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Stinson Beach Timeline

c. 2017 BC
Coastal Miwok Shell mounds have been found near Stinson Beach. Lone Tree Trail (now known as Dipsea Trail) was used by Miwoks.
1836
The Mexican grant Rancho Las Baulinas to Rafael Garcia with farming and logging on east shore of lagoon-only access is by sea or horseback to San Rafael Mission.
1846
Land grant is deeded to Garcia's brother-in-law, Gregorio Briones. (Note: some people think the actual beach area of Stinson is in the Saucelito Rancho deeded to Captain William Richardson in 1838.)
1852
Capt. Isaac Morgan buys land from Gregorio Briones grows prize winning apples on his Belvidere Ranch (his spelling) which was on the whole east side of Bolinas Lagoon. Capt. Alfred Easkoot is hired by Morgan to help on ranch. Johnsons Boatworks (Later becomes McKennan's Landing.) is built on land leased from Isaac Morgan who hires Thomas and William Johnson to run a boatyard. They build a fleet of schooners known as the Splinter Fleet.
1870
Dirt county road from Sausalito is built (becomes Hwy.1) This is known as the "outside road" by locals. (Capt. Morgan led the delegation to the county to request the building of the road.) Nathan Stinson and James Wallace Upton buy out Morgan's 1,720 acres including sand spit.
ca. 1870
White Gate Ranch is built. From 1870-90 Marin dairies were considered the best in the state.
1871
Easkoot's Beach is established by Capt. Alfred Easkoot who bought acreage from Morgan, and by 1879 has 20 family tents.
1873
James Upton dies. Nathan Stinson marries his widow, Rose, and becomes stepfather of Archie and Ida.
1880-85 Nathan and Rose Stinson set up resort in competition with Easkoot. "Most people called it Willow Camp." It has a newspaper, Willow Whistle, and dance floor.
1883
Easkoot builds house.
1885
Amos and Margaret Stinson leave Marin to educate daughters, Maude, Lillian and Eve.
1886
Nathan Stinson leases Stinson Ranch to Patrick Flannery and later to Manuel Fontes then Antonio & Manuel Nunes. (dairy ranch)
1887
Tent Hotel at Willow Camp is run by W. Brown & Jukes
1893
Artists, Thaddeus and Ludmilla Welch, move to Steep Ravine and live there 5 years.
1896
Mill Valley and Mt. Tamalpais Scenic R. R. begins operation. Willow Camp can now be reached by taking train to West Point and hiking to the beach.
1902
Plans for R. R. from West Point to the ocean begin. William Kent donates right of way from land he has purchased which includes Steep Ravine down to WIllow Camp. Old Stage Road from West Point R. R. terminal to Willow Camp is built on projected R. R. grade. (A 4-6 horse stage owned by Mr. Nunes leaves West Point in a.m. and returns in p.m. Stops at made at Willow Camp and McKennan's Landing to catch launch to Bolinas.)
1904
Dipsea Inn is built on the sand spit by William Neumann on land purchased from William Kent who probably underwrote it. Newmann buys out Brown's canvas hotel down on beach.
1905
First Dipsea Race is run with 90 finishers. It is instituted by a group of hikers called the Dipsea Indians from the SF Olympic Club. This is America's second oldest foot race.
1905
Archie Upton moves to Willow Camp and opens Camp Upton with 3 dozen platformed tents. (innovations--has ownwater system and telephone)
1906
Archie Upton files map for Stinson Subdivision No. 1-includes Old Town on hillside of main street. (March 24)
1906
Earthquake--(April 18)
1906
R. L. (Jack) & Sarah Airey and Henry & Elizabeth Airey move to Willow Camp (after losing iron foundry in San Francisco earthquake). Henry (Harry) &Elizabeth Airey open hotel and restaurant. (Jack helps to build)
1910
Nathan Stinson dies and leaves 1/2 land to brother, Amos, 1/4 to Archie Upton and 1/4 to Ida Upton. (includes Camp Upton & 2 subdivisions)
1911
Eve Stinson and Newman Fitzhenry return to SB to take care of Eve's parents and holdings--foreclose on Archie Upton's Willow Camp, buy out Ida, and purchase Easkoot Mansion. (Margaret dies l920/Amos 1922)
1913
Jack and Sarah Airey open Sea Beach Hotel with 20 rooms (Henry helps to build)
1913
Archie Upton files for Charles Robinson Tract (58 acres s. of causeway-in the Calles).
1916
Elsie Louise DeCamp becomes first postmaster. (April 1) Willow Camp officially becomes Stinson Beach.
1917
Stinson Beach School is built on .9 acres donated by Amos Stinson, Mabel Idella Skinner and Newman Fitzhenry.
1918
Dipsea Inn is torn down by Fitzhenry. lst women's race "The Dipsea Trail Hike for Girls" is sponsored by SF Bulletin.
1919
The Bungalow is built
1920
Dipsea Lodge at Willow Camp is built with lumber from Dipsea Inn.
1920
White Gate Ranch is leased by the Silva family from William Kent. It runs 300 cattle, 150 milk cows, and 200 pigs.
1920
Sea Downs is built by Thomas Kent, son of William Kent with pavillon for dances.
1921
Volunteer Fire group is established. Alice D. Algar becomes second postmaster
1922
Bessie Sadler's famous homemade pastries are served in the 250 seat dining room of Dipsea Lodge.
1928
Panoramic Highway is constructed.
1930
SB Progressive Club is formed.
early 1930's
Dipsea Lodge is closed.
late 1930's
Ambergris Rush--later proves to be flushed out sewers in Oakland
1931
Community Church is formed.
1932
Archie Upton gives 3,600 feet of beach to the County with the stipulation that it be called ‘Upton Beach”.
1936
lst Stinson Beach Library opened (site as yet undetermined)
1937
Golden Gate Bridge is opened. (May 27)
1939
SB Fire Protection District, lst tax-supported, elective body is formed.
1939
Willow Camp is sold to County as a park by Eve Stinson Fitzhenry. County stipulated that she take down Dipsea Lodge in 60 days. Paul Dittmar tears it down & uses lumber to build sea walls.
1940
Beach cottages designed by Oran Jenkins are built at Sea Downs.
1941
Pearl Harbor Day. Coast Artillery, infantry branch of the army, comes to Stinson Beach by midnight Dec. 7. They establish bunkers near White Gate Ranch, Steep Ravine and in the Highlands. Coast Guard unit comes in later and is quartered in Park and Red Whale (site of Water Office-1993) Because of the lack of housing for workers in Sausalito shipyards, many rent cottages in Stinson Beach. Bus service is provided from SB for three shifts.
1943
Library moved to a park building.
1944
Stinson daughters sell hillside land to Douglas Nye and Lucien Marsh who plans SB Highlands subdivision.
1945
Flood
1946/7
Allied Arts is formed.
1946
4th of July Carnivals began. Until 1953, they were held outside then moved into the Community Center.
1947
Site for Community Center is donated by Amos Stinson daughters, Maude Stinson, Lillian Hensil and Eve Fitzhenry. Center is incorporated. Parent Teacher Club is formed.
1949
Fire House is built and dedicated.
1950
State Park takes over County Park
1951
Seadrift’s lst subdivision is accepted by Supervisors.
1953
Community Center is built and dedicated.
1956
Flood. Sea Downs is torn down by State Park.
1956
George Leonard buys remaining Marsh/Nye property (includes mountains behind town, Stinson Ranch, Water Company) as well as 500 acre from Kent toward Panoramic Highway. With 2,200 acres he becomes the largest land owner town ever had.
1957
Bolinas Harbor District is formed for development around Lagoon.
1958
County Park is sold to State Park Service. Library moved to Sea Beach Hotel.
1958-73 Annual Wildflower Show Marna Griffin, Anne Leary, Barbara Menzies, and Roberta Shockey
1960
"Big Rock" is dynamited while widening Hwy. 1, burying the natural hot springs at Steep Ravine. Hot springs are only accessible at low tide.
1960
SB County Water District is formed.
1961
Stinson Beach/Bolinas Master Plan is adopted by County with massive development including 2 high schools.
1961
Marin Audubon Society purchases Alan J. Galloway Ranch, formerly Peter L Bourne's.
1963
Community Church is built and dedicated.
1969
Harbor District is dissolved by voters. (March 11) After vote, County takes over Bolinas lagoon as a park.
1970
Stinson Beach School is destroyed by arson.
1971
Oil Spill-January 18
1971
Sea Beach Hotel is burned down (kerosene lamp).
1971
Women are allowed in Dipsea Race.
1972
GGNRA is established.
1973
GGNRA takes over State Park
1974
SB County Water District buys Leonard’s water Co.
1976
Community Plan is approved by Board of Supervisors. Village Association is established.
1978
Waste Management system is set up under control of Water District.
1981
New Stinson Beach School is dedicated on Stinson site.
1982
Storm
1983
Storm. Water System is completed.
1989
Town’s only gasoline station, Chevron, is demolished.
1992
Stinson Beach Clinic opens. Stinson Beach Historical Society is established.
1993
Water District Building dedication
1995
Stinson Beach Village Green I dedication
1999
New Stinson Beach Library is dedicated at the old 7-11 building.
2003
Village Green II dedication

 

 


Bibliography

Fairley, Lincoln, Mount Tamalpais, A History, Scottwall Associates, 1987.

Mason, Jack, Last Stage for Bolinas, North Shore Books, 1973.

Skolnick, Sharon, Dreams of Tamalpais, Last Gasp of San Francisco 1989.

Stinson Beach Village Association and the Marin County Planning Department, Stinson Beach Community Plan, 1976.

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