The Boyd Gate House 

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


   History Watch   

History Watch is a regular feature in the Marin Independent Journal written by Museum staff. Older articles can be viewed on our Collections Catalog.

All of the images are from the Marin History Museum collection, and can be purchased online.

Recent Articles

  All Aboard for the Lee St. Local!
December 19, 2023

In 1905, the Mount Tamalpais Scenic Railway built a feeder line from upper Blithedale Canyon to the North Shore Railroad Depot in downtown Mill Valley. This not only served residents’ local needs but also connected them with the North Shore Railroad trains that ran south to Sausalito where riders could connect with the ferry to San Francisco.

  Jacob Albert’s “Gift” to San Rafael
December 5, 2023

Walking or driving down Fourth St. in San Rafael can still evoke memories of a mid-twentieth century town with tangible touchstones to the city’s past such as The Albert Building, Marelli Brothers Shoe Repairing, and of course, the Rafael Theater. However, The Rafael Theater (originally named the Orpheus) was not the only luxurious movie palace in town. Two blocks down Fourth Street, the El Camino Theatre also welcomed movie-goers into its plush interior to ‘suspend their disbelief’ for a few hours and enjoy the latest Hollywood fare.
  “Raise One” for the Kappenmann Legacy of San Rafael
November 21, 2023

Brothers Joseph and Attlian Kappenmann came to San Rafael when it was “little more than a hamlet” and owned and operated numerous drinking establishments over the years.
  A Little Known Memorial Hidden in the Redwoods
November 7, 2023

In a small, secluded amphitheater in Camp Taylor’s Orchard Hill campground is the Sarah Washington Irving Taylor Campfire Center. In September of 1958, the Daughters of the American Revolution and the California State Park honored Ms. Taylor by naming the amphitheater after her and placing a memorial plaque near the site.
  Tomales Bay’s Link in an Early, World-Wide Communication System
October 23, 2023

On a lovely, forested hillside overlooking Tomales Bay, just south of the town of Marshall, sits the 110-year-old Marconi Conference Center.
  The Mahon House is “La Casa Grande” of San Rafael
October 9, 2023

Like many buildings in Marin, the Casa Grande building in San Rafael harkens back to an earlier period and invites us to learn more about its history. Originally known as The Mahon House, it was built by early Marin resident Timothy Mahon in the 1870s.
  Louise Arner Boyd: “The World’s Most Enterprising Woman Explorer”
September 25, 2023

The incredible life story and extraordinary accomplishments of San Rafael native Louise Arner Boyd are worthy of the term legendary. Geography historian J.K. Wright summed up Boyd’s legacy when he wrote that Louise was, “the world’s most enterprising woman explorer.”
  The Healing Hills of Fairfax
September 12, 2023

Nestled in the hills just west of Fairfax is the Bothin Youth Center (Camp Bothin), a Girl Scout summer camp that has been in existence since 1948. However, in the first few decades of the twentieth century, the site was partially home to the Arequipa Tuberculosis Sanatorium. It owed its existence to the remarkable work and dedication of caring nurses and doctors and their philanthropic friends who wanted to provide long-term, quality care for wage-earning women suffering from the early stages of tuberculosis.

Older Articles


Marin County Star Athlete, Sam Chapman (August 29, 2023)

The ‘Landmark’ Cottage That is Home to Children’s Love, Laughter and Learning (August 15, 2023)

A Land of Opportunity for the Borello Family (August 1, 2023)

Angel Island’s Long and Varied History (July 18, 2023)

"Haying" In Bear Valley (July 6, 2023)

Herman Zopf’s West End “Wine Gardens” (June 20, 2023)

Sausalito’s “Flirtation Group” and the Reed Legacy (June 6, 2023)

Enjoying Marin’s Forests, Mountains and Beaches (May 15, 2023)

San Rafael’s Early Canal Landing (May 1, 2023)

“The Play’s the Thing” and it’s Atop Mt. Tamalpais (April 19, 2023)

“Life-Saving” was Dangerous Work (April 4, 2023)

The State Highway Comes to Marin County (March 20, 2023)

Snow-capped Tamalpais Tavern (March 6, 2023)

Meagor’s Garage in Ross (February 20, 2023)

San Francisco’s Theological Seminary Moves to San Anselmo (February 6, 2023)

San Rafael's Cottage Hospital (January 23, 2023)

The Dream of the “Redwood Empire” (January 9, 2023)


The Lyford's Eagle Dairy (December 26, 2022)

1925 Storm Wreaks Havoc (December 12, 2022)

Tiburon’s U.S. Naval History (November 28, 2022)

Santa Venetia's Past (November 14, 2022)

The Quan Family Legacy of China Camp (October 31, 2022)

The Historic Porteous Log Cabin in Ross (October 17, 2022)

Lake Lagunitas, “A Clear and Polished Gem” (October 01, 2022)

The Evolution of the Cal Park Hill Tunnel (September 19, 2022)

Elizabeth Terwilliger – Nature’s Passionate Advocate! (September 5, 2022)

The Early History of Bolinas (August 22, 2022)

Historic Black Point Inn (July 11, 2022)

July 4th, 1899 - Goddess of Liberty! (June 27, 2022)

The Story Behind Boyd Park, San Rafael (June 13, 2022)

St. Vincent’s School – 167 Years of Care for Boys (May 30, 2022)

‘Ark’ Living on Corte Madera Creek (May 16, 2022)

May Day Fairies & Flowers (May 2, 2022)

Hollywood Comes to San Domenico School (April 18, 2022)

Fallon Creamery Cheese ‘Catches’ the Train (April 4, 2022)

San Rafael Volunteer Fire Department, c. 1910 (March 21, 2022)

Eleanor Garatti, Swim Star and Olympic Champion (March 7, 2022)

San Quentin’s Shady Past (February 21, 2022)

Marin Sais Rode to Fame in the Silent Film Era (February 7, 2022)

The Brief, Troubled History of the Hotel Bon-Air (January 24, 2022)

Marin History Museum

1125 B Street
San Rafael, CA 94901



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