Reminiscences of Luther Burbank's widow at Western Sonoma County Historical Society meeting

June 21, Sunday, 12 noon to 3:00 PM. Guests are welcome to attend this historic occasion. Please bring a dish and beverage to share with serving utensils and your place setting. So that we will have enough chairs for everyone, in addition to the picnic tables, please call Anne at 707-827-3202 and leave a message with how many will be attending. Carpooling will be necessary, as we have limited parking.

Where: Luther Burbank’s Experiment Farm, 7777 Bodega Ave., Sebastopol CA

Who: Peggy Rogers, who called Luther Burbank’s widow “Aunt Betty”, will share reminiscences and memorabilia about the Elizabeth Waters Burbank she knew from childhood until Elizabeth’s death in 1977.

The Western Sonoma County Historical Society is honored to welcome a special speaker at its quarterly meeting on June 21, 2015 at Luther Burbank’s Experiment Farm, 7777 Bodega Ave., Sebastopol. The potluck picnic will take place from 12 noon to 3 PM in the shade of trees planted by Luther Burbank.

Margaret Stewart Rogers (Peggy) will be presenting her life growing up with Elizabeth Waters Burbank, widow of Luther Burbank. From the time Peggy was born until Elizabeth’s death in 1977, Elizabeth was Peggy’s “Aunt Betty”. She remembers almost every major Holiday was spent with Mrs. Burbank, either at the Burbank home, or in the home of Georgina Stewart, Peggy’s mother. And as a young mother herself, Peggy and her family spent a great deal of time with Elizabeth.

“Aunt Betty had a huge influence on my life growing up. I learned many of life’s lessons from her, not the least of which was that people matter. 'Things are not important but people are,’ Aunt Betty would say, when I would accidentally break some treasure.

"I have many memories of the long hours my mom and Aunt Betty spent, seated by the fireplace, discussing everything from politics, to stocks, to what was read in the Wall Street Journal or the Christian Science Monitor. Also they shared personal issues, and fascinating books they’d read, and made decisions about how to proceed with cataloguing and sorting Luther's memorabilia and works, or anything else åthat caught their interest of the day,” Peggy said.

"My mother, Georgina Stewart, was a lifelong friend and supporter of all things Burbank. Mom worked tirelessly for years to make sure Luther Burbank’s and Elizabeth’s legacy lived on. She supported Elizabeth in countless ways in the pursuit of keeping as accurate an accounting of Luther’s works and life as was possible. And mostly I think she was Aunt Betty’s closest and dearest friend.”

Peggy will be sharing many personal experiences and memorabilia from her years with her Aunt Betty.

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History of Sebastopol

From the first known inhabitants, the Miwok and Pomo Indians to today, Sebastopol's history is rich in cultural, and often high-spirited discourse. Read about the History of Sebastopol.


A Pomo woman, Cecilia Joaquin, using a seed beater to gather seeds into a burden basket.


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