History Watch
By Scott Fletcher

History Watch is written by Scott Fletcher, a volunteer at the Marin History Museum.
Images included in History Watch are available for purchase by calling 415.382.1182 or by email at
[email protected] .
A Street,
 Highway 1,
Point Reyes Station

Though the photograph above was taken nearly 100 years ago, many of the buildings pictured still stand on A Street in Pt. Reyes Station. The large two-story wooden building in the right foreground is still the Pt. Reyes Emporiumand is home to Cabaline Country Clothing & Saddlery, Pt. Reyes BooksandThe Bovine Bakery, though the lower floor has been extended. Just east of the Emporium, on the same side of the street, sits a one-story structure with a scalloped front-façade that today is home to the restaurant, Osteria Stellina. Much further down the street the iconic, brick Grandi Buildingcan be seen and just before it, a large wooden building that was the first Grandi Mercantile Company. Today it accommodates the Old Western Saloon. The lone building across the street was originally the Olema/Pt. Reyes Train Station and is now the town’s post office. 
The town of Pt. Reyes Station, originally named Olema Station, came into existence with the completion of the North Pacific Coast Railroad’s line to the area in 1875. Olema was the largest settlement at the time, but engineers for the railroad bypassed the Olema grade as it was too steep for rail transport and laid their tracks along Lagunitas Creek to what is now Pt. Reyes Station. The train station sat on land owned by Galen and Mary Black Burdell, the daughter of Nicasio land grantee, James Black. Within a year, the Burdell’s built the first hotel and saloon and the town grew rapidly, soon bypassing Olema as the commercial and recreational hub of the area. A post office was opened in 1882 and the town changed its name to Pt. Reyes, eventually settling on Pt. Reyes Station in 1891. Though traffic, development and congestion have certainly transformed the main street of Pt. Reyes Station, residents and visitors do not have to look very hard to recognize and appreciate the town’s architectural history.

Featured in the Marin Independent Journal's History Watch published every other Tuesday.

Idyllic Marin,
circa 1900

1909 Kentfield May Day “Sack Race”


Pt. Reyes
Station Train –
1906 Earthquake

Point Reyes

Vintner Jean Escalle
His Winery

West Marin's
Stagecoach Days


Highway 101 commute of years past

Sarah Bernhardt among performers at San Quentin

A favorite county for camping

The serenity and beauty of Chicken Point