Laura Ackley Panama Pacific International Exhibition

The Sausaltio Historical Society hosted a presentation by Laura Ackley about the 1915 Panama Pacific International Exhibition at Campbell Hall on December 7, 2015.

Laura gave the audience an up-close look at the technological marvels which thrilled the almost 19 million visitors in 1915, like the giant typewriter, the Ford assembly line, and the telephone. Ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous, these exhibits may elicit warm nostalgia, laughter and even a wince or two.

She showed wonders from many areas of the fair, including the Palace of Food Products, the Palace of Liberal Arts, The Place of Horticulture, and the Joy Zone. We’ll take a ride on the Strauss Aeroscope, visit the Panama Canal in miniature, and walk through a model mine before learning the Secrets of Mental Telepathy. 


Laura Ackley is an architectural historian and digital visualization professional and a recognized authority on the Panama-Pacific International Exhibition. She also is a member of the CAL alumni band and has been seen on several occasions in the Sausalito 4th of July Parade.

Photos by Steefenie Wicks  

SHS Celebrates 40 Years at The Pines

On November 8, 2015 SHS celebrted its 40th Anniversary at The Pines on Miller Ave in Sausalito.  The evening also include the recognition of the SHS Volunteer of the Year. The 2015 award was presented to Robin Sweeny.

Photos by Steefenie Wicks

Former Mayor Sweeny Celebrates 90 years

By Soren Hemmila Marinscope Newspapers

The Sausalito community turned out in mass to celebrate former Mayor Robin Sweeny’s 90th birthday last week in the park that bears her name. 

Photo courtesy of Steefenie Wicks

Photo courtesy of Steefenie Wicks

Sweeny was the first female mayor of Sausalito and spent 28 years on the city council and ended up serving as mayor four times.

Her political career started in 1967 when she was urged to run for a seat on the council.

The former mayor has lived in Sausalito since 1953, she raised her family on a hillside home before moving to an Ark on the water. She is an active member of the Sausalito Woman’s Club, the Rotary Club and the Sausalito Historical Society.

The wonderful party came together with the help of many individuals, including Mike Langford and the Sausalito Recreation Department, Mike Stone, Susan Frank and the Sausalito Historical Society said Robin’s daughter Sarah Sweeny.

“Our family was amazed by the outpouring of love that made this event possible,” Sarah said. “We want to thank everyone who joined us or contributed in any way to celebrate mom. She truly enjoyed every minute of it.”

Jean Varda Exhibit and Book Launch

Jean Varda Exhibit and Book Launch

Date/Time:  Sun., June 14 - 3:00-5:00 p.m.

Site:  Bay Model Visitor Center

An exhibit featuring the work of legendary Sausalito artist and character Jean Varda will be featured at the Bay Model Visitor Center from June 1 to July 13, 2015. 

Local author Betsy Stroman has published a book about Varda and his work and the Sausalito Historical Society is proud to sponsor a book launch party at the Bay Model Visitor Center on Sunday, June 14, from 3:00-5:00 p.m.  Join us to view the exhibit and meet the author.  The event is free and a complimentary bar and snacks will be available.    

Matthew Turner Educational Tall Ship Fund Raiser

Matthew Turner Educational Tall Ship Fund Raiser

Date/Time:  Sun., June 7 - 4:00-6:00 p.m.

Site:  Matthew Turner Construction Site Tent - 2330 Marinship Way

Do not miss this opportunity to inspect the progress being made in the building of the Matthew Turner Educational Tall Ship.  Tickets for this event are only $50 per person, $40 for members of the Historical Society, with children under 12 free when accompanied by an adult.  In addition to being able to tour the Matthew Turner with several of the shipbuilders on hand to answer questions, each ticket buyer will automatically be entered into a raffle with an array of exciting prizes.  Grand Prize will be a sail on the Matthew Turner once she is launched.

Matthew Turner Under Construction

Matthew Turner Under Construction

  Other prizes include additional outings on the bay, a seaplane ride, use of a Southern California beach house for a week and many more.  Each ticket buyer also will receive a free drink and complementary appetizers.  A no-host bar will be available for your enjoyment.  Support two great causes and attend the Sausalito Historical Society event at the Matthew Turner Educational Tall Ship.

Advance reservations are requested.  To make a reservation, visit the Society’s History Room on the top floor of City Hall, open Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m., or call 415-289-4117, or send a check to the SHS, PO Box 352, Sausalito, CA 94966.

Sausalito Historical Society Annual Meeting - Plus Memories of the Marin Fruit Company

Sausalito Historical Society Annual Meeting - Plus Memories of the Marin Fruit Company

Date/Time:  Tue., May 12 - 7:00 p.m.

Site:  Sausalito City Hall Council Chambers

Plan on attending the Annual Meeting of the Sausalito Historical Society.  Hear a report on the Society’s activities from President Jerry Taylor and be introduced to new Board members. 

Following the business portion of the meeting there will be a special presentation entitled Memories of the Marin Fruit Company and “Willie.”  The Marin Fruit Company grocery store on Bridgeway was a longtime Sausalito institution, as was its owner Yee Tock Chee, known to all as Willie.  Willie’s son Nathan Yee and grandson Donald Jen, both Sausalito natives, will reminisce about the store and the people of the Marin Fruit Company.

Remembering Shel Silverstein Event and Exhibit Opening

Remembering Shel Silverstein Event and Exhibit Opening

Date/Time:  Fri., May 1 - 7:00 p.m.

Site:  Sausalito Library and Sausalito Historical Society Exhibit Room

The Sausalito Public Library and the Sausalito Historical Society will join for a celebration of the life and works of former Sausalito resident Shel Silverstein. 

Silverstein’s diverse and remarkable body of work earned him renown as a cartoonist and illustrator, an author of popular children’s books, a poet, a screenwriter and an award-winning songwriter. 

Program host Bill Kirsch will present a new video about Silverstein’s work and his time in Sausalito, followed by reminiscences from photographer Larry Moyer, a longtime friend and colleague of Silverstein.  At the conclusion of the program, everyone will be invited upstairs no view a new exhibit of Shel’s work at the Historical Society’s exhibit Room.



A Presentation by Mike Moyle

Date:  Wednesday, March 4, 2015
Time:  Reception (No-Host Bar) 6:00pm/ Talk Begins at 7:00pm

Place: IDESST Sausalito Portuguese Hall, 511 Caledonia Street

Admission: Free

By the late 1800’s, individuals of Portuguese descent made up an estimated 30% of Sausalito’s total population.  Portuguese, the majority of them from the Azores, initially came here on whaling ships.  Subsequent immigrants followed, finding work in a wide range of Sausalito’s businesses, and on the numerous dairy farms in Southern Marin that supplied milk and other dairy products to San Francisco.   In 1888, five years before Sausalito was incorporated, a group of Portuguese-Americans established a social and cultural organization here in Sausalito named the IDESST Sausalito Portuguese Hall which has been active in the community ever since.

Last year the Sausalito Historical Society and the Sausalito Portuguese Hall collaborated to create a self-guided walking tour through Sausalito and the surrounding area.  The tour features 33 locations highlighting Sausalito’s long Portuguese-American history.   A free Guidebook for the tour may be downloaded without charge on the History page of the Hall’s website (, or printed copies may be ordered from Joanne’s Print Shop in Sausalito ((415) 332-1344).

The Guidebook was largely the work of long-time Sausalito resident Mike Moyle, who is a member of both the Society and the Hall.  Mike will be speaking about the project and the history that it reflects.  We hope you will join us.

Sausalito Portuguese Hall 511 Caledonia Street, Sausalito

Celebrating Portuguese Heritage, Culture & Pride for over 125 Years


Panama-Pacific International Exposition "A Dream Worth Building"

The Sausalito Historical Societyannounces this historical presentation a the Sausalito Woman's Club on Monday, January 26, 2015:


Panama-Pacific International Exposition   "A Dream Worth Building"  
7PM Sausalito Woman's Club 120 Central Ave, Saualito

"Panama-Pacific International Exposition" An Illustrated talk by Laura Ackley, historian of the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition. You will hear fascinating tales of the fair as we tour the "Jewel City" via dramatic and often rare images of the PPIE, including view books, panoramas, official photographs, souvenirs, magazine articles, newspaper articles, lantern slides and postcards.  See the Sausalio Woman's Club January events on their website for more information:

RSVP/Corsetry: Susan Gordon /

No FEE / No Host Bar / Doors Open at 6:30pm

More History:

Sausalito Documentary Films

Sausalito Salty Stories

January 28, 2014

On January 28, 2014 over 100 sailing enthusiasts and history buffs enjoyed alively evening of Sausalito Salty Stories, at the beautiful Ondine,overlooking the Bay.  This fundraiser for the Sausalito Historical Society's Sausalito Sets Sail project featured notable local sailors Hank Easom, Alan Olson, Bill Martinelli, Mary Crowley and Tony Badger who shared stories of racing, cruising, and rabblerousing. Surprise guests included Victoria Colella and Stuart Rabinowitsch performing an original Sausalito sea shanty; renowned yachtsman Warwick ("Commodore") Tompkins; and Tompkins' friend, legendary folksinger Ramblin' Jack Elliott.

Raffle prizes included gift certificates from local supporters Salito's, Angelino's, SF Bay Adventures, The Trident, F3, Spinnaker, Massage Envy, Inn Above Tide, Hotel Sausalito and Poggio.


Sausalito Sets Sail

Sausalito Sets Sail is the city's first self-guided walking tour along the Sausalito waterfront. It begins at the Ice House at 780 Bridgeway, and the six additional waterfront panels placed from Gabrielson Park south along the shoreline.

Through March 1, 2014 the SHS is hosting an associated exhibition of sailing related art and artifacts in the Society's Exhibit Room on the top floor of City Hall at 420 Litho Street. The art exhibition is open to the public Wednesdays and Saturdays, from 10am to 1pm.  Admission to either installation is free. May 26, 2013

Caledonia Street Festival

May 2013

The Sausalito Historical Society partnered with Parks & Recreation to present a special exhibit at the Caledonia Street Festival to celebrate sailing in Sausalito. The display featured photos and content from our upcoming waterfront walking tour "Sausalito Sets Sail", a sampling of archival Sausalito magazines, and copies of "Moments in Time" (the SHS newsletter) dating back to our inception which detailed life and times in Sausalito over the centuries.

One of the highlight's was the raffle prize selected from our archive: a vintage poster depicting the Sausalito waterfront and hillside. Along with our publications and selected Sausalito memorabilia, information on our Schools Program was available as well as a kid's table with opportunities to learn and color varies types of sailboats.

2013 Annual Meeting and Presentation of "The Islands of San Francisco Bay"

May 14, 2013

Please join us for the annual General Membership meeting on Tuesday, May 14,
2013 in City Council Chambers at 420 Litho Street at 7 pm. We will be
reporting on the year's activities, answering members' questions, and
electing directors for the 2012-2014 term.

Keynote Speaker:  James Martin, author of"The Islands of San Francisco
Bay," will present an illustrated talk on our nearby islands from a
historical perspective.


Five individuals have been nominated by the Nominating Committee, and a
biography for each is included with this letter:  If elected, they will be
joining the continuing directors on the Board, who are Larry Clinton, Susan
Frank, Ann Heurlin, Bill Kirsch, Sharon Seymour, and Angela Wildman.
Additional nominations may be made at the meeting.

Back to the Trident

January 28, 2013

Special thanks to Gary Ferber Photography!

July 4, 2012 Sausalito 4th of July Parade

The Sausalito Historical Society was involved in all three of Sausalito's holiday offerings: the parade, picnic and fireworks show. The award-winning SHS parade entry celebrated several different decades of history. It showcased the Victorian era with a Penny-farthing, the 20's with a hand-built 1925 Bugatti racing car, and the 60's with a 1966 Mercedes-Benz, a 1967 Mustang and a cruising bicyclist costumed to celebrate the artists of that time period.

A special award was received for "best vintage car". Kids and adults alike enjoyed our booth at Dunphy Park's picnic. Kid's were invited to "Create Your Own Sausalito Flag", families enjoyed guessing "Who's Dunphy" for a prize of free admission to the Bay Area Discovery Museum, and a lucky winner was drawn for the raffle prize of a table for six to the evening's firework show.

Caledonia Street Festival

May 27, 2012

2012 Caledonia Street Fair Booth

2012 Caledonia Street Fair Booth

The Sausalito Historical Society partnered with Parks & Recreation to present a special exhibit at the Caledonia Street Festival celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge. The historic display featured exclusive Dulce Duncan photos of the bridge’s construction, quotes from locals who worked on the bridge and original memorabilia from the 1937 Opening Day Fiesta. One of the highlight’s was the raffle prize: a rare, signed photo from Robert David, the official photographer of the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District. Information on our Schools Program was available as well as a kid’s table featuring activities to “finish” the Golden Gate Bridge. A dozen visitors became new members of the Society.

Neil Davis Talk

January 31, 2011

On January 31, 2011 SHS members and guests enjoyed an informal talk by Neil
Davis, proprietor of the No Name bar during its heyday from 1959-1973.  Neil
recalled many of the colorful characters who frequented the bar in those
days, including Sterling Hayden, Spike Africa, and the infamous Margo St.
James, who flew down from Washington State for the event.  Watch for
announcements of an upcoming encore appearance by Neil.

Margo St James second from left front row.

Margo St James second from left front row.

Golden Gate - The Life and Times of America's Greatest Bridge

October 2010

The Society sponsored a book reading by Kevin Starr, California state
librarian emeritus, from his new book "GOLDEN GATE - The Life and Times of
America's Greatest Bridge,"  at Wellington's Wine Bar.


 If you missed that event, you can still purchase the book at the Ice House.  






Sausalito Then and Now Schools Program

April 2010

The Sausalito Historical Society spearheaded a program for two third grade classrooms, one at Bayside Elementary and one at Willow Creek Elementary. Historical Society docents visited the classrooms with specially prepared booklets about historic buildings in downtown Sausalito introducing the students to images of old buildings as they looked years ago and how they look now. A few weeks later, the same students enjoyed a field trip to Sausalito to study a building of their choice in person. This pilot program will continue in the Fall and Spring of next year.

The Marin Headlands

January 19,2010

A slide lecture program showing both vintage and present-day photographs from The Marin Headlands (Arcadia Images of America Series) was presented to SHS by author Dorothy Gibson.

Artistic Sausalito: A Historical Tour

 November 6, 2009

Individual readers presented portraits of famous artists who had lived or worked in Sausalito in the 1940s and 50s. Held at the Julia Morgan designed Sausalito Woman’s Club. No-host bar and reception followed the program.

Treasure Hunt in Sausalito’s Downtown Historic District

September 14, 2009

 Treasure Hunt teams following historic clues about Sausalito’s Downtown Historic District competed to solve historical puzzles. The fun was followed by a reception at Piccolo Teatro restaurant.

“Free Box” Exhibit 

June 8, 2009- February 28, 2010

Photographer Bruce Forrester of Mill Valley chronicled the alternative houseboat community of the Sausalito waterfront during 1975-1980. His black and white photographs portray an iconoclastic lifestyle based on non-materialism, creativity, unfettered individuality and a strong sense of community. 

A Trident Flashback: Annual Dinner & Auction

April 23, 2009

Horizon’s Restaurant (the Historic Trident)

Drinks, hors d’oeuvres, dinner, live music, remembrances and an auction celebrated

Houseboats of Sausalito Talk

January- March 2009

A series of illustrated talks was given by Larry Clinton and Richard Cunningham about the history of the Houseboats of Sausalito book by Phil Frank. Events were sponsored by the Anne T. Kent California Room, Marin County Civic Center, the Larkspur Heritage Preservation Board, and Sausalito Friends of the Library.

Literary Sausalito: A Historical Tour

November 5, 2008

A series of readings from writers who had lived in or written about Sausalito was presented by individual readers at the Julia Morgan designed Sausalito Woman’s Club. No-host bar and reception followed.

An Evening at Schoonmaker  

October 19, 2008

Guests boarded the historic  replica of a gaff-rigged scow schooner Gas Light in Schoonmaker Marina. Builder Billy Martinelli related his stories of sailing and boat building in Sausalito. In addition, Sausalito architect Michael Rex discussed the history and design of the Schoonmaker Buildings at Open Water Rowing. A reception followed the presentations.

Old Fort Baker

September 24, 2008

This was a fund raising event including a tour of Old Fort Baker followed by a Reception at Cavallo Point. Retired NPS ranger and historian John Martini led guests on a tour of the Old Fort, including the long-closed Battery Cavallo, built in the 1870s. A private reception was held on the second floor of Cavallo Point’s restaurant and bar with views overlooking the Golden Gate. 

March 14, 2008-May 30, 2009

The Craig Sharp Photographic Collection Exhibit

Craig Sharp (1924-1994) was a professional Bay Area photographer who chose as one of his projects to document the Sausalito waterfront community of the 1970s. At the suggestion of his son Scott Sharp of Carlsbad, CA, the SHS Board agreed in 2007 to cooperate in the printing of 83 images from the original negatives, 36 of which were chosen for display in the exhibit.