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1907 view of mansion, atelier and water tower

1907 view of mansion, atelier and water tower


Leo and Suzanne Theuriet lived on a 2.2-acre estate in Homestead Valley during the “roaring twenties.” They had emigrated from France in 1910. There were four buildings on the estate: mansion, atelier, carriage house and gardener’s cottage. Leo was a world-renowned master diamond cutter. His employees manufactured jewelry in the atelier. Leo focused on jewelry design and marketing. Al Tafuri, an Italian jewelry maker, was the foreman who lived in the mansion as a boarder. Plinio Perucchi, his wife Amalia and their infant son, occupied the gardener’s cottage. They had emigrated from the Italian region of Switzerland. Plinio reportedly raised 105 different types of flowers. Amalia helped Suzanne in the house. Customers frequently visited Leo to discuss and order jewelry or pick up their orders. The Theuriets often held elaborate parties for wealthy customers including such Hollywood stars as Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin and Maurice Chevalier. A Sausalito bootlegger supplied essential French champagne and wines. During these years of prohibition, ships loaded with alcoholic beverages sailed down the coast from Vancouver and lay offshore for several days. Smugglers in small boats picked up their orders at night. Delivery to Sausalito bootleggers was often via Tennessee Valley. Leo’s closest neighbor and good friend, Mill Valley police chief Alex McCurdy, posed no problem.


Want  more info? Read the History of Homestead Valley article:
Pliny the Gardner
Chez Theuriet in the 1920s

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