lobbying of elected officials in favor of farmers and community wellbeing in general. Women were prominent in the leadership, serving as presidents, secretaries, and treasurers. Eunice Peterson, a charter member and past master (president) of the Sonoma Valley Grange, was  the first woman to serve on the Sonoma-Marin Fair board in 1940 and 1941 and ran for state assembly in 1938.

The Grange was incorporated in 1948.

Grange old timers Edith Lanning, Arvilla McAllister, and Marianne Erickson, 2005

Younger folks did join in the early 2000s, starting a strong period of growth for the Grange.

The old Hall needed a lot of work. In 2016 donations were in hand to start building new restrooms and a new, commercial kitchen.

The old kitchen, 2010. The dinner bell was made from a brake drum.

Political and legal turmoil starting in 2012 forced some major changes and challenges, leading to the formation of a new entity, The Springs Community Hall.

After more years of legal wrangling between the State Grange and the National Grange, then the State Grange and the local, former Granges, it’s been decided that the hall will again be an official Grange. Not much has really changed. Whatever its name the hall and the volunteers who run it are committed to serving their community, as always.

The old and young, 2004-2010
Implements of old-time Grange ritual, now of historic interest.
The late Edith King, our long-time pancake breakfast cashier, and Wendy Loots, a top volunteer for many years, 2012

The newest Sonoma Valley Grange will be inviting the community to become members, volunteers, and officers, very soon. Stay tuned!

As it looks in 2022
The “Patrons of Husbandry”
Architecture, History, Jewish History, Now and Then, Resorts

Rosenthal’s Resort, Part Two

We left off with Selig Rosenthal’s death in 1938. But the story of Rosenthal’s Resort did not end there.doraswedding1939In June of 1939, Dora Rosenthal married Joe Winters, a well-known local tailor.

it1938wintersfirstmentionadwintersoldshop1956Joe Winters’ shop was for many years located next to the El Dorado Hotel. The red and white awning of the Raymond Real Estate office would not get past the Sonoma Design Review Commission now!

Winters was very involved with the rodeo in 1939. The rodeo was started in 1929 and ran through the 1950s, on the Millerick Ranch near Schellville. it1939wintersrodeophoto


In 1939, National Geographic amgazine came to Sonoma and photographed the Rodeo “Kangaroo Court,” which included Joe Winters.

Winters was a Polish citizen. He applied for dual citizenship in 1940. R.R. Emapran was one of his witnesses. Emparan was the grandson of General Mariano G. Vallejo.winterspolish

In that year Harry Lyons was again partnering to run the resort.

In 1941, “the main building of the Winters resort near Boyes Springs, formerly Rosenthal’s hotel, is being remodeled by Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Winters into seven apartments.”

Rental accommodations were in high demand for defense workers at Mare Island. In 1942, the IT reported that many other resorts were being converted for war housing: “Farrell’s, Parente’s, Rosenthal’s, and Maurel Villa used to be popular in the good old summer time, but are now rented to all year round tenants, cottages being especially in demand. Fetters Hot Springs has its share too.”

In 1945 the IT said the Winters had sold their resort and retired to San Francisco. They had actually sold the resort in 1943 to Mrs. Mary Kalivoda, who ran it as Acacia Grove Resort until 1955, when it was sold to A. R. Wilson of El Cerrito.


Here is another example of the serendipity that happens when you search newspaper archives. On the same page as the item about the new Acacia Grove owners is this photo of Charlie Peluffo’s house being moved. Peluffo was the developer of the Plaza Center Building at the old Boyes plaza site. The house stood where shopping center at Verano Avenue is, and was move to a lot on Lomita Avenue. Is it still there?

The building that houses the Thai restaurant now (2016) was originally a store.


rosenthalstore-thaiPhoto from 2008 of the Rosenthal Store building, housing E Sann Thai restaurant.

The building was the home of Lee and Lia Chinese restaurant from 1976 to 1987.

As with the Springs in general, the economic downturn that came with the end of the resort era, brought a certain amount of crime associated with Acacia Grove.


However, positive things were happening also. In 1966 contractro R.A. Lof added a new laundry room and showers.

Jack Weiler bought Acacia Grove in 1971 and his family still owns it in 2017.


Interesting buildings from the Rosenthal days:rosenthalchickencoopThe chicken coop. Poultry husbandry was common and popular in the Springs in the early 20th Century.rosenthaltankhouse

The resort was served by a well. The water was stored in the tank house, which is a residence today.rosenthallasalletteThis building was La Salette Restaurant for a few years, but has been vacant a long time. What function did it serve in the heyday of the resort? grangehall1930swebgrange2008mural2012web

The Grange Hall in the 1930s, 2008, and 2012.

Boyes Hot Springs, History, Jewish History, Resorts

Rosenthal’s Resort, Cantor’s Resort, and Acacia Grove. Part One


There would be no reason for many people today to know the name Selig Rosenthal. I came across it because, as a Grange member, I got to look at the organization’s archives and saw the property plat. It didn’t take much digging to reveal the outlines of an interesting story, or several stories, one with a tragic ending. What spurred me to write was a conversation and walk around the property with its current owner, George Weiler, with whom I share an interest in the history of the site.

Dear Reader, please indulge me as I refine my style and methods in writing these articles. In the following I purposefully followed several digressions that begged for more information. This is interesting for me, but may make for pieces that are too long or hard to follow. If so, I apologize.

Rosenthal’s Resort was about ¼ mile south of the Boyes Springs depot, on the highway, on land bounded on the south by Agua Calliente Creek. In 2016 the property encompasses Acacia Grove Mobile Home park, E-Saan Thai restaurant, the old La Salette restaurant building, and surrounds the Sonoma Valley Grange property, which was carved out if the land in 1934.rosenthalsmaprosenthalsplot

As the inscription on this plat states, the land was sold to Selig Rosenthal by Nathan Cantor in 1920.

The first mention of Nathan Cantor in the Index Tribune is in 1912 when we learn that “George Grose (sp) is erecting a first class windmill on the Cantor place in Verano.” (Here again notice the flexibility in place names. Cantor was just across Agua Caliente Creek from the Verano depot of the Santa Rosa and Carquinez Railroad, but that locale is frequently called Boyes Hot Springs.)

In 1913 we learn from the I-T that…


The same year…


But in 1917, life was getting more dangerous…


And the resort business could become contentious.

On Thanksgiving Day, 1919, Nathan Cantor got into a “neighborhood feud” with two rival resort keepers, Tommy Farrell and J. Trahan. Cantor said the men attacked him and tore his clothes. His opponents said Cantor’s dog bit them. Cantor swore out a warrant and the assailants went before Judge Small. The results of that hearing were not reported by the Index Tribune.


In February of 1920, Nathan Cantor sold his resort to Dora and Selig Rosenthal.

The Index Tribune noted “the new owners are former popular and prominent residents of the metropolis and will no doubt continue to conduct the well-known resort with great success. Cantor’s Resort is one of the most popular in Sonoma Valley, and is crowded every season. Mr. Cantor and his partner, Jennie Boseck, will go to San Francisco.”

Rosenthal was off to a fast start, improving the resort, building some new cottages, some of which still stand in 2016, and planning a “$10,000 hotel.”



Cottage at the Acacia Grove Mobile home Park, formerly Rosenthal’s Resort, 2016.

By 1922 the improvements at the resort included the new dance hall which had a maple dance floor 36’x 60’. The dance hall building was sold to the Sonoma Valley Grange in 1934. The building still stands, and still has the maple floor.

it1922rosenthallargeadDancing every night to the “four Piece Syncho-Harmony Orchestra!”

Selig Rosenthal became quite involved in the Chamber of Commerce, which was advocating for a road to Petaluma in 1924. He was also prominent in the Sonoma Valley Improvement Club (office said to be located at the corner of State Highway and Park Ave. The building may still stand, though closer to Mountain Ave. and the Highway. See map below.) In 1925 he ran for president of the Boyes Springs contingent.





1956 Chamber of Commerce map (partial) showing Sonoma Valley Improvement Club building near the corner of Mountain Ave. (not Park Ave.) and Hwy 12.

In 1929, Selig Rosenthal was “preparing plans for converting the property into an up to date auto camp,” said the Index Tribune, (calling it the “former resort.”) The ascendancy of the automobile over train travel spurred many resort owners to do the same. In January of 1930, the IT tells us “Rosenthal’s new auto-camp cottages are nearing completion, Stevenson Brothers Sonoma Vista contractors, handling the big job.”

rosenthalautocampad19311931, Index Tribune


Jack Valente’s resort in Agua Caliente, near Marin St. The building no longer exists.

Selig Rosenthal was a prominent member of the Jewish community in Sonoma Valley.In 1932 a group of “Jewish capitalists” from San Francisco And Oakland came to the Valley looking for 100 acres on which to build a “model Jewish city,” to be run as a cooperative. Selig Rosenthal was one of the property owners they talked with. They also placed this ad in the Index Tribune:


jewishcity1More research into the Jewish cooperative movement in the Bay Area is warranted.

Newspaper archive wanderings sometimes produce interesting unexpected results. A short article under the second page ending to the Jewish City piece, appears this, a heart-rending vignette of hard times in 1932:



In March of 1933 Selig and Dora Rosenthal announced their partnership with Harry Lyons, who ran a resort in Sonoma Vista (across the Creek from Boyes Springs), in the opening of “a high-class kosher resort, the only one in California…Mr. Rosenthal states that a benefit will mark the opening of the resort, at which noted Rabbis will speak and to which congresswoman Florence Kahn will be invited.”

Florence Kahn was Congresswoman from the fourth district from 1925 to 1937. She was the first Jewish woman to serve in Congress, and the first woman on the House Military Affairs Committee. A San Francisco resident, she was a frequent visitor to Sonoma Valley. (It is unclear how she could represent the Fourth District, while living in the City, because San Francisco is not in the district.)


The Rosenthal-Lyons partnership lasted all of five months, dissolving in September of 1933.

In April of 1934, the Sonoma Valley Grange bought Rosenthal’s dance hall, an event apparently  overshadowed only by the opening of the Sebastiani Theater, according to the I-T.



In 1934 the Rosenthal’s opened a cafe in San Francisco.it1934rosenthalexchangeslots

In 1935 the Rosenthal’s tried to sell their resort, but the deal fell through.


In March of 1938., Rosenthal came under a doctor’s care.it1938rosenthalill

The beloved Dr. Andrews personally saved the Sonoma Grammar School from demolition and made it available as the home of the Sonoma Community Center. Andrews Hall is named for him.

Then, in June 1938…


According to the Index Tribune, Rosenthal had been in ill health since 1935, and this was cited as the reason for his attempt at suicide. The article says “Rosenthal is recovering,” but, curiously, speaks of him in the past tense in the final paragraph.

Rosenthal succumbed to his illness in December of 1938. He was buried in the Jewish Cemetery in Petaluma.rosenthalobitrosenthalgravemarker

“The B’nai Israel Cemetery and Home of Eternal Peace Interfaith Cemetery aka Petaluma Jewish Cemetery is located within the fenced boundary of Cypress Hill Memorial Park at 430 Magnolia Avenue, Petaluma. The B’nai Isreal cemetery was established in 1871 for the Congregation Society B’nai Israel of Petaluma.”

Courtesy of

To Be Continued…