VIGNETTE > Mill Valley Riding Club

MV Riding Club, 1940s

In 1937, Edward and Gertrude Stehn bought a small house in Homestead Valley.  They had been active participants in the San Francisco and Parkside Riding Schools. The house built in 1922 was on the corner of the lot close to the street. The rest of the 1.13-acre lot was mostly level — just what the Stehns wanted for their horses. They built a horse ring with lights, a stable, a barn and a tack shed.  They founded the Mill Valley Riding Club.  Members kept their horses there. In February 1939, the Club furnished two horses for the World’s Fair parade in San Francisco. Mr. Stehn owned and trained a thoroughbred hunter named Shasta Gold that was a consistent winner in hunting and jumping classes. On Saturday, October 8, 1939 at 8 pm, the Mill Valley Riding Club Horse Show drew an estimated 600 spectators.  Mayor Bagshaw was guest of honor. A special drill of 12 skilled riders in red coats started the show to music.  Then came jumping events and horsemanship contests for adults and children.

The club remained active under two subsequent owners in the 1940s and 1950s. The horse ring and the related buildings were gone by the 1960’s. The property is now the Homestead Valley Community Center.