Biggest St. Patrick’s Day Festival

by Laurie Thompson

St. Patrick’s Church, Larkspur, c.1905. Staley Collection, Anne T. Kent California Room.

Larkspur’s St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, completed in 1899, was originally located at 505 Cane St. The land had been donated by Larkspur pioneer Patrick King and the church was named in his honor. The Larkspur Heritage Preservation Board tells us that the church was designed by Bryan Clinch -who had designed other churches in the Bay Area- and was “constructed of redwood lumber, with the pews and altar railing recycled from the old St. Raphael’s Church.”

In 1922 the structure pictured here was moved to the northeast corner of King Street and Locust Avenue. It was demolished in 1961 to make way for St. Patrick’s School. “The church later sold this site and a two-story apartment structure was built here with a mixture of retail spaces.” ( Larkspur Past & Present)

In 1923, acting pastor Rev. Robert Henry organized a St. Patrick’s Day fundraiser for the church:

A monster vaudeville show and a grand ball will be given at Larkspur this Saturday evening, March 17th, as the annual St. Patrick’s celebration of St. Patrick’s Catholic church of that place. The affair is to be held in Larkspur’s spacious pavilion and arrangements have been made to accommodate a large attendance…. The big celebration is to be given for the benefit of the building fund of St. Patrick’s Church….

Included in the program will be several professional acts from the leading theatres of the bay district, also athletic and entertainment numbers…. Following the entertainment a grand ball will be held with music by one of the popular jazz orchestras. Prominent civic and county officials are assisting in details for Saturday evening’s celebration which promises to be the biggest St. Patrick’s Day festival ever held in Marin County.” (Sausalito News, March 17, 1923)

Originally published at



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Anne T. Kent California Room

Anne T. Kent California Room


The official Medium account of the archive of Marin County history & culture at the Marin County Free Library