Newly published by the
Tomales Regional History Center

The Light on the Coast by Dave Mitchell

354 pages replete with photos $24.95 + tax

Order from the Tomales Regional History Center Bookstore
$29.95 (including tax and shipping)


With commentary by editor and publisher emeritus Dave Mitchell, The Light on The Coast encapsulates a weekly newspaper’s first 65 years of unpredictable reporting from the small towns along the Marin County, California, coast.

At times, The Point Reyes Light — or The Baywood Press as it was known for 18 years — changed the course of public affairs by exposing private wrongdoing and official misconduct.

A Light exposé and editorial crusade won the 1979 Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service. Only a handful of weeklies have ever won a Pulitzer in any category.

On other occasions, even the newspaper’s bovine coverage has made readers chuckle, what with bulls stopping traffic by fighting on Highway 1 in the Olema Valley, a firefighter having to get a cow down from a tree in Hicks Valley, and dairy cows stampeding late at night through downtown Point Reyes Station.

What others are saying about the book...

“There’s no place in the world like the little towns of west Marin County — fascinating places surrounded by rolling hills, forests, ranches, a lovely long bay, and the Pacific Ocean. A great place for a small-town newspaper, which has covered floods, fires, car wrecks, the birth of a new national park, a famous cult that took over half the countryside.

“It has covered the visit of the Prince of Wales, and a woman who called the cops because she thought there was a ghost in her house and someone had taken her teeth. Along the way, the paper won a Pulitzer Prize. The Point Reyes Light is a great window into a fabulous small world.”

— Carl Nolte, San Francisco Chronicle Reporter and Columnist

“Dave Mitchell and The Point Reyes Light are synonymous with top-shelf weekly newspapering. Dave is one of the few small-town editors ever to win a Pulitzer Prize; his investigation of the Synanon cult is a textbook example of tenacious reporting. His witty and colorful anecdotes always make for good reading."

— Dr. Chad Stebbins, Executive Director
International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors