Built in 1904 as the westernmost point of the "Crookedest Railroad in the World,” the has long achieved historic status amongst local residents.
Now the rustic mountain lodge on the southern slope of Mount Tam has garnered recognition nationally, as the 108-year-old inn has been named to the National Register of Historic Places.
The inn is owned by the Marin Municipal Water District and leased to the West Point Inn Association (WPIA), the local non-profit organization that operates it. The WPIA applied for the listing in the National Register because of the inn’s historic and regional significance in the popularity of Mount Tam.
"The inn is one of Marin's treasures and the WPIA’s volunteer efforts to preserve its historic qualities have been outstanding,” MMWD Watershed Manager Mike Swezy said in a statement. “This national recognition is a feather in the cap of the association."
The inn continues to offer lodging, shelter and refreshments for passing visitors, indirect support to the and other activities on Mt. Tamalpais, and monthly summer pancake breakfasts. It is reachable by Old Railroad Grade, the two mile-long multi-use recreational dirt road along part of the railway line abandoned after the devastating fire of 1929 on the south side of Mt. Tamalpais that burned hundreds of homes in Mill Valley.
The inn, which survived the fire, is located where the rail route made a tight curve from west to east, marking the line’s westernmost point (hence the name West Point). The roadway is also used for restricted access by vehicles servicing the inn and surrounding municipal watershed lands.
The inn’s application was approved last fall and the inn was added to the National Register in late December 2011.