1890 - 1925
Carlos (Charles) Pastori, his wife and family brought first class world-renowned dining to Fairfax before the turn of the century. Charles Pastori leased the property from Emma Woodward until he was able to persuade her to sell it to him for $15,000.
Fairfax Villa, the name first chosen for the new establishment was an appropriate one for the buildings on the property were the ones that were there when Lord and Lady Fairfax occupied the property. The main house became the restaurant, the Pastoris adding a covered porch which became a dinning area.
Tina Pastori, born and raised on the property, daughter of Carlos, recalled the time that Irving Berlin came to dine at her fathers place. Somehow a small piano was hoisted up onto the dining platform in the tree where Mr. Berlin played several tunes, among them was "So Long, Mary". He played it as a tribute to the Pastoris children's nanny, whose name was also Mary.
During the 1906 earthquake, Carlos was informed that his poultry supplier and his family, the Tarrantinos, had their home and belongings completely destroyed by fire. Carlos invited them to stay with in Fairfax until they could re-establish themselfs. The Pastoris thought there would only be a dozen or so and that they would only stay a short while. Eighty members of the Tarrantino family came over and stayed three months. They pitched tents and cooked their meals in large pots in the outdoors. "Babies were born right here," remembers Tina.
If the untimely death of Carlos Pastori,58, was not tragedy enough for the family and friends that year, another tragedy struck out around 11:15 on the morning of December 11, 1911. Fire broke out in the upper portion of the famous Pastori Villa and within the hour the entire structure was wrapped in flames.
Pastori's around 1900. Before some alterations by the Pastoris, these buildings remained as when the home of Charles Fairfax. The photo below, from the same angle, shows the new Pastoris which was rebuilt and opened June, 1912 after the fire destroyed the buildings in 1911.
c1914. The main building to left still stands. The buildings to the right are where the dance floor was built in the 1940's. This photo was taken from near the bridge.
c1914 The front of the main building with the newly landscaped grounds.
Country dining at its best overlooking the beautiful grounds of he resort.
August of 1925, Pastori's is sold for approximately $175,000. to the Emporium of San Francisco.
1937-1943 Marin Boys School
From 1925 through 1937 the Emporium property was used as a summer retreat for its employees. They built the first swimming pool, added tennis courts and baseball diamonds. (see photo under "aerial views" button) In 1937 the Emporium leased their facilities to the Marin School for boys which remained on the property until shortly after the Emporium sold to a San Francisco businessman, Max Friedman in 1943.
A local resident that attended the school remembers that there were only a few kids besides himself from Marin who attended the school. The majority of students were from Southern California. The school's total enrollment numbered less than one hundred boys. Classes were held in the small buildings that were built next to the creek. (some of these buildings were later removed by Max Friedman to make way for construction of a dance floor). The school administrative offices and school dining room were in the main building, the former clubhouse. Boarding students lived in the small cottages on the property.