Mt. Tam Winter Wonder

Circa 1922

Gabriel Moulin, a premier California photographer, took the above photo on February 2, 1922, with an eight-by-ten field camera using an eight-by-ten negative. According to Tom Moulin, his grandson, the photo was shot from the area east of Camino Alto known as Enchanted Knolls. The road on the right is East Blithedale Avenue leading into Mill Valley at the foot of Mount Tamalpais, which had just been blanketed with the heaviest snowfall ever recorded in Marin. In 1873, Mill Valley developer John Cushing had named the primary road leading into town Blithedale, to honor Nathaniel Hawthorne, his classmate at Bowdoin College and the author of Blithedale Romance. West (or left) along East Blithedale, the buildings begin at what is now Locust Avenue. Also existing in and around Mill Valley in 1922 were Tamalpais High School (opened in 1908); the “World’s Crookedest Railroad” (opened in 1898; closed in 1930); the Mountain Play (at the time, in its 10th season); and Northwestern Pacific’s interurban electric railroad system (last operated in 1941). Prints of the above photo, starting at $50, are available from Moulin Photo Studios, 415.454.9468. An enlargement can be viewed in the History Room of the Mill Valley Public Library.