If you’ve ever wondered who the Waldo Tunnel, Waldo Grade and Waldo Point were named after, here’s one theory. The source is Louise Teather’s 1986 book, “Place Names of Marin.”
“A street called Waldo appears on the first map of the Sausalito Land & Ferry Co. in 1869. It is believed to have been named for Waldo, Ore., then a prosperous mining town where gold had been discovered in 1852.
“Waldo was located just over the state border. Until 1854 the miners there thought they were in California, so they named the town for William Waldo, Whig Party candidate for governor, and voted for him.” In 1853, Waldo had campaigned in Sailor’s Diggings, mistakenly believing the town to be part of California. Official records noted that the names Sailor Diggings and Waldo were used interchangeably.
“The town thrived until after World War I,” according to Teather, “and then gradually died. By the late 1930s, most of the townsite was mined away. Today it is a ghost town with only a marker placed by the Josephine County Historical Society to remind visitors of its past.
“In Sausalito, Waldo Street has disappeared from the map, but the name is perpetuated with Waldo Point, at the foot of Waldo Grade; Waldo Court in Marin City; and the Waldo Tunnels. During the days of the railroad a station called Waldo stood opposite the point.”
“Place Names of Marin” is part of the collection of the Sausalito Historical Society, and may be perused during the Society’s public hours, Wednesdays and Saturdays between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.