The restoration of the Petaluma music retailer has uncovered long-hidden curiosities


One previous afternoon, as a small variety of clients examined guitars and posed inquiring questions in regards to the sturdiness of assorted amplifiers, Chris, a supervisor at Tall Toad Music, identified a poster dimension, black and white dimension images displayed excessive on the wall behind the counter.

“That,” stated Chris, who most popular to offer solely his first identify, “was an image of the shop’s inside in 1900.”

The historic dry items retailer as soon as occupied the principle degree of the constructing that was initially constructed – and continues to be owned by – the Petaluma Mason Retailer. Its title stone was laid in 1881, the completed constructing was devoted in 1882, and is greatest acknowledged as the location of the long-lasting Petaluma tower protection. Tall Palad proprietor Charlie Cowle took over the area within the mid-Nineteen Eighties, shifting the music retailer from its unique location to Outdated Petaluma Mill, proper throughout the road.

“The factor is, I’ve been taking a look at that image for years, considering,‘ You already know, that’s what this place used to appear to be, ’” Chris stated. “There’s a fantastic, previous -fashioned, Victorian, New York borough really feel to some components of Petaluma. Is not it cool to have the inside of the shop that matches the surface vibe of Petaluma? ‘”

Chris started to suggest a full restoration of the shop flooring, satisfied that there was one thing fascinating ready underneath the previous carpet. However the time it takes to shut the shop and do the work doesn’t appear financially possible.

COVID-19 then stopped underneath the city of Petaluma.

Final March, when the State of California launched the first-ever COVID-19 residential-at-home arrangement-along with what turned out to be a 10-week necessary shutdown of all pointless businesses-the honorable that Tall Toad Music of Petaluma was elected to place to good lengthy timeout use, shortly changing the sounds of strumming guitars and ukuleles with the beating of hammers and the jerk of energy shops.

Over the following few weeks, layer after layer of historic flooring, lengthy hidden underneath a stratum of light grey carpet, was exhausting to excavate. Beneath all of it lay quite a few mysterious, age-old curiosities, in addition to the unique floorboards of the historic constructing, an vintage gathering of 1880 old-grown spruce.

“It’s one thing I’ve lengthy wished to do, rebuilding the ground,” Chris stated.

Step one was to clear the area of racks, furnishings and different boundaries, a challenge that might take the higher a part of per week.

“Each guitar has to go the place,” Chris stated. “All these bins needed to go to the again, in order that the ground was utterly empty. Then it took us a moon to get the carpet, and the layers of particle board and sub-floor upwards. Each time we pull a few of it, it simply disappears. ”

Later, the unique spruce ground of the constructing was found. It’s, understandably, a bit worse than drained, however nonetheless lovely and has the plain potential to shine once more.

Hardwood flooring aren’t the one factor they’ve found.

“We discovered a secret door on the ground,” Chris stated, clearly grinning behind his masks.

We’ll return to that secret door shortly.

One of many notable outcomes of final spring’s renovation was the addition of a protracted strip of newer walnut, beginning close to the door and in the direction of the counter. It’s designed to resemble a big guitar fretboard, full with steel inlays to make the connection smoother.

“One of many gents working right here, Dave, when he noticed the uncooked wooden, he stated, ‘Hey, it is like a fretboard,'” Chris exploded. “So we determined,‘ We’re a guitar retailer. Let’s simply make a fretboard. ‘”

Within the heart of the fretboard is a placing, layered picture of a musical frog.

A tall frog, clearly.

“A neighborhood gentle, Larry Robinson, who builds lots of guitars, he put the frog on,” Chris added. “He drew the frog and carved it, after which crammed it with anodized aluminum. It is fairly lovely, and folks actually prefer it.”

Whereas partaking in a week-long adjustment, Chris admitted that the group was considerably obsessive about figuring out the explanations behind lots of the unusual issues they have been discovering. To listen to him describe it, looks like a type of archaeological structure.

Chris stood in an area the place a transparent, sq. set up of recent wooden stood out from the aged and polished wooden round it.

“Right here’s one of many weirdest issues we’ve found,” he stated. “Once we found this place, the unique posture sank nearly an inch, actually pushed. My principle is that here is the protected within the dry items retailer.”

Once more pointing to the image above the counter, Chris pointed to a touch the place a wall used the room, suggesting the doable protected was within the again room of the shop.


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