Around 1866, Samuel Throckmorton built a lodge on Rancho Sausalito, a 19,000 acre Mexican land grant originally awarded to William Richardson. Throckmorton lived in San Francisco. When he brought friends to his ranch to hunt elk and bear, they stayed in one half of the lodge. The ranch manager lived in the other half. Throckmorton named the lodge, “The Homestead,” a name later applied to the valley. It was located at the corner of Ethel, Montford and Linden Lane. Other photos and drawings of The Homestead suggest that it faced north toward Miller Ave.
This photo of ranch manager Jacob Gardner and his family was taken in about 1888. From left to right are his wife Annie, Lillian (in her lap), Leslie, Cora, Jacob and Georgina. Note the water tower and barn behind the lodge. Other farm buildings are hidden. The Homestead burned down in 1900.
Jacob Gardner (1846 – 1921) was a prominent citizen: member of the first Mill Valley Board of trustees, promoter and financier of the first Mill Valley school, county sheriff, and county supervisor.
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.