VIGNETTE > Throckmorton

In 1855, Samuel R. Throckmorton became the owner of Rancho Sausalito, 19,000 acres (30 sq. miles) of southern Marin north of the Golden Gate. In 1860 he began converting open cattle range into divided dairy ranches, ultimately 24. Virtually all the lessees and their workers were Portuguese, principally from the Azores Islands.  In 1866 he built a combination hunting lodge and ranch manager’s house in Homestead Valley.  The photo was taken shortly before his death in 1883 at age 75. Cora Gardner, daughter of ranch manager Jacob Gardner, knew Throckmorton when she was a child living in the ranch house.  Her description: “Short in stature and very active, erect and pompous in his ways. In his 70s he still rode horseback, and went on hunting trips. His ranch was his pride and playground.  He was very jealous of it and would allow no trespassers or campers on it. He only allowed his friends to picnic there, and they needed a special permit. It was quite a privilege to spend a day at the ranch.  You drove up from Sausalito, presented your permit at the ranch house, procured the key to the gate [at Locust and Miller], and had your picnic at the Old Mill.”