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CHAMBER HISTORY 

Founding

Following the subdivision of the Rancho Novato Land Grant, new businesses and families began flocking to Novato. It was soon evident that the community needed some sort of civic organization to oversee improvements and leadership roles--the Chamber was founded to meet that need.

On August 5, 1915, the Novato Chamber was founded to lead the region. 

CA 37 Historical Novato Chamber Novato CHamber

CA37

One of the first things the Chamber did for Novato was come out against a proposed road that would have gone through the Ignacio marshlands.

The Novato Chamber recommended an alternative that would eventually be adopted by the State Highway Commission as California Route 37

CA37 cont.

Today the Novato Chamber still overseas decisions made regarding CA-37. They are a critical player in the improvements and disaster control for the aging roadway. 

Maps of Novato and Marin

CA37 cont.

Roads are directly linked to trade. Railroads and roads in the days of unincorporated Novato were planned by the Chamber of Commerce. 

CA37 cont.

Today the Novato Chamber still overseas decisions made regarding CA-37. They are a critical player in the improvements and disaster control for the aging roadway. 

CA37 cont.

The Chamber brought the FIRST paved roads, sidewalks and curbs to Novato. They secured funding from the County of Marin and placed them on Machin Avenue

This was no easy accomplishment as there was substantial resistance at the County to invest any money in the Novato community--mostly due to its isolation from other communities in the southern part of the county.

Chamber Free Business Advice Support Small Business Development Center All County Marin Sonoma Solano Napa Business doing City Admin Hall Peggy Flynn Support Beer Wine Booze Alcohol License Building Permit Process Mixer Extended Network Free BNI Novato Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors Staff Christina theo Niles Carrie Scrimshire JOb postings Marketing Events Festival Expo Signature Offices Carlile Nonprofit For Profit Taxes Board of Directors Leadership Kim Coy Smith NSD NMWD Art Moca Museum Exposed history hutch turner

Chamber Supports Novato

With the founding of Novato (January 1960) the Chamber was one of the FIRST and MOST DEDICATED groups to help the town grow and thrive. Within a year the Chamber was publicizing materials to help connect the newly formed city with the pre-existing municipal districts (which are still around today). The Chamber was instrumental in the creation of the City of Novato.

Homes in Novato

Business and Residents

While many Chambers are strictly about Business, the Novato Chamber has a long legacy of placing a high value on the needs of the residents. Throughout the 1920s  through incorporation and even to this day, the Chamber has supporting housing projects like the one shown here by the developer, Paladini in West Novato.

This was no easy accomplishment as there was substantial resistance at the County to invest any money in the Novato community--mostly due to its isolation from other communities in the southern part of the county.

Flush

The first leaders of the Chamber were originally from established communities on the East Coast--they were used to modern conveniences like plumbing and sewers. 

The Novato Chamber worked sand lobbied to get the first sewers in town and would eventually help organize the creation of the Novato Sanitary District.

Dr. Insomniacs Barber Fashio Black Smith Shop in Novato

Paving and Connectivity

The Chamber leaders knew about Novato's important location at the crossroads of the North Bay Counties. The Novato Chamber led paving projects and lobbying efforts that would bring more railroad traffic, a new depot, and paved roads to help get prized Novato Agriculture out to the local and international markets.

First Novato Plans

The Chamber led the efforts to submit the first masterplans for the region. These plans were eventually accepted by the County Planning Commission, the Chamber would use this to later push for the town's incorporation. 

Mosquitoes & Earwigs

In an effort to preserve the flood-control that the marshlands offered, the Chamber also led the first efforts to eradicate urban mosquitoes and earwig populations.

Eventually, this would lead to the creation of the Sonoma Marin Mosquito Vector District--a critical resource in preventing the spread of mosquitoes and mosquito-borne illnesses like zeka and West Nile virus. 

Depression

The Great Depression hit the Novato community hard. To cope with the massive homelessness, the Chamber and its businesses paid for over a dozen railcars that would serve as temporary housing while the town recovered.

 

The Chamber also led several small scale building projects to help get people back to work including the partial paving of Redwood Blvd and Grant Avenue.

Eventually, this would lead to the creation of the Sonoma Marin Mosquito Vector District--a critical resource in preventing the spread of mosquitoes and mosquito-borne illnesses like zeka and West Nile virus. 

golden gate briudge history

Golden Opportunity

As one of the only Marin Communities without a local ferry, Novato became one of the few strongholds of support for the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge. Efforts to raise the bond money were headed up by the local Chamber of Commerce.

Chamber Events Calendar

Most of the data and sources for this page can be found in the book: Novato Township: Land Grant - WWII
pub 1991 by the Novato Historical Guild pg 183

Although Novato now has a city government to solve many of the problems formerly placed on the Chamber, the membership continues to perform a valuable service to the community and visitors alike. The Chamber asks for no reward or commendation, but they continue to be a force that has always promoted the success of the community and will continue to do so as they Shape Tomorrow.

Learn how President's Circle and the Novato Chamber's Signature Events can grow your organization

History | Festival of Art, Wine & Music

The Festival in Novato has been around for over 35 years and has brought close to 1.5 million people to Downtown Novato over the years. The Festival is 100% organized by the Novato Chamber: learn more about Marin's Largest Outdoor Festival!

Read More

Members - Education

Meet the members of the community looking to educate the populous of the North Bay. From Pre-School to Pre-Law to Parks and Recreation, our education-focused members can help you get to where you want to be.

Read More

History | Leadership Novato

Leadership Novato began over 30 years ago with the goal to identify, empower and support future community leaders. Learn more about the origins of one of the North Bay's most revered leadership institutions.

History Can Teach Us A Lot

2020 Honors Dinner

We are gearing up for the 2020 Honors Dinner; a night where we honor all of those who are working to build up Novato's local businesses and community. Nominate your choice for Business of the Year (2019) and join us in celebrating our love for this community.

logo brand display full large size TAGLINE TAG LINE SHAPING TOMORROW

OUR NEWEST MEMBERS!


Did you know...?

Nonprofits and municipal agencies have always been part of the Novato Chamber's membership. Connecting with the business community can be help organizations recruit volunteers, support and increase recognition in the community. 

Pa Eklund Pam Drew Councilmembers Founding Hutch Turner Novato Chamber San Rafael Chamber Petaluma North Bay Community Eric Lucan Sonia Tanner Arnold Shroyer Santa Rosa Metro Leadership Exposed 

Novato Chamber N Logo

Do You Have Questions? Contact the Novato Chamber Team!

If you have any questions about this page, the Novato Chamber's history, marketing, social media, branding or if you want to learn more about utilizing the Chamber's marketing arm for your business, contact Theodore Madias, click here to send an email!

Madias, Theo (BW)

Pat Eklund Pam Drew Councilmembers Founding Hutch Turner Novato Chamber San Rafael Chamber Petaluma North Bay Community Eric Lucan Sonia Tanner Arnold Shroyer Santa Rosa Metro Leadership Exposed