Al Rathbun

The Rathbuns bought property on Corte Madera Road in 1949 and in 1957 moved to Alpine Hills into a house they had designed and built. They had purchased their 2 acres in 1951, property Al believes to be the largest lot in the subdivision. At the time, Golden Oak was paved only to the end of their lot. When they saw a rattlesnake on the road, they wondered how many others were lurking around their property.

Al Rathbun,  January 14, 2010
Al Rathbun, January 14, 2010

During the years when incorporation was being studied, Al carried petitions around the neighborhood, offering explanations about the advantages of local control of local issues and seeking signatures. He became a member of the first Planning Commission in 1964. At the beginning, the commission enforced county ordinances, which he says were lax and allowed almost anything, but they added more requirements as time passed. Even then they worried about the steepness of the slopes. He resigned because of a potential conflict of interest with his business, Earth Systems. He was also a founder of the Alpine Hills Investment Club, which, he says, was a ‘joke” at first, not making much money, but got better and was still in existence in 2009.

5 thoughts on “Al Rathbun”

  1. What a wonderful surprise to see my father included in these pages! My parents couldn’t have picked a better place to raise a family.

    1. Susan, hi. This is Kristin Cooper, good friend to Vickie, my folks Sally and Ken enjoyed your folks. Brother Ron is your age I believe and lives in Maine. I am in Mass. but working on the Woodside house right now.
      50th reunion approaching for Vickie’s and my class at WH. Will provide a photo of her if that is o.k. with you.
      Hope you are well, Kristin

    2. Wow! I was thinking about you and Vicky and all my PV old friends. It’s hard not to think about childhood during this pandemic. How are you??? Do you remember me? Monica Lebenzon was my name, then Monica Olson after I got married and had 3 children. Was a real estate lawyer in Orang County for decades. Divorced in 2011 and remarried a few years ago- Robert Ellsberg, a writer and publisher. We went to India on a Gandhi tour for our honeymoon! Now Robert and I live together in Sleepy Hollow, NY.

  2. In the 1950s I knew a weekend horseback rider named Gale Rathbun.
    Are you related to this person, who is probably not alive now? He and
    I and my father, Ferris Miles, met at Sam Campbell’s house, across
    from Searsville Lake, where Sam & Peggy Campbell kept horses,
    including ours (we lived in Redwood City).

    Thanks for the message. I’m sorry that I don’t know whether or not there is/was a relationship there. Al passed away a while back. If you have stories to tell about riding in PV in the 1950s, I’d love to hear about them via my email or in person.
    Nancy Lund

    1. No, we were not related to Gale Rathbun, at least to my knowledge. There are a few Rathbuns in the area none of whom are we related. My dad, Al, moved with my mom, Gini (Virginia), from the east coast, my dad from Connecticut and my mom from North Carolina.
      Thanks for asking, Susan Rathbun Martin

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