Tamalpais Club Lodge: New Home of the Tamalpais Conservation Club

by Laurie Thompson

Color postcard of the West Point Inn, circa 1909. Anne T. Kent California Room Collection.
Picnic at Bolinas, 1914. Anne T. Kent California Room Collection.

On April 13, 1916 the Marin Journal proclaims Marin a mecca for hikers and excursionists and describes the new clubhouse of the Tamalpais Conservation Club:

Mountain Lodge Opened by Hikers: Marin County Mecca for Auto and Walking Parties Last Sunday

Marin County was fairly alive Sunday with hikers who came from everywhere to here for a glimpse of the natural beauty that one has to visit Switzerland to duplicate. In addition to the hundreds of outing parties on foot that dotted the trails and rested in shady nooks in every part of the county, countless numbers of automobiles strung along the scenic roads leading to the beaches and other pleasure grounds which are now in full swing for the summer season. Mt. Tamalpais was the starting point for several hundred members of the Tamalpais Conservation Club which gathered there Friday night for the dedication of the new Tamalpais Club Lodge [see note below] which has recently been built as the mountain headquarters. There was a monster barbecue for the members Saturday night and a program of literary and musical entertainment…. Among the places visited by the hiking parties were Bolinas Ridge, Cataract Gulch, Potrero Meadows, Willow Camp [today’s Stinson Beach] and Bolinas, the Lagunitas country, Rock Springs, the Pohli Amphitheatre, Muir Woods, Frank Valley and the Kent ravine [today’s Steep Ravine]. Saturday the club cleared the fire trails and hiking paths of brush, papers and other inflammable material that has accumulated along some of the routes of travel since last season.

Members of an East Bay hiking club in “Lagunitas Country,” 1913. Anne T. Kent California Room Collection

HISTORICAL NOTE: Historian Fred Runner tells me that the Tamalpais Club Lodge referred to in this article is actually the West Point Inn. According to Fred, “the Inn had been closed and locked since October of 1915. The stagecoach service to the beach had ended. The Railroad no longer had a need for an Inn at West Point. The Tamalpais Conservation Club wanted to show the Railroad how much hikers valued and wished to continue to use the closed West Point Inn. So, on April 8 (as the above article describes) the Inn was swarming with hikers to prove how popular it was. The Railroad decided to reopen the Inn and make it the ‘mountain headquarters’ of the Tamalpais Conservation Club. Sometime after this event took place, the porch of the West Point Inn was expanded to its present size.”

Hikers at the summit of Mt. Tamalpais, 1914. Anne T. Kent California Room Collection.

Originally published at https://annetkent.kontribune.com.

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Anne T. Kent California Room

Anne T. Kent California Room

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