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This informal history of the Dixie School District covers three periods- Early, Pastoral and Modern. The writer has attempted to relate the story of the people from the earliest Indians to the “civilized” Indians of the Mission Period; from the early white settlers who pioneered and who placed great emphasis on education and the establishment of schools for their children; bringing us up to today’s modern suburban community.
The land of Dixie District is a series of valleys tucked between ranges of hills towering as high as 1905 feet above sea level. Access from the west is by a narrow winding mountainous road known as Lucas Valley Road. Access from the north and south is by U.S. Highway 101, formerly a wagon road that joined San Rafael on the south with the towns of Sonoma County on the north. In early day, important access on its extreme east was by means of ships and boats docking on its short span of San Pablo Bay. Santa Venetia borders on the southwest.
In the early days, it was a pleasant land- the hills covered largely with oak, bay, horse chestnut and madrone, warmed the winds from the Pacific Ocean before they reached these valleys where wild grasses grew rampantly during the winter and spring rains and where they endured- brown and dry during the summer and fall. Whether green or dry, these grasses provided abundant food for the grazing of wild animals. These animals were to be replaced in part, first by cattle and sheep of the rancheros, then by steers to provide meat for the surrounding area, and finally by the dairy cows.
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