1975, June 8th. San Francisco Chronicle article on Pete and Jeannette’s Rock n Roll wedding. Page 3 of news section.


1975, June 8th. San Fran­cis­co Chron­i­cle arti­cle on Pete and Jean­net­te’s Rock n Roll wed­ding. Page 3 of news section.

Mill Val­ley His­tor­i­cal Society.
Mar­riages in Three Groves — July, 2009 (it was actu­al­ly June 8th)


Pete Sears and Jean­nette Dil­ger at their Three Groves
wed­ding in June 1975

In 1904, Lil­lian Fer­gu­son named her house and gar­den, a three-acre estate at the end of Mont­ford Ave., “Three Groves.” In 1974, the prop­er­ty was split so that the house could be pri­vate­ly owned and most of the gar­den could be pur­chased with funds from the 1973 open space bond issue. The own­er of the house, Mrs. Dorothy Noble, recent­ly wid­owed and remar­ried, had moved to her hus­band’s home in San Fran­cis­co. The house was rent­ed until 1979 when she sold it to a nephew of her husband.

Two cou­ples rent­ed the house at Three Groves from 1974 to 1979. The men were sound engi­neers for Hot Tuna, an out­growth of Jef­fer­son Air­plane and Jef­fer­son Star­ship. In June 1975, a wed­ding cer­e­mo­ny was held in Three Groves. The groom was Pete Sears, British-born pianist and bassist of Jef­fer­son Star­ship. The bride was Jeanette Dil­ger of Mill Val­ley. It was an absolute­ly gor­geous day. Guests were fer­ried to Three Groves from the Tam High park­ing lot in a Rolls Royce. Some wore for­mal attire com­plete with top hat. Rock stars were well rep­re­sent­ed includ­ing Grace Slick, Paul Kant­ner, John Bar­ba­ta, Mar­ty Balin and David Freiberg.

The San Fran­cis­co Chron­i­cle report­ed: “Rock Stars Unplugged. The biggest rock wed­ding in ages—the biggest ever with­in the ensem­ble of Jef­fer­son Star­ship, nee Airplane—sounded through the Mill Val­ley wild­wood yes­ter­day. And what sound did it sound? Man, would you believe Hayd­n’s Lark Quar­tet, and Mozart’s Hunt Quar­tet and his Dis­so­nant Quar­tet. With the non-elec­tric Home­stead Val­ley Quar­tet on catguts? Mean­time, through the neigh­bor­ing red­wood grove [Stolte Grove] came the faint sing-song of ron­delets from a com­pet­ing par­ty thrown by the Home­stead Val­ley PTA.” [Ampli­fied sound is pro­hib­it­ed in both Three Groves and Stolte Grove.]

This was the first of many wed­ding cer­e­monies in Three Groves—often half a dozen each sum­mer. An altar and fold­ing chairs would be set up on the large south lawn. Musi­cians per­formed on an adja­cent lawn. Some­times a recep­tion fol­lowed on the north lawn. More often, the recep­tion was held in Stolte Grove where the stage was used for enter­tain­ers and dancing.

By 1990, near­by red­wood trees had grown so tall that the sun did not shine on the south lawn in Three Groves. Grass could not sur­vive. A restora­tion attempt was unsuc­cess­ful. Wed­ding cer­e­monies were hence­forth not permitted—the south lawn is now cov­ered with wood chips. It is unlike­ly that Three Groves will ever see a wed­ding like the first one.
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