VIGNETTE > Camp Tamalpais

Camp Tamalpais, 1918 - click to enlarge

Camp Tamalpais, 1918 – click to enlarge

In 1904, a few of the first folks to buy lots in Homestead Valley occasionally camped out. In 1906, many earthquake refugees became tent campers until they could build a house. In 1908, a developer had a different idea. He subdivided an 11-acre tract in a redwood canyon into 137 tiny lots, many on steep slopes. Camp Tamalpais was designed for camping. He dammed Reed Creek for a swimming pool and built a large fireplace for cooking. Drinking water came to the fireplace area from the Belvedere reservoir up on Sequoia Valley Rd. San Francisco families would escape summer fog by camping out in Camp Tamalpais. Small cottages soon replaced tents. Lots were combined to accommodate larger houses. The Great Depression of the 1930’s brought about the demise of the summer resort. The swimming pool became a parking lot. Houses got electricity, city water and gas. Year-round residents seeking seclusion and privacy moved in to the renamed Tamalpais Canyon. It became a colony of artists and writers. But the demographics changed. By the 1960s, families predominated. One father provided TV for his kids by installing an antenna on top of a tall redwood tree. Tamalpais Canyon today is a community of 25 homes. Most are high up on the flanks of the redwood canyon.

Want  more info? Read the History of Homestead Valley article:
Camp Tamalpais
Tamalpais Camp