Gertrude Southworth
Brighton Avenue
10" wide

8” x 10”


Large format limited edition print available for $250.

27-1/4” x 15-3/4”
Edition of 20

Brighton Avenue was created after entrepreneur Frank Waterhouse and his artist wife Nellie came to visit her parents who were staying in one of the hotels at the edge of the lagoon. They decided they wanted to build a home in Bolinas but ranches carpeted the area and there was no available flat land near town.

So they bought Jose Jesus Briones’s dairy ranch. Jose’s home and dairy barn are still on Terrace Avenue, up the road that takes off to the right. Waterhouse had Brighton Avenue created and designed the subdivision “Grand Vista”, the first housing development in Marin County. Many of the first homes were built by families of the summer colony. By the time of this photo Brighton Avenue is well established. William Pepper and sons and Louis Petar, captain of the schooner Owl, constructed most of the homes. Petar built the big house, on the left in the distance, for his own family. Across the street is a forest of cypress trees planted by Nelllie Waterhouse. On the right you can see the cypress hedge Nelllie planted. (The last tree still stands in front of Seashore Realty.) The buildings inside the hedge are part of a newer dairy that Petar’s ran for several years. Artist Jack Wisby’s house is visible on Little Mesa, upper left. In the lower left corner is the Blacksmith/garage/home built by Oliver Longely in 1909. The church was built across from the school on Gospel Flat and moved to this location by Wm Pepper and team, in 1898. Do you see the man on the ladder?

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, $250