San Rafael Landmark

The name Boyd Gate House means just that. It was built in 1879 to be a gate (and guest) house for the nearby Boyd mansion, which is now occupied by the Elks Club of San Rafael. Actually, the Boyd mansion was home to the Boyd and Cook families, who were joined by a business relationship and, in 1883, a marriage. In 1905, the Boyd family suffered the deaths of two young sons and donated their gatehouse and surrounding gardens to the City of San Rafael in memory of their two boys. In subsequent years, their only daughter, Louise Arner Boyd, inherited the remaining estate and used much of her fortune to explore and do research in the Arctic. Since 1959, the Marin History Museum has occupied the Boyd Gate House. Though most would describe the building as a “classic” Victorian, the descriptive architectural term is Gothic Revival. The museum is located at the corner of Mission and B Streets in San Rafael and open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Friday, and the second and third Saturdays of the month. 415.454.8538,