Next Neighborhood South: Fort Baker and the GGNRA
This is one of a series of pages on each of Sausalito’s Neighborhoods, with links to Restaurants, Hotels, Bus Stops and Activities in each area. Click here to return to the Neighborhoods Index.
The Old Town area at the southern edge of Sausalito is the original Whaler’s Cove, the location of the first homes and roads in Sausalito and later an area where the hillside was riddled with mines to feed a mid-1800’s manganese smelting operation that sprung up when the mineral’s price spiked when demand soared.
Primarily a residential area in modern times, it also has a restaurant and a market-deli. “North St.”, “East St.”, “West St.” and “South St.” are all in this neighborhood, and mark the borders of early Sausalito 150 years ago.
Much to the horror of generations of city leaders, Old Town also has for many years borne the nickname “Hurricane Gulch” because of the strong afternoon winds that frequently blow down the narrow valley. Yes, it gets windy here, but we and members of our family have lived in Old Town and my memories of the place are of beautiful views and great days.
See below for some fascinating historical photos of the area which show the original appearance of the ruined piers offshore.
Restaurants in Old Town
|Golden Gate Market (Sandwiches)|
|There are no hotels in the Old Town neighborhood. The closest hotels are south in Fort Baker and the GGNRA and north in Downtown Sausalito.|
|2nd St. at Main|
Old Town Landmarks
|2nd St. Stairs|
|The Boardwalk from Orson Welles’ & Rita Hayworth’s “Lady from Shanghai”|
|“Cable Roadway” Stairs|
|Sally Stanford’s Valhalla Inn|
|South View Park|
|Swede’s Beach Stairs|
A view of Old Town Sausalito from the hills south of town, perhaps from the 1920’s. The boardwalk in the recent photo at the top of this page (which was shot from the opposite direction) is in the very center of this picture. It was the location of a scene with Orson Welles and Rita Hayworth in the film The Lady from Shanghai.
Very little remains of the piers at the bottom of the photo, which date back to the late 1800’s when this was still “downtown.” An old ferry is visible at the ferry pier (then south of the current location) at the top of the photo.
Forty years later, as seen in this c. 1962 photo, different piers have been built, and most of the ruins we now see offshore are from this later generation of structures.