LaVerne Railroad

A Homestead Headlines Article by Chuck Oldenburg

May, 2009

In 1909, local capitalists sponsored a project to construct an electric railroad through Homestead Valley to Muir Woods and Big Lagoon (Muir Beach). Passengers would board the train at Locust Station. The new tracks would come off the Mill Valley line at Doherty’s Lumber Yard at Evergreen and Miller – where Whole Foods is today. The line was to follow LaVerne Ave. up to the Dias ranch. John Dias, the president of the corporation, gave a right of way over the proposed route through his ranch. From there, the line went down to Muir Woods and followed Redwood Creek to Big Lagoon. The above photo of Muir Beach shows today’s lagoon which is much smaller than it was one hundred years ago.

An overhead view of Big Lagoon

An overhead view of Big Lagoon – click to enlarge

A September 3, 1909 editorial in the Mill Valley Independent stated the following: “The announcement made in the Independent last week regarding the possibility of a road being constructed from Mill Valley to Big Lagoon has awakened the public interest in the matter to such an extent that engineers and financiers have investigated the matter thoroughly during the past week. The feasibility and excellence of the proposed electric railroad is beyond question. Some day some far seeing financier is certain to build the railroad to Big Lagoon and Willow Camp [Stinson Beach]. The possibilities of that spot on the Coast are just being made known and have long been unappreciated. It is a certain proposition that before many years one of the finest summer resorts in the State will be located on the sea coast in that neighborhood, which will rival Santa Cruz, and bid for more San Francisco patronage because of its closeness to the city. For that reason, the railroad that will be constructed will prove a valuable investment for the owners.”

A November 12, 1909 article entitled, “Railway Company Now ready for Subscriptions,” stated that D.C. Braid, organizing director of the to be Muir Woods and Lagoon Electric Railroad was still directing every energy to make the railroad a reality. Braid stated that construction would not begin until at least $30,000 worth of stock had been subscribed for.

Evidently, the project died for lack of subscriptions.


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.