Tue 11 Aug 2009
Several hundred people on Saturday attended the annual Inverness Fair at the town’s firehouse green. The day of fundraising began with a pancake breakfast sponsored by the Inverness Volunteer Fire Department. The fair also coincided with the Inverness Library’s annual book sale.
As a benefit for Inverness School, the Inverness Store barbecued oysters and sold beer.
The Inverness Yacht Club sold hotdogs to benefit its youth sailing program, and West Marin Community Services sold tostadas, beer, and sodas to raise funds for the Waterdogs, a program that teaches children living around Tomales Bay how to swim. Jim and Julie Monsoon sold ice cream to benefit West Marin Senior Services.
Scoby Zook, a director of Inverness Public Utility District, sold raffle tickets to raise money for the Inverness Association.
The Inverness Association was founded in 1930 as the Inverness Improvement Association.
In his book Summer Town, the late historian Jack Mason of Inverness traces the association’s origin to 1921 when the “Inverness Association for Fire Protection and General Betterment” first appeared on the public record, complaining about a local real estate magnate’s water system.
In 1930, it was incorporated as the Inverness Improvement Association. The association’s purpose, he noted, was “the collection of funds and their expenditure on the construction and maintenance of roads, trails, bridges, and culverts, and for the public welfare of the town.”
As a “political body with little authority, the trails were the association’s domain,” the historian wrote. “It could petition the county on behalf of its membership, but little more.”
The association began getting involved in “off-the-trail” issues when investors in the 1940s began buying beaches that had been open to the public and building homes on them, board member Michael Mery told reporter Will Kennedy of the old Point Reyes Light four years ago.
Alarmed by the trend, association members successfully fought for the creation of Tomales Bay State Park, which officially came into existence in 1952. Association members in the 1960s also joined the fight to create the Point Reyes National Seashore.
In early 1970 the association’s then-president Michael Whitt, MD, proposed that the group’s name be changed from the Inverness Improvement Association to the Inverness Association. “The idea being there was nothing to improve,” he told The Light reporter.
All the same, the IA (as it is often called) has remained active in land-use planning issues. And in 2004, it spearheaded the drive to have county government create the center median through downtown to slow traffic on Sir Francis Drake Boulevard.
For a third year, fairgoers were entertained by the band System 9, which played a mélange of jazz, popular music, and hard rock.
Along with a row of tables providing information about the Coastal Health Alliance, Marin Agricultural Land Trust, and the National Park Service, other booths sold crafts, art, jams and jellies.
Among those selling crafts was Maidee Moore of Inverness, who sold ornate canes to help finance surgery for Third World children with cleft lips and palates. Along with helping these children, Maidee for years was a leader of the Tomales Bay Waterdogs. In June, she was marshal of the Western Weekend Parade.
Co-chairmen for this year’s fair were Jerry Abbott, Tom Branon, and Ken Emanuels.