A Tale of Two Cities

IN RECENT YEARS, pleasure craft have been known to break their moorings in Sausalito and drift across Richardson Bay and into the docks of multimillion-dollar bayfront homes in Belvedere. It’s a constant issue.

However, 100 years ago, that line of white structures lined up on the island across the bay were not Belvedere mansions, but a string of codfish-processing plants. And those schooners in the bay? “They’ve probably just returned to Sausalito from waters off Alaska or Siberia with tons of codfish aboard,” says Dave Gotz, archivist at the Belvedere-Tiburon Landmarks Society. “After the cod was unloaded, it was dried and salted and sent over to San Francisco for distribution.” According to Gotz, also in the above circa 1920 photo are five ferries, four of them capable of carrying cars as well as passengers. “The smaller one in the middle left of the photo is the Marin, which is about the size of the ferries that now cross San Francisco Bay.”