Downtown Tiburon

The large white building in the middle of this 1898 photo of Tiburon is the Sonoma House Hotel. Misnamed? Not when you realize that in 1884, it—along with the four matching rooming houses behind it—had been barged down from Donahue Landing on the Petaluma River in Sonoma County. The enterprising Peter Donahue, owner of the San Francisco and North Pacific Railway, planned to transport tourists from San Francisco by ferry and on to the Redwood Empire by rail. Unfortunately, Donahue died in 1885 (and in 1901, the hotel burned down) before his dream was fully realized. However, the two-story white building across Main Street from the hotel still stands—it now houses Waypoint Pizza. In the background, Corinthian Island and Belvedere are all but uninhabited; even though Marin had been a county for 48 years. The Belvedere-Tiburon Landmarks Society has archival prints of this and other photos available for $40. Contact [email protected] or 415.435.4590.