History of the Sausalito Houseboat Community
UPDATE: Check out our new Houseboats in Sausalito page!
Here's a great way to spend your lunch hour!
Date: Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Time: Noon – 1:00 PM
Location: Room 330, Marin County Civic Center, San Rafael
As long-time locals we can tell you that just the last 50 years on this topic include enough scandal, murders, betrayals, hit songs (think Otis Redding) and million-dollar-sets for several movies… and the historians are going back over a century!
The following text comes from a Sausalito City announcement about the speakers:
"The unique and colorful houseboat community has long been a 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 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.
"Two local historians, Richard Cunningham from the Larkspur Heritage Board and Larry Clinton of the Sausalito Historical Society will tell the story of how a variety of forces helped shape life on the water, creating Sausalito’s houseboat community and its rich and colorful history."
If this session sounds interesting, you may also enjoy the late Phil Frank's Houseboats of Sausalito history book, part of Arcadia's "Images of America" Series.
Larry Clinton, a resident of Sausalito's floating home community since 1982, is a direct beneficiary of the waterfront lifestyle that grew out of the early houseboats of Richardson's Bay. A past president of the Floating Homes Association, Clinton became the president of the Sausalito Historical Society in 2008.
Richard B. Cunningham is a Member of the City of Larkspur's Heritage Preservation Board, and is doing active documentary research on Larkspur history. Cunningham is an Emeritus Professor of Law, University of California Hastings College of the Law, where he taught for more than thirty years. He and his wife Susan have lived in Larkspur since 1973, where he has served as a member of the Larkspur City Council and as a City Planning Commissioner.