Joseph Eastland was the prime mover and financial backer in founding the town of Mill Valley. In 1849, he arrived in San Francisco from Tennessee with his father, a veteran of the Mexican war. Two years later 19-year old Joseph got a job as clerk/bookkeeper for Peter and James Donahue’s foundry. The business evolved into the San Francisco Gas Co., now PG&E. His working career advanced rapidly, and he became quite wealthy. He served as a trustee of the San Francisco Savings Union. Eastland organized a group of investors to create the Tamalpais Land & Water Co. (TL&WC) that became owner of the 19,000-acre Rancho Sausalito. Most of the land was under lease to 24 dairies. TL&WC soon began preparing for the development of the choicest part of the ranch near the confluence of Mill Creek and Arroyo Corte Madera. A branch railroad line was built on what is now inbound Miller Ave. A massive land auction was held in 1890. Eastland chose a property in Cascade Canyon for his vacation home and named it Burlwood. Paneling, cabinetry and a grand staircase were handcrafted from the burl wood of local redwood trees. It was Eastland’s summer home.