For over 200 years, Sausalito has attracted the elite, notorious, artistic, and bohemian. In 1775, European settlers named the city “Saucito,” meaning “Little Willow” in Spanish, after the trees they found growing along its stream banks.

The historic Gables Inn Sausalito, originally built in 1869, was the first commercial structure to be built in Sausalito. The Inn served as a hotel for local travelers and shipyard workers.

Here is how it all came about:

In 1850, a wool merchant named John E. Shoobert and his wife emigrated from Sydney, Australia to San Francisco. Soon after, they chose to reside in Sausalito.



Before the Golden Gate Bridge, visitors traveling to                                                        Sausalito arrived by ferry from San Francisco.
Photo Courtesy of California Historical Society, North
Baker Research Library, 678 Mission Street, San Francisco

The Gables Inn Sausalito, where it stands today was once a pleasant grove of Buckeye trees and the site of Damon Brothers Picnic Grounds. As this time, a dance floor was built in the grove and the place became known as “Damon’s Hall.”

In 1869, John Shoobert built this structure. It is believed to be the first commercial building in Sausalito. In 1880, it was referred to as the First Hotel. An 1869 map from The Sausalito Land and Ferry Company, shows this building as the Sausalito Hotel. Later, the structure was inherited by two of the merchants daughters, Mrs. Lillian Martin and Alicia Shoobert. It served as the local hotel, offering accommodations to shipyard workers and other travelers.

During this time, it was referred to by the name “Shoobert House” and sometimes by the nickname “Red Gables.” The building deteriorated and the sisters decided to sell. It was sold after some time to the Sausalito Board of Trustees for the sum of $10,000. This was in 1904 and the building began to serve as the new “Town Hall of Sausalito” until the year 1919. This coincided with the great influenza outbreak and the building was put to use as a hospital with wards for both men and women.


The Shoobert family was actively involved in the local politics. Back then, the town consisted of dirt roads, pool halls, gambling and drinking joints. The conservative residents were called the “uphill people” and the others in the lower town were known as the “waterfront gang.”

In 1913, Alicia Shoobert worked for the election of a conservative mayor and town council in order to clean up the city. Mrs. Shoobert became one of the founding members of the “Sausalito Woman’s Club.”

In 1920, the building was sold again to the Christian Science Church and served the community in that capacity until 1967 when a new church was built on another site. From 1967 to 1994 the building was occupied by various other local businesses.

In 1995, Abraham and Patricia Chador purchased the building. After a long study with their son, Daniel, the family decided to bring the building back to its original historic use as a hotel. In the summer of 2007 Daniel and long time friend Bruce Pratt acquired the hotel and purchased the adjacent building. The hotel was then extensively remodeled and six new luxury rooms were added. We are proud to present to you the newly renovated and expanded historic hotel known as “The Gables Inn Sausalito.”