Vignette > The Fireside
On April 26, 1884, the North Pacific Coast Railroad (NPCR) opened the 2,183-foot Alto Tunnel from Mill Valley to Corte Madera. A new rail bed followed today’s Bay Shore multipurpose path. In 1889, NPCR established Manzanita Station. Dairies in Tennessee Valley and Tamalpais Valley sent milk to the station for shipment to San Francisco. By 1895 the nearby Victor’s Roadhouse was a popular rendezvous for hikers and duck hunters. By 1909, the roadhouse was called Manzanita Villa at Manzanita Station. In 1916, a two-story brick hotel and dance hall was built on the site. During Prohibition in the 1920s, it was a “blind pig”. After renovation in 1926 it was called Manzanita Hotel, then Manzanita Inn, then Top Rail Tavern. In 1947, a half-circle 26-unit motel was constructed behind it and the property became The Fireside. Additions were made to the brick building in 1976 and it was operated as the Fireside Motel and El Rebozo Restaurant. In 2000, Citizens Housing Corporation of San Francisco proposed to provide fifty units of affordable housing on the four-acre site. The project involved demolition of the motel and renovation of the Fireside Inn building as a community center. During renovation in 2008, skeletal Indian remains were discovered beneath the structure.