Tourist accommodations existed in Blithedale Canyon long before the subdivision of ranch land began in Mill Valley in 1890. The Blithedale Hotel (with cottages) was located on land that had not been claimed as part of either the Reed or Richardson Mexican land grants. By 1880, it had become one of the most popular and highly regarded hotels in Northern California. Guests were originally met at the Collins Summit railroad station by a four-in-hand stage. After 1884, when the rail line was rerouted through a tunnel to Corte Madera, hotel guests got off at the Blithedale station near today’s post office in Alto. Coaches took them up the County Road (today’s East Blithedale Ave.) passing through several gates on the Reed Rancho Corte Madera del Presidio. After 1889, guests arrived at the Eastland/Mill Valley depot, not far from the hotel.
Long before development of Eastland & Millwood (Mill Valley) there was a hotel in Blithedale Canyon. It was one of the most popular and highly regarded hotels in Northern California.