SONOMA VALLEY SUN -- Founded in 1911 by San Francisco physician Philip King Brown, Arequipa was for women only; it operated until 1957, about 10 years after a TB vaccine was in wide use. Using historical documents and interviews with former patients — including her grandmother — Downey tells the story of this remarkable place of healing in her new book, “Arequipa Sanatorium: Life in California’s Lung Resort for Women.”
Downey and the fifth generation of her family to live in Sonoma. She has degrees in History and library science from San Francisco State University and the University of California, Berkeley.
She was the company Historian for Levi Strauss and Co. in San Francisco from 1989 to 2014 and wrote many articles and books on the history of the company and the jeans. Her biography of the company’s founder, “Levi Strauss: The Man Who Gave Blue Jeans to the World,” won the Foreword Reviews silver Indie award for biography.