A History of the Shire of Caldarium
Adapted from an exchange between Duke Henrik of Havn (the Shire’s first Seneshal and premiere Duke) and Master Hirsch Von Henford (West Kingdom Historian) in March of 2007
The Shire of Caldarium started out as the “Province in Marin”. The first official event held there was the First Island War, July 29, 1967 (AS II). The name of Caldarium has gone through several permutations, including The Province of Ceantyre, The Province Beyond the Rainbows, The Province of Caldarium, and now the Shire of Caldarium.
Many of the earliest members and founders of the SCA lived in Marin County, including Duke Henrik and Duke Richard of Montroyal (its only members in 1966). A few other local residents joined the SCA in subsequent years including Count Stephen Blackeagle, Sir Mark von dem Falkensfenn, Lord Richard of Havn, Jeffry Brokenblade, as well a few others who were active from time to time.
Originally Caldarium was a relatively loosely defined and un-named territory that was described as encompassing the mundane counties of Marin and Sonoma – since most early SCA activity was focused in the East Bay, San Francisco and Peninsula. When King Caradoc ap Cawdor proclaimed Kingdom Law to include the requirement that all six major Kingdom events take place in one of the nine Bay Area Counties, other locations, including Marin County, were occasionally chosen for these and other events. Typically attendence at non primary (Crown Tourney or Coronation event) events was small for events in Marin County, since many non-Marin residents thought travel “way over there” was a too far and hard to do. Even the Island Wars in Nicassio, which were the first Wars in the SCA, were poorly attended after the first couple of years till they were stopped in AS XI or XII.
Duke Henrik: “During all this time I was Seneschal of ‘The Province in Marin and Sonoma’ as it unofficially came to be known. I don’t remember what year we first started discussing getting an official name for the province, but we did discuss it a whole bunch. Various Provincial officers were eventually acquired and changed from time to time, and during that process, still under my Seneschal office, as I recall, we acquired Colin MacKenzie aka, Colin of Duntamknackan as Privincial Herald. Before and then through his efforts Caldarium became known by several names. These include, but not necessarily in order:
(a) ‘Danes Law’ a reference to my being a Dane and it being ‘my territory,’ I suppose, as resident Duke – Duke Richard having moved away long before.
(b) Kin Tyre- an official and I believe our first, Kingdom designation – meaning ‘Lands End’ as I recall, in reference to Point Reyes being the most westward land within the Counties of Marin and Sonoma. I was holding the office of seneschal (as I recall) when Eoin MacKenzie proposed the name (Kin Tyre or Cean Tyre) and it was voted in by the residents of the Province. I never was enamored of the name, but the majority of residents voted for it and it was adopted and registered. The name had several different spellings depending on who was doing it and Kin Tyre is the way I recall seeing it spelled, but Ceantyre is another version I had forgotten. In any case it’s pronounced “Kin Tire (as in rubber wheel)” and that’s what I was trying to indicate. The first Island Wars should perhaps be attributed to “The Province in Marin” rather then Cean Tyre, since that name didn’t get adopted till after they were discontinued (or nearly so), and early TI’s which preceded Kingdom newsletters when the Wars started referred to the area by the “Province in Marin” terminology. Either that or the current name – Caldarium, seems more appropriate than Ceantyre – unless of course it was adopted before 1977 – which I think is the last year we held a War there.
(c) ‘Caldarium’ our current official Kingdom name. The name was derived from the mundane image of Marin County being a place of Hot tubs and Peacock feathers, so these were incorporated in both the name (Caldarium – a tub of hot water) and the Provincial arms (Peacock feathers surrounding a hot tub). This was adopted near or after Colin ceased to be Provincial Herald and I believe after Wolfscairn was separated from the Province and ‘took’ Sonoma County with it.”
At this point I was no longer Seneschal and I don’t recall who took the office from me or when it changed hands, but I think the office of Caldarium Seneschal went to Sir Mark von dem Falkensfenn first, then to Alaric of Hraefncrag, then back to Sir Mark, then to others over the intervening years and finally back to Sir Mark at present. I seem to recall other Seneschal officers holding the Caldarium office, but don’t recall them in detail, since my SCA participation declined during the decades of the mid ’80’s, and through the ’90’s.”
Master Hirsch’s research in the Herald’s record indicate that “Ceantyre, Province of” was changed in November of 1979 to “Beyond the Rainbows, Province of”, and then in March of 1982, it was changed to “Caldarium, Province of.” The rainbow was another mundane reference to the double rainbow painted at the entrance of the Waldo tunnel as one drives from San Francisco into Marin County.
Visit the Caldarium page on the History of the West Kingdom Website
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