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Sister City – Falkirk, Scotland

Captain Dollar was born in 1844 in Falkirk, Scotland and became very wealthy, first through the timber industry and later in the shipping business. He founded the Dollar Steamship Company, established trade with the Orient, and began the first regularly scheduled round-the-world passenger/freight line. Captain Dollar is often credited with founding the Merchant Marine. An active member of civic life in San Rafael and one of the drafters of the City Charter, Dollar donated much of the city’s adjacent open space on San Rafael Hill. He also gave lavishly to his hometown of Falkirk, Scotland, where he is fondly remembered today.

In 1988, we received a letter from Mrs. Alice Dollar Hayden, granddaughter of Robert Dollar, suggesting that San Rafael establish Sister City ties with Falkirk, Scotland. Mrs. Hayden’s grandfather, Robert Dollar, was born in Falkirk, Scotland and for many years lived on the San Rafael estate he called Falkirk which is now one of the City’s unique and special attractions. Mr. Curt Hayden, son of Alice Dollar Hayden and great-grandson of Robert Dollar, expressed their excitement to have Falkirk, Scotland become a Sister City to San Rafael.

Mrs. Marianne Christofsen, representing the St. Andrews Society, spoke to the City Council on the emphasis of their Spanish background as well as the Scot and Irish peoples, adding that being a Sister City to Falkirk, Scotland would be a happy dimension to the cultural life in San Rafael.

In October 1988, we declared Falkirk, Scotland, as our sister city, recognizing the historical connection through the Dollar family. Falkirk, Scotland, through community efforts, cast a replica street light which they shipped to us and which has been installed on the Falkirk grounds. In turn, the City sent Falkirk, Scotland a replica of a Mission Bell as a gesture of friendship and commemoration of our sister city

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