Mar Vista Cottages
at Anchor Bay

Some Notes on the History of
Mar Vista Cottages

Prior to the arrival of European settlers in the nineteenth century, the land around Mar Vista Cottages was the homeland of the Pomo Indian tribe.  During the second half of the 19th century, a small lumber town was located in the vicinity of present day Mar Vista Cottages.  Known as Fish Rock, it helped to supply the lumber that built San Francisco during the gold and silver booms.  The town also manufactured bricks from local clay deposits.  In fact, in the mid-1800s Mar Vista Meadow was owned by the "Cooperative Brick and Terra-cotta Association."  A chute operated from Fish Rock Point to load lumber and clay products on dog hole schooners that regularly visited up until 1914.  As the lumber and brick business declined the town gradually disappeared, but a general store continued to operate in Mar Vista meadows until 1925 when it moved to it's present location in Anchor Bay.

YMCA Hiking Club at Anchor Bay Store, circa 1931

Louis Kovacs, a Hungarian immigrant, discovered the Anchor Bay area as a member of the YMCA Hiking Club. He purchased the Mar Vista meadow in 1929 and established a chicken ranch there.  About 1936 Ramus Eschen Eriksen, a Danish immigrant, joined Kovacs and together they built several cottages which they rented out to sports fishermen who came to the area in search of salmon and steelhead.  In the 1940s and 1950s the buildings were upgraded to accommodate vacationing families.  Kovacs and Eriksen kept horses and cows along with chickens, maintained a small orchard, and raised their own veggies.  They were locally famous for their beautiful flower garden.  In 1947, Kovacs made Eriksen co-owner of Mar Vista in recognition of the work that he had put into helping build Mar Vista Cottages.

YMCA Hiking Club at Mar Vista Meadow, circa 1931

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