National Register of Historic Places in Marin County
Vintage Photographs from the NRHP Nomination
(Click Photos to Zoom)
The Peter Donahue Building is the old stationhouse of the ferry-railroad terminus of the San Francisco and North Pacific Railroad and its successor, the Northwestern Pacific, a subsidiary of the Southern Pacific Railway Company.
The simple, almost spartan two story structure is utilitarian in nature, having been constructed to house the railroad's passengers, baggage, and the station agent and his family. Named for Col. Peter Donahue, the founder of the SF&NPRR, the Tiburon depot is virtually all that remains of the unique railway that once dominated the growth and development of Northern California.
Adapted from the NRHP nomination.
An interpretive placard reads:
1884 San Francisco & North Pacific Railroad Depot
"The Donahue Line"
In 1869, the San Francisco & North Pacific Railroad was founded by Peter Donahue, a San Francisco industrialist. The southern terminus, Donahue's Landing, was near Lakeville on Petaluma Creek in Sonoma County.
In 1884, Donahue extended the railroad and provided ferry service by moving the southern terminus of the line to Point Tiburon. Thus Tiburon, a California railroad town, was created on the Mexican land grant held by Hilarita Reed Lyford.
In 1907, the Donahue line merged with five northcoast railroads to become the Northwestern Pacific Railroad, a subsidiary of Southern Pacific Company. The 400 miles of track through the Redwood Empire connected Eureka and San Francisco via Tiburon.
In 1967, the last freight barge arrived from The City and the last train of freight cars left Tiburon yard. Thereafter, the railroad bed along Richardson Bay was converted to a multi-use pathway.
By 1996, the 42-acre railroad yard from Raccoon Strait to Mar West Road became the site of condominium housing, businesses and the town center. The waterfront of docks and piers became a shoreline park with only a portion of the passenger and freight depot preserved as a landmark and railroad-ferry museum.
Town of Tiburon Historic Site No. 001
San Francisco & North Pacific Railroad Depot has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places by the United States Department of the Interior
Dedicated in April 1996 by the Belvedere-Tiburon Landmark Society
The Peter Donahue Building is home to the Railroad & Ferry Depot Museum.