The Boyd Gate House 

1125 B Street San Rafael
Open:  W-F 10 am - 2 pm     Sat 11 am - 3 pm 


   The Boyd Gate House   


The Boyd Gate House, ca. 1880

The Boyd Gate House was built in 1879 as a guest house for the family home next door known as Maple Lawn. Commissioned by Ira Cook, and designed by Adam Murray, this Victorian Gothic Revival style house had six bedrooms, two parlors, and a dining room. As reported in an article in The Marin Journal, "when completed, the place will be one of the most beautiful to be found on this coast." When Ira's granddaughter Louise married John Boyd, they were given the property that included Maple Lawn, the Gate House, and the extensive gardens that climbed into San Rafael Hill. 
Louise Arner, Louise, John and Seth Boyd, ca. 1895
Photo ID P1999.1140 
John and Louise Boyd raised their three children at Maple Lawn, and by all accounts the children used the
Gate House as their play area. Tragically, Seth and John Jr. died within months of each other from heart failure following childhood bouts of rheumatic fever. In their memory, the Boyds donated the Gate House and much of the gardens to the City
of San Rafael in a grand ceremony in 1905. Their daughter Louise Arner would inherit her family's estate in 1920 and soon embarked on a career as an arctic explorer. Maple Lawn was sold in 1963 to the local chapter of The Elks. 

From 1905 to 1952, the Boyd Gate House was occupied by city gardeners and caretakers, and was lent to the U.S. Armed Forces Service Center in 1954.

Since 1959, the Boyd Gate House has been home to the Marin History Museum (formerly the Marin County Historical Society). After a brief absence, the Museum returned in 2021, with a newly created Research Library, a bookstore devoted to Marin County history, and exhibits highlighting the depth and breadth of the Museum's extensive collection of photographs, objects and archival materials.

In 1974, The Boyd Gate House was added to the National Register of Historic Places by the U.S. Dept. of the Interior. In 1976, the City of San Rafael designated the house as one of sixteen Local Landmarks. In 2006, the Boyd Gate House and Marin History Museum received an Award of Recognition from the California Heritage Council. 

Wednesday - Friday
10 am - 2 pm

11 am - 3 pm

$5 Admission Fee

Members Free Admission
(must show card)

From Bodie to
B Street

by Marilyn Wick

The Gate House 
by Helen Van Cleve Park

A History of Boyd Park
by The Marin County Historical Society

Marin History Museum

1125 B Street
San Rafael, CA 94901



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