Union Hotel, Occidental

Union Hotel_s

The Ready, Set, Sketch! group met today in the beautiful town of Occidental. This tiny town, located directly west of Sebastopol, has a number of good places to shop and eat. One of those places is the Union Hotel and Restaurant.

Back in 1925, Giovanna Gobetti Giovanna sold the Union Saloon to Carlo Panizzera for $2,500.00. Carlo turned it into the Union Hotel, which is still owned and run by his descendants today.

Lately I’ve been practicing sketching without ink lines. Sometimes I feel I’m successful and sometimes I don’t. Ultimately this sketch is overworked, but I picked up some new ideas which makes it all worth while.


Howard’s Station Cafe, Occidental, CA

Howards Cafe_s2

Occidental is a small Northern California mountain town founded in 1876.  The cafe I sketched there, Howard’s Station Cafe, is named after William “Dutch Bill” Howard, who supposedly was not really Dutch, nor was his name William Howard. According to the restaurant’s website, “He was in fact, a Danish sailor named Christopher Thornassen Folkmann, born in 1823. Folkmann was serving as an able bodied seaman on the U.S. Ship St. Mary, which dropped anchor in San Francisco Bay in 1849.”

Howard granted the North Pacific Coast Railroad right-of-way across his land to connect the nearby town of Cazadero to Sausalito on the San Francisco Bay. In return, he received a lifetime railway pass and the station was named after him.

The Howard Station Cafe serves delicious organic breakfasts and lunches. On weekends, there is always a wait to get a table so come early (before 9am)—or late (after 1pm).

This sketch has been published in the Press Democrat online edition and in the Dec 21, 2013 edition of the Towns section of the PD.