Houseboats of Sausalito
The unique and colorful houseboat community has long been the centerpiece of life in Sausalito, and while these floating homes are well known, relatively few people know just how far back their history goes. Not a recent phenomenon, as so many assume, the houseboat community has a history stretching back to the 1880s and earlier. While houseboats once existed in nearly a dozen ports in and around San Francisco Bay--and indeed throughout the West Coast--the focus of this buoyant lifestyle is now the waters of Marin County, along the shoreline of Richardson's Bay. Over the years, a variety of forces--including the 1906 earthquake and fire, the building of bridges and the resulting decline of the ferryboat fleet, World War II, and legal pressures on waterfront property owners--helped to shape life on the water, Sausalito's houseboat community, and this fascinating tale.
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A Waterborne Lifestyle and Architecture
Marin County Waters Become a Focus
Bridge Building and Wartime Shipyards Create
Sausalitos Budding Art Colony Takes to the Water
The 1960s and 1970s Witness a Surge of New Arrivals
The Turn of Another Century Finds Calmer Waters
Alan Watts Ameer Arques Family Archives Arques Johnson Street Arques's art colony artists Belvedere arks Belvedere Cove Belvedere-Tiburon Landmarks Society Boardwalk boat Bridge Bruce Forrester captures Charles Van Damme Chris Hardman Corinthian Island Corte Madera Creek Courtesy of Dona Courtesy of Judyth craft Dona Schweiger Donlon Arques early arks early houseboats ferry ferryboat floating community floating homes foreground Gate Five Gate Six Gate Three Heritage Preservation Board houseboat community houseboat residents Jean Varda Johnson Street boatyard Judyth Greenburgh Landmarks Society Historical Larkspur Heritage Preservation lifeboat hull Marin County Marinship moored Mount Tamalpais moved Napa Street Neil Davis owners Phil Frank Collection photograph shows Pieces-of-Eight Richardson's Bay Ryan Phelan sailboats San Francisco Bay San Rafael Sausalito Historical Society Sausalito waterfront shipyard shore Society Historical Collections South 40 Pier SS Lassen Stewart Brand structures Tellis Varda Voorhees—Sausalito Art Source Waldo Point Harbor Walter Van Voorhees—Sausalito wooden barge World War II Yacht