History Walks

Homestead Headlines Articles by Chuck Oldenburg

February 2015

Henry Morton building his house at 231 Evergreen in 1904 > click to enlarge

Henry Morton building his house at 231 Evergreen in 1904 > click to enlarge

Lucretia Hansen Little was Mill Valley’s Town Clerk and official historian for many years. In 1977, illness forced her to retire and move away. A group of interested people established the Mill Valley Historical Society to make available historical material relating to Mill Valley, including the invaluable collection of books, pictures, maps and documents that Mrs. Little had collected. The Mill Valley Public Library made a History Room available. In 1977 the society produced a history walk in Mill Valley. Such walks have been held annually on the Sunday before Memorial Day. Three have taken place in Homestead Valley.

Ninth Annual Walk Into History – 1986
This walk began at the newly constructed Marin Theatre Company behind the Port on Miller Ave. Guided tours left every 10 minutes from 10:50 am to 4:00 pm. All except three of the thirty-two trained guides were Homestead Valley residents. The first three stops for historical descriptions were the Quonsets (now Whole foods), Brown’s Hall (now the Buddhist Temple) and the 2 AM Club. After several stops on Montford there was a tour of Tamalpais Canyon. The walk ended at Stolte Grove. There were 35 stops at historic sites in the 1.3-mile walk.

Twenty-Sixth Annual Walk Into History – 2003

Stolte House – 1908 > click to enlarge

Stolte House – 1908 > click to enlarge

This walk commemorated the 100th anniversary of the formation of the community of Homestead Valley. After a discussion of its origins at the Community Center, the next stops were the school and Volunteer Park. The walk up Montford stopped at some of the same stops on the 1986 walk. The main difference was a tour of the Three Groves gardens and the interior of the house. There followed stops at the old Stolte house and Tamalpais Canyon. The walk ended at Stolte Grove. There were 20 stops in the 0.6-mile walk.

Three Groves House - 1921 > click to enlarge

Three Groves House – 1921 > click to enlarge


Thirty-Third Annual Walk Into History – 2010
Until 1948, there were no house numbers. A few residents in the area west of Melrose used “Upper Homestead” as an address in telephone books and voter registration forms. The area east of Melrose was therefore known as “Lower Homestead” although there is no record of any use of this as an address. This walk was titled “Lower Homestead.” There were 18 stops, starting at the Community Center. The route went down La Verne to Hawthorne then to Linden Lane, Montford and Evergreen, ending at Volunteer Park, a 1.4-mile walk.

Click the links below to see the guidebooks for the 2003 and 2010 history walks:
2003 History Walk Guidebook: Homestead Valley
2010 History Walk Guidebook: Lower Homestead

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.