Jana Haehl was Mayor of Corte Madera between 1975-76 and again in 1978-79.  She is a longtime activist and waged many battles to help preserve Marin’s beauty and character over the years.  Haehl also served as a key member of Barbara Boxer‘s staff during the first fifteen years Boxer was in Congress.

 I asked Haehl about her favorite Marin restaurants during the 70’s and was suprised by her answer: “There weren’t many restaurants in Marin in those days,” she says, “We used to eat out at San Quentin a lot.”

The prison???

“My husband taught at San Quentin at night,” Haehl explains, “Outside the main walls they had a small restaurant where inmates who were about to be released received job training so they could support themselves when they got out.   They ran a restaurant for the families of employees.”

How was the food?

“It was actually pretty good,” she says.   “They would only fix one kind of thing each night.  We used to like to go on Tuesday nights because it was Mexican.  Our little kids would go with us and they (the inmates) really liked seeing little kids because that was not part of their life inside the prison.  The prisoners were very sweet and nice to them.

I had to ask: “Did they ever serve  a special dessert – you know, like a cake with a saw in it?

“No, nothing like that,” she says.  

Restaurants weren’t the only thing in short supply in Marin when the Haehl family moved to Corte Madera in the early Sixties, remembers Haehl.  “There weren’t a lot of parks and playgrounds,” she says. “Corte Madera Town Park wasn’t quite developed then.  The land was set aside but it hadn’t really been landscaped yet and there weren’t playground facilities.  You had to take your little kids all the way over to Ross for them to play on slides and swings at Pixie Playground.”


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