Around 1866, Samuel Throckmorton built a lodge on Rancho Sausalito, originally a Mexican land grant of 19,000 acres awarded to William Richardson. Throckmorton lived in San Francisco. When he brought friends to his ranch to hunt elk and bear, they stayed in one half of the lodge. The ranch manager lived in the other half. The lodge was located at what is now the corner of Ethel and Montford. He named the lodge “The Homestead.” The ranch was originally open cattle range. Throckmorton started leasing acreage for dairy ranches to tenants from Portugal’s Azores Islands. In 1868, he hired Jacob Gardner, a bachelor, as ranch manager. It was a tough job overseeing the tenants, managing a large cattle ranch, and maintaining 15 miles of fencing with several gates. There was also the farming at The Homestead and readying horses for Throckmorton and his hunting buddies. In 1873, he left for greener pastures. In 1880, he returned with a wife and family. Throckmorton viewed Rancho Sausalito as his playground. He was jealous of it and would allow no trespassers or campers. One visitor wrote, ”It was quite a privilege to obtain a special permit to spend a day at the ranch. You drove up from Sausalito in a livery conveyance to The Homestead, presented your permit and procured a key to the gate at Locust that would allow you to picnic at the Old Mill.” Gardner stayed on after Throckmorton’s death and ownership of the ranch had passed to the Tamalpais Land & Water Co. The Homestead burned down in 1900.
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