Brogan House

A Homestead Headlines Article by Chuck Oldenburg

November, 2007

295 Molino Avenue in 1926. > click to enlarge

295 Molino Avenue in 1926
> click to enlarge

The above photo was taken in 1926. The dirt road is Molino. The house is on the corner of Janes in Homestead Valley across the street from Molino Park in Mill Valley. It is still recognizable from this view, especially the scalloped shingles near the peak of the roof, although it has been substantially expanded on the Janes side.

The house was built in 1904 by the Johnson brothers for State Senator King. The story goes that they built it just before winter, getting the roof and sheathing up as fast as they could without installing the bracing. The wind blew it down, so they had to start over in the spring to build it right.

In 1923, James M. Brogan bought the house. He worked in San Francisco as an X-ray technician for the Veterans Administration. To get to work he walked down steps that maps identified as Park Ave., but are now the Seymour steps to Ethel and the Una Way steps to Una Way. He boarded the train to Sausalito at Park Avenue Station, took the ferry to San Francisco and walked to his office at 4th and Mission. Door to door commute was about 60 minutes.

James, Jr. was born in 1923. When he was old enough for school, he commuted with his father as far as Sausalito where he attended the Catholic School. Later on, he accompanied his father all the way to the Ferry Building and then went on to St. Ignatius High School on Stanyon Street.

Jim recalls how exciting and thrilling it was to ride a bike down the unpaved steep gravel road we now know as Molino. It was then called Janes, and present day Janes was part of Molino. Horses could not manage the steep hill of present day Molino.


If you have comments or questions about this article or other topics
pertaining to the history of Homestead Valley,
please feel free to e-mail Chuck Oldenburg.