Valley Ford Victorian

Daryl W. Johnson

I used to work in the Bay Area, often running the Cypress structure top and bottom, but in 1989 had been working in the North Bay Area for 2 years. I was working on a Victorian home salvage project in Valley Ford, and that day, I had removed much of the cross bracing under the house to replace dry rotted timbers and had a carpenter under the house adding bracing back as I jacked the house up to level it in sections.

When the earthquake hit, it was just as my then-GF had stopped by to bring me lunch. She and I both were rocking back and forth walking toward each other, wondering what was going on. My carpenter under the house yelled to me to stop jacking up the house and I yelled back to him, “It’s not me, it’s the whole world, get out of there!”

I looked out the window to see him darting out from the access panel and looked along Hwy 1, and the power poles were stirring and the hills were rolling. I about threw up, as did my GF.

We all got clear of the house and turned on the radios in our vehicles. Needless to say, I braced the house from the outside and left to see what had happened back in my city of Petaluma.