John Keys left his native Ireland when he was seventeen. He spent time in California’s gold mines, and farmed potatoes near Bodega before he came, in 1850, to what would become Tomales. Here he developed the port, soon named Keys Embarcadero, that would encourage a village to grow around it.
Mary Frisbie Johnston
Twenty-one year old Mary Hunt Frisbie arrived with her husband at the Tomales port in 1863 after a sail, around the Horn, from New York to San Francisco. She spent a long and productive life in the area, buried two husbands, and died in her eighties. Circa 1920 photo by Mrs. Johnston’s daughter, Ella Jorgensen.
The Woodworth family at their circa early-1860s home near Tomales. Dairyman AbijahWoodworth and his wife Abigail were both themselves children of very early California pioneers. Abigail had a large part in the design of this Gothic-inspired house, the entire upper floor of which was a ballroom. The house was eventually destroyed by fire.
George Dillon, original owner of the beach that bears his name. When Dillon sold some of his Dillon’s Beach ranch to a developer, his stipulation was that the property would always remain known as Dillon’s Beach.
Dillon and Ables
Pioneer rancher George Dillon left, and Thomas J. Ables, who first organized Marin County’s school system, were early Tomales Township neighbors and friends. Photo by Ella Jorgensen.
Guldager House with Windmill
Hans and Caroline Guldager in the front garden of their Dillon’s Beach Road, Tomales home, with its originally crenellated verandah roof. Circa 1920 photo by Ella Jorgensen.
Barefoot Hans and Caroline at Beach
Prussian immigrant Hans Guldager and his wife, Caroline (holding her husband’s boots and long stockings!) enjoy a walk on Dillon’s Beach. We have photographer Ella Jorgensen to thank for this rare (circa 1915) image of a barefoot pioneer.
Jorgen Jensen Family and House
Pioneers Jorgen Jensen and his wife Sillie, pose with son and daughter, Walter and Carrie, in front of one of the first Upper Town, Tomales houses. This was originally the home of another pioneer, blacksmith Reed Dutton. Circa 1915 photo by Ella Jorgensen.