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Pedestrians Pursue Petaluma's Past

June 29, 1997|AMY A. WEBER

They've gained the nickname "The Street Walkers" for their willingness to spend hours guiding visitors through historical haunts of once-wild Petaluma, founded in the Gold Rush era in 1852.

Every Saturday and Sunday at 10:30 a.m. from May through October, the volunteer female guides, in Victorian attire, lead free, hourlong walking tours in the town about 25 miles north of San Francisco.

A new stop this year is the A Street Historic District, near downtown, with its restored 1870s-era homes, said Connie Hammerman of the Petaluma Historical Museum.

Other highlights are downtown Iron Front buildings, with their cast-iron decorative pieces; former saloons that housed upstairs brothels; and a notorious rosebush that once graced the grounds of Miss Fanny's Green House (of ill repute), open from 1939 to 1953, Hammerman said.

Tours depart from the museum at 20 Fourth St. Information: telephone (707) 778-4398.

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