The Sonoma Searcher - the Cover Images 1973-2016


The Sonoma Searcher publication began just five years after SCGS was formed, attesting to the volunteer spirit of those early members. Volume I, Number 1 was typewritten and only five pages. The second issue was just as small, but also included a cover page with a depiction of the Mission San Francisco Solano de Sonoma, an illustration which continued through 1978. For volumes 6 through 7 (years 1979-1980) the cover showed drawings of local buildings; Courthouse, First Congregational Church, Washoe House, The Depot, Church of One Tree, and a collection of the various state and national flags flown in the county. The following year the covers showed photographs of people historical and current. September 1981 was the first year a tree was used as the cover illustration and that continued until June 1988. Volume 16 began with a drawing of a snail wrapped up in a bow. The explanation was in Volume 20, as the Society began its Silver Anniversary in 1992. At that time, the Sonoma Searcher was 23 pages, and the editor, Doris Dickenson, explained that the cover “… was designed by the son of one of our charter members. Richard Lovelace writes, ‘Sage snail, within thine own self curled, / Instruct me softly to make haste, / Whilst these my feet go slowly fast.’ Perhaps he expresses the feeling some of us have when we are buried in our research. So our snail creeps across the pages of our efforts.” The snail continued through 1993, when a contest was held to choose a logo for the Society. The official Sonoma County Genealogical Society logo was first seen on the cover September 1994. The editorial board and Sonoma Searcher publication team worked to put together each issue to include Society news, research methodology, information transcribed from historical documents, and stories submitted by members. These volunteers found it increasingly difficult to fill the pages of a quarterly and the frequency of publication varied from 1993 until the final volume 44 was printed in 2016.

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