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Inside Growing Up Belvedere-Tiburon

"No matter how long I have been away, returning to my family home carries me back to the days of my childhood. For some of the year, I leave my apartment in New York City and stay with my mother in our home on the Lagoon in Belvedere. My sister Laurie lives close by. We still use the house as we did when we were kids, as a closet. We eat and sleep outside. We read, write, paint, visit with family and friends, and tend to the garden. We swim, kayak, paddle, sail, and float on the Lagoon, and have fierce ping pong battles on the patio. We sit quietly on the weathered dock, watching the light change as the sun sets behind Mount Tamalpais, and we are flooded with memories of our childhood on the Belvedere Lagoon." 

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Published By

The Belvedere-Tiburon Landmarks Society


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"Growing up in Belvedere, the bellowing of foghorns was the music of my morning. I can still taste the bowl of cereal that began my day. Then I made lunch — peanut butter and jelly sandwich with an apple — and put it in a brown paper bag. My glass jar lled with water would spend the night in the freezer so I could start with frozen water in the morning, knowing if I ran out there would be a neighbor’s garden hose to drink from. Adequately provisioned, and followed by our dogs who relished adventure as much as we did, my sister and I would set out on our bicycles to enjoy our magical Northern California haven."

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Looking down from Belvedere Island on the Cove, with Beach Road in the center. The dark building is the Hotel Belvedere, a grand hotel built in 1895. In 1925, it was bought by the San Francisco Yacht Club and demolished. In the distance are the barren Tiburon hills in their native state, with only a few trees in the watershed creek beds. The cow barn of the Hilarita Dairy in the far valley is now the site of Reed Elementary School. Arks float on Belvedere Cove.

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We see Belvedere Island on the right (the golf course is the open space on the near side), with Beach Road in the center and Corinthian Island on the left. Beyond on the left is Angel Island, with a ferry steaming toward San Francisco. The large lagoon in the foreground was eventually dried up and mostly filled. The portion closest to Belvedere was sculpted into a residential neighborhood; every house has its lagoon waterfront. Paige grew up on that Lagoon.





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In this stunning panorama, you see the Tiburon waterfront and part of the expansive San Francisco and North Pacific rail yard. On the far left is the ferry Ukiah, a huge double-ended ship that could carry 1,500 passengers and 12 rail cars. Behind it, the James M. Donahue, a beautiful side wheeler, is pulling into the long dock to load up with wood for its steam boiler.  Center right, beyond the yard, is the town of Tiburon, with its short Main Street running down the middle, curving where it meets Corinthian Island. This island was named for the Corinthian Yacht Club, which sits at the point. In the distance is Belvedere Island, and beyond that are the hills of Sausalito. 





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"It is the things that stay the same that stay with me. The bellowing of foghorns is still the music of my morning. We hike the lanes in Belvedere, walk to Blackie’s Pasture, and go out on the water as often as possible. My grandfather’s workshop is now my studio. I tend to his garden, hang my paintings and mirrors on his garden walls. I often gaze up at St. Stephen’s Church. If I blink, I’m back in the Belvedere I knew as a child."


Proceeds from the sale of Growing Up Belvedere-Tiburon benefit the Belvedere-Tiburon Landmarks Society

 © 2020 by Paige Peterson- designed by Tina Keane

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