I met with a local shop keeper in Kings Sporting Goods store here in Guerneville today. He was very friendly and gave me some history about the place that has been known to be the best place to shop for sporting goods in Guerneville for years. Steve Jackson has owned Kings for the last 25 years and kept people supplied with floaties, kayaks, fishing gear, and swim apparel.
Originally Kings was owned by Grant King and "it was the hub for steelhead fishing on the Russian River in the hay day of the 50' and 60's" said the local shop keeper. There was even a documentary made that featured Kings in it called Rivers of the Lost Coast, which was narrated by Tom Skerritt. The Documentary recounts much of the history of the Russian River area and is quite interesting.
Kings Features a memorial dedicated to Bill Shaadt who was a well-known fisherman in the Russian River area who lived in Guerneville and frequented Kings. I was interested in Bill and looked him up on Wikipedia to see if I could find out more. I learned that he was "An innovative user of shooting head fishing lines, Schaadt helped pioneer Chinook salmon fishing on California's Smith River. He was one of the first to use flies to catch saltwater fish, including striped bass and rock fish. He medaled in fishing contests 12 times over the course of 19 years, usually in the chinook salmon category, and reportedly "caught more big salmon and steelhead than any other man who ever lived."
It was cool to learn that the place that has kept tourist equipped to go out and enjoy the Russian River to its fullest holds so much history of the area and is such a vital part of this community!