In the 1980s, while Homestead residents were walking, jogging, bicycling or driving up Evergreen, a goat would often be watching them from inside the gate of the house on the corner of Hawthorne. The unique design of the gate was perfect for the goat who seemed to enjoy observing what was happening on Evergreen. The house came to be known as “The Goat Lady House.” [Photoshop added the goat to the 1997 photo of the gate. – ed.]
The “Goat Lady” was not a customer of Mill Valley Refuse Service, Inc. The goat consumed household garbage, and trimmed vegetation. Cans, bottles, and anything else the goat refused to eat were buried. Paper was burned in the fireplace.
Inside the gate was a cute little house built by John Bone in 1905. He had also built various out buildings. His workshop is now a guest cottage. His shed—see above photo taken in 1997—was for storage of garden tools and fruit and vegetables from his orchard and garden. Part of the shed was a chicken coop. John and his wife Lillian lived in the house until they died. They had two children, Lancelot and Carmelita. A granddaughter, also named Carmelita, lived with them later on.
During the 1930s, Lillian Bone’s hobby was raising lily pads. Well water supplied several concrete lined ponds which John had built. When the neighbor across the street, Albert Von der Werth, would travel to Portland, Oregon on business, he would sometimes pick up exotic lily pad varieties that Lillian had ordered from a Portland nursery.
John Bone died in 1946, and Lillian, in 1967. In 1968, a Mill Valley couple bought the house. In 1977, they sold it to the “Goat Lady”.
In 1995, when the “Goat Lady” decided to sell the house, a Marin Association of Realtors notice referred to it as the “famous Goat Lady House.” The house did not have central heating. The floors were not level. The yard was overgrown with old fruit trees, shrubs and vines. The lily ponds were full of dirt and whatever the goat did not eat. But the goat was no longer there.
Many Homestead residents still refer to the house on the corner of Evergreen and Hawthorne as “The Goat Lady House.”
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.