FHA Annual Meeting Feb 25 in Victorian Mansion

Entrance to the beautiful Victorian mansion  |  Photo from The Pines website  | post by Larry Clinton

The Floating Homes Association’s first in–person annual membership meeting in three years will be held in Sausalito on Saturday evening, February 25 at the Victorian mansion known as The Pines. The meeting, followed by hors d’oeuvres and drinks, will begin at 5:30 p.m. We are fortunate to secure this special venue for this year’s meeting. Here is a bit of history and more information about the Pines:

The Queen Anne style residence was constructed in 1888 for Major Orson C. Miller during a building boom in the Sausalito hills. In 1888, at a time when there were no street addresses, the house came to be known as The Pines. Eventually the street it’s located on became Miller Avenue.
At that time the Sausalito News listed The Pines among more than 30 of “the most beautiful and pleasant villa homes in Sausalito.”

The Major passed away in 1903 and his family eventually was forced to sell the property. According to a history compiled by the current owners, Gil Purcell and Roxanne Sheridan, subsequent owners made major changes to the property. Unlike other Queen Anne Victorians, The Pines avoided demolition, but it was abandoned when Gil and Roxanne bought it and painstakingly restored it to its former glory.

According to The Pines’ website, “for over 8 years, Gil and Roxanne and Gil’s dad, Gil Sr., hunted down materials and craftsmen to bring the house back to its original condition. Seismic and electrical upgrades were the first order of business, which meant rebuilding the brick foundation. Thousands of bricks were sourced from the 19th century to use for the foundation work as well as chimneys and walkways, and craftsmen skilled in the style of 1888 were secured to mortar the bricks.”

In 2014, Roxanne and Gil received a Certificate of Recognition from the California Heritage Council “in appreciation of the restoration and presentation of the Queen Anne Victorian known as the Pines.” Today the historic mansion is a dedicated space for local nonprofits to meet and hold fundraisers.

The FHA’s February 25 gathering will begin with an annual meeting in the mansion’s brick–lined basement. After the meeting, attendees will enjoy wine, beer, soft drinks and hors d’oeuvres hosted by the FHA while touring the landmark home, including the rebuilt grand staircase with an antique stained–glass skylight from South America, a glass conservatory from England that was shipped around Cape Horn In 1910, and the basement with its wine cellar, large fireplace, and Radio Sausalito, a fully automated 24/7 jazz station humming along in one cozy nook.

Due to space limitations, attendance at the free FHA event will be limited to 120 FHA member households, and reservations will be required. Further details will appear later in the Floating Times. FHA memberships and renewals can be purchased on the Floating Homes Association website.