|Title||Oral History of Beryl Jean Symmes|
|Scope & Content||Beryl Jean Symmes grew up in Richmond, Surrey, England. In 1943 she met Laurence M. Symmes Jr., an American serviceman. They married in 1947, and Laurence brought her to Mill Valley where he had settled after the war with his aunt Ruth Boericke White, the widow of Ralston White, who owned the Garden of Allah. Beryl and Laurence spent two weeks living at the famous Mill Valley residence before moving into their own home, named El Nido (The Nest), at 309 Tamalpais Avenue. In this written oral history narrative, read by the author on the recording, Beryl recounts the history of the Garden of Allah and El Nido, and that of their owners and inhabitants, in the context of major events like the 1906 Earthquake and the Great Fire of 1929. She recalls many friends and neighbors from over six decades of living in Mill Valley, and relates the development of the family she started with Laurence. Beryl also describes her foray into novel-writing, which commenced in the 1970s under the pen name Geraldine Boyce and led to the publication of three novels by the time this oral history was recorded, including the well-received A Daughter's Inheritance, published in 2012.|
|Audio and Transcript||
Click here to hear recording.
Click here to read the transcript.
|Dates of Creation||
|Narrator's name||Symmes, Beryl Jean|
|Interviewer||Perone, Stella and self|
|Extent and Medium||
Authors - Marin County
Garden of Allah
Marin Grand Jury
Ralston L. White Retreat
San Francisco Junior League
World War II
Transcript copyright Beryl Jean Symmes. Transcript made available for research purposes only. All rights are reserved to Beryl Jean Symmes. Permission to quote for publication or otherwise use for commercial purposes must be approved by the copyright holder and such requests should be addressed to the: Lucretia Little History Room, Mill Valley Public Library, 375 Throckmorton Avenue, Mill Valley, CA 94941