Vignette > Vineyard Haven

Alonzo Coffin came to California at the age of seven in1863.  By 1891 he had married, had two children and owned a successful business in San Francisco.   The Coffins owned a cottage on Throckmorton where they camped in the summer. In1893 they built a large Victorian style house that they named Vineyard Haven on the corner of Tamalpais and Summit. In 1901 Alonzo became a member of the Mill Valley School Board. Between 1893 and 1906, they landscaped the 1.2-acre property extensively. In 1905 Alonzo became the third President of the Mill Valley Board of Trustees. [Today’s equivalent is the mayor on the City Council.] In 1906 the house went through the earthquake with only minor damage. Between 1906 and 1910, they rented the house to the Jackson family. They lived in Berkeley to be with their son and daughter who were attending the University of California. Between 1911 and 1916, the Coffin family came to Vineyard Haven occasionally for summer vacations and visits.  In 1916, they sold the house to the Barbisch family. They lived there until 1943 and had made no changes to the house although Mr. Barbisch had built a Victorian style shop building in back of the house.