Aromas School 1925

Praise for

      AROMASTORY: The overlooked              history of an underdog town

Tina Pershing Baine has given our hometown a wonderful gift. She has given us our history. Aromas, California has a history, of course, but the written record has been sparse and haphazard. Baine’s AROMASTORY: The Overlooked History of an Underdog Town, changes all that. This is a carefully researched, referenced, and real telling of a tiny community that by all rights probably should have faded away like so many small towns that today exist only on very old maps. Baine does a masterful job of presenting the stories of our founding and of the personalities of the people who loved this little town enough to fight for its existence.


—WAYNE NORTON, civic leader, activist, and longtime resident of Aromas.


Take a stroll through rural California life in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Tina Baine’s AROMASTORY contains a wealth of detail and colorful stories that will deepen your understanding of not just Aromas but the history of our coastal region on the Monterey Bay.


—DONNA F. MEKIS, AUTHOR OF Blossoms Into Gold: The Croatians in the Pajaro Valley

Includes over 250 illustrations 

and photographs

Dammed river recreation

During the 1920s, Aromas farmers dredged a dam each summer to create a recreation area for locals and seasonal farm workers along the Pajaro River, west of the bridge.


is the tale of a small California town, situated on the far-flung meeting points of three counties, nestled in a valley between two scenic mountain ranges, just beyond the outer edge of the San Francisco Bay Area. Despite the rampant growth and expansion of the urban regions that surround it, Aromas has somehow gone relatively unnoticed and unchanged for decades.


explores the economic opportunities that originally brought settlers to the town – namely agriculture and mining. But the book also takes a wider view, examining how outside forces that have shaped California and U.S. history – war, immigration, social change, rapid growth, and natural resource – were experienced in Aromas.

Aromas Pig Club (4-H)

The Aromas Pig Club, founded in 1918, became the Aromas 4-H Club in 1922. Under the able leadership of James Rowe, it was one of the earliest 4-H Clubs in California. Courtesy: Monterey County Agricultural and Rural Life Museum

Carpententeria Road

In the early days, when apricots blanketed the surrounding hills, Carpenteria Road was unpaved and required constant maintenance. The Bohnett’s home (on right) doubled as the Aromas Library for 16 years (1915-1937).


preserves the stories, the memories, and the perspectives of its people, many whom have lived in Aromas their entire lives. And in doing so, it reveals the values and bonds that have kept the town a livable, relatively unspoiled community where people are passionately committed to the hard work of protecting the best life California has to offer.

Aromas depot

The station agent, his wife, and baby daughter posed for a photo in front of the train station, rebuilt in 1907 after it was demolished by the 1906 earthquake.

Aromas Baptist Church

The Aromas Baptist Church was built by the community on Carpen- teria Road in 1901, and was remodeled several times over the years. The building was demolished in 1970 to make way for a new church. The robust congregation posed for this photo in the 1920.


Sample pages

All photos courtesy of The Albert and Alzora Snyder Collection and the Monterey County Free Libraries, Aromas Branch, Aromas, CA, except as otherwise noted. Photo of Aromas School, 1925, courtesy of the Pajaro Valley Historical Association.