Origins of the Community

A Homestead Headlines Article by Chuck Oldenburg

June, 2000

Tamalpais Land & Water Company Map No. 7 subdivided Homestead Valley into parcels and streets as surveyed by A.D. Avery in 1903. A few of the streets had no names, e.g. those now named Hawthorne, Linden Lane (at one time named Heckman) and Melrose (at one time named Avery).

Several parcels were soon sold. Herman Heckman bought the triangle bounded by Evergreen, Ethel, Montford and Linden Lane, and built a 13-room home on the corner of Ethel and Montford. Michael Maguire bought a parcel on the west side of Linden Lane between Montford and Evergreen, and built a two story house on the Montford corner. John Bone bought a parcel on the west side of Hawthorne between Evergreen and La Verne, and built a house on the corner of Evergreen. Lillian Ferguson bought a parcel at the end of the valley, built a house there and named her estate Three Groves. Fred Stolte bought the parcel across the street, and built a bachelor’s cabin there. Alexander Eels bought a large parcel along Montford downstream from Three Groves, and planted eucalyptus trees as a windbreak.

In 1905, Homestead residents got together for a work party and constructed a wooden sidewalk along Montford from Miller to Ethel. Many other wooden sidewalks were installed later – some lasted 30 years. Tamalpais Land & Water Co. donated a half acre on Janes for a school which opened in 1908 – it also served as a community center.

Many San Franciscans made homeless by the 1906 earthquake and fire sought shelter in Homestead. The Heckmans housed many friends. The Bones set up several tents in their yard and provided water to neighbors whose wells had collapsed. Fred Stolte occupied his weekend cabin full time. Others bought lots, lived in tents for a while and later built their homes. They found that the commute to San Francisco was not all that inconvenient: train from Locust station to Sausalito, ferry to the city, street car to the job – door to door in less than an hour. The population grew quickly.


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.