Commercial goods and raw materials produced in Marin County and northwards were originally transported through the county on railways, to depots in Tiburon and Sausalito for transfer to ferries across to San Francisco. Tiburon’s railway continued to operate all the way until 1967, at which time the tracks and depot were abandoned by the railway.
The first time I came to Tiburon was as a young architectural student in 1981, to visit the architect Warren Callister at his studio in an old railway shed close to where the depot stands. His whole office gathered outside for a casual mid-day meal which I was invited to join and I thought, now this is the life for me!
All those old railroad sheds, tracks, and left-overs from the railroading days were cleared out in the ’90’s with only the Depot left as a historic marker to this bygone era in Marin. It was restored and turned into the Tiburon Railroad and Ferry Depot Museum in 1996 by the Belvedere-Tiburon Landmarks Society and houses a working scale model of the old railway yards and downtown Tiburon on the main level, and a reconstruction of the Station Master’s home on the second level. A visit here is an enjoyable and memorable way to learn about a key part of Tiburon’s history.
Where: 1920 Paradise Drive, Tiburon, CA 94920 (map)
Hours: Open April – October: Wed, Sat & Sun: 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Tiburon Railroad & Ferry Museum website (it has a great video about the museum on it)