VIGNETTE > Burlwood
Joseph Green Eastland was the prime mover and financial backer in the founding of the town of Mill Valley. He was born in Tennessee in 1832, came to California in 1849, and became wealthy after careers in a gas company (now PG&E), president of the North Pacific Coast Railroad, and a director of the San Francisco Savings Union. In 1889, a branch railroad line was constructed to Mill Valley. In 1890, lots were sold in an auction at Old Mill Park. Joseph Eastland acquired seven acres in
Cascade Canyon bounded by Cascade, Throckmorton and Cornwall. In 1893, he built a three-story, 22-room mansion in the English Tudor-style. He named it Burlwood for the extensive redwood burling in the living room. It was one of the first Mill Valley houses to have electricity and telephone service. The estate had a private lake behind a dam on Old Mill Creek. There were two tennis courts and a large swimming pool. A playhouse and schoolroom for the Eastland children was named, Blue Bird Cottage. A steam boiler in a separate building provided heat for the mansion and the cottage. Joseph Eastland died in 1894. In 1907 Burlwood was sold to J. F. Meyers, a mining magnate. In 1916, Burlwood was an inn where several motion pictures were filmed. In 1923, Burlwood became the recreational retreat for employees of the Mercantile Trust Company, now Wells Fargo Bank. In the late 1930’s, the land was subdivided into 20 lots. Burlwood today is a renovated mansion, 6300 sq. ft. on 0.81 acres.