West Point Inn
West Point was built by the Mt. Tamalpais Scenic Railroad in 1904 (2 years before the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake). The Inn was one of three Inns built by the railroad. One of the Inns was in Muir Woods and the other was located at the East Peak summit of Mt. Tamalpais. West Point is the only surviving Inn of the three. At West Point - travelers could take a stage out to Stinson Beach and bolinas. The railroad flirted with the idea of building a spur to Stinson but by the time they were ready to begin - the Automobile was begining to make its presence felt. The Inn was operated by the railroad up until the fire and great depression made it impossible for the railroad to continue operations. The Inn was operated as a for profit conventional Inn but as the railroad was no longer in service and the trek - even though the toll roads had been built onMt. Tamalpais - was still difficult and arduous for the average individual to make. Eventually - the Inn was closed for a time
Then - a group of hikers and nature enthusiasts began to lobby the recently formed Marin Municipal water district to turn the care and operation of the Inn over to them. Eventually- an ad-hoc group of hikers and nature enthusiasts created what is now the West Point Inn Association and eventually the water district decided to allow the (future) West Point Inn Association to take over the care and operation of the Inn.
To this day, the day to day operations and staffing of the Inn is managed by the West Point Inn Association. They are a non-profit organization staffed largely by volunteers.
The Inn originally had only -7 small rooms above the main floor of the building. Later , what is now referred to as the "Members Lounge" was added to the Inn some time in the 20's. The Innkeepers apartment was probably built sometime in the 70's and it is the most modern element in the building. The Honeymoon cabin was also built in the twenties and the other more "rustic" cabins were probably built around that time as well.
Access to the Inn (for vehicular traffic) is via the top of the Railroad Grade. About a mile and a half down from the top sits the Inn. But hikers, bikers and others can access the Inn from Pantoll ranger station and/or Mt. Home Inn. Given the building's advanced age - numerous improvements and repairs have been made to the Inn.
My company has been fortunate to be involved in a number of upgrades and repairs performed on the building at the behest of the West Point Inn Association. Repairs from leveling the honeymoon cabine, placement of a foundation under the cabin, construction of a wall and reshingling and ugrades to the bathroom in the cabin, were amongst the many projects we have performed for the Inn.
Working up at the Inn is challenging to say the least. Round trip to the nearest hardware/lumber yard runs about 2 to 2.5 hours. Needless to say we try not to forget anything. But also the Inn is a destination point for the various hiking, biking groups that frequent the mountain's trails and fire roads.