Vignette 240 > Thoney House

Charles Thoney was born in California of Austrian-Italian parents. His wife Olga was born in California of Swiss-Italian parents. In 1903, Charles, a fireman for the City of San Francisco Fire Department, bought the lot at the dead end of Sunnyside Ave. next to the creek. He built a tent platform on it that the family used on vacations. In 1904 he constructed a two-story house on the lot. In April 1906 after the earthquake, the family moved permanently to Mill Valley. Charles Thoney later became a fireman for the Mill Valley Fire Department.  The 1910 census lists the following occupants of their house: a daughter age 17; and eight sons ages 26, 24, 22, 20 16, 11, 8 and 6.  Three of the boys became employees of the Mt. Tamalpais & Muir Woods Railway, performing the jobs of engineer, brakeman, conductor and driver of the Lee St. Local.  The youngest son, Clinton, became Mill Valley Fire Chief in 1929, the year of the disastrous mountain fire. In the 1950s, the house was remodeled into three apartments.