The remarkable transformation of Sausalito from a tranquil village, to the epitome of present day luxury, involves many characters. Shaped as much by the residents that have called this town home, as by the bay waters lapping at its shores, Sausalito’s evolution is now complete; it is one of the most sought after destinations in the world.
Coast Miwok, the earliest inhabitants, were eventually displaced by a Mexican land grant and the subsequent European settlers. The Spanish explorers christened the land Sauzalito, meaning “small willow grove” in Spanish. Much later, with the advent of the ferry service to San Francisco, the town became a Victorian village escape for San Franciscans. When the North Pacific Coast Railroad lay down its tracks, and later when the auto ferry was introduced, Sausalito became a transit hub and the population expanded. African American ship builders, Italian fishermen, Chinese shopkeepers, rail yard workers, ferry crewmen, and dairy ranchers all called Sausalito home during this period of time. The town continued to change. Painters, dancers, writers, musicians, bohemians, hippies, and house-boaters then contributed to the culture of Sausalito. The people and events of Sausalito have developed its identity.