Gertrude Southworth
Bolinas Beach
10" wide

8” x 10”


2nd Edition, large format limited edition print available to order for $400.00

c. 1900, C-print
24” x 12”
Edition of 40

Brighton Beach (Bolinas Beach)

On the beach circa 1900, townsfolk heard that the Runckle’s boat had turned over in the surf. No one was hurt but in this close knit community people turned out to help. The Runckle’s ranch was in the canyon south of today’s Audubon Canyon Ranch.

With her poetic eye, Gertrude Southworth captured this moment as people wait on a low-tide afternoon. The next shots show men tugging on a long rope to pull the boat to shore and in another, horses pull the boat beyond the surf line while women and children look on.

From the late 1880s through the 1930s, Gertrude Southworth used her Kodak camera to capture images of the events and details of life that today present us with an invaluable window onto Bolinas history. She had a gifted eye for composition, light and shadow, and what brought out the magic in a photograph.

Little is known about the early life of Gertrude Rice-Coles Southworth except that she immigrated to the United states in the 1800s and was trained as a home nurse. She came to Bolinas with Dr. and Mrs. Southworth, serving as an assistant and nurse. Dr. Southworth was a dentist who was well liked in the community. Two years after Dr. Southworth’s wife died, he and Gertrude entered into a marriage that lasted 32 years. Gertrude died in 1946 at the age of 84. People remembered her fondly as a neighbor who reached out to everyone.

In the late 1990s Amy Edwards Jordan, a lively sharp minded woman in her nineties, came across a box of more then 500 Southworth negatives that had been preserved by her brother Parker Edwards. Amy and Parker had spent a lifetime coming to Bolinas for summers and weekends, and knew the Southworth family. Amy Edwards gifted the negatives to the Museum to be preserved for the community. Her images capture the changing times: the dress and styles, horse drawn carriages changing to car travel.

Small format, $20

Large format, $400