Homes like the historic Sherman Estate at 166 Elinor Ave. in Mill Valley don't come on the market every day—and in fact, in the 90-year life of this graceful old house, only three people have owned it. It's named for its first occupants, Cornelia and Frederick Sherman. The couple was said to have chosen the home's nearly one-acre site for the fabulous views and, close to a century later, it's still very clear why. The back of the house opens to a stunning vista that includes mountains and the San Francisco city skyline. The backyard has the kind of amenities that lure people to sunny Marin County: a lap pool, a park-like children's play area, and decks and patios strategically placed to take in the scenery. The current owners just spent two years and many millions of dollars to update parts of the house and restore period details, which probably factors into the $7.495 asking price.
With rooms that are uniformly neutral and sedate, the new remodel is pretty quiet (an exception is the kitchen, which has a bold pattern on the floor). But the serene surroundings were once the site of some prettying exciting history. When the Shermans built the house back in 1926, they were civic leaders. On paper, Mrs. Sherman appears to have been something of an interesting (and accomplished) character. Not only was she a renowned landscape designer and avid dancer, she was a supporter of the suffrage movement and giving women the right to vote. She served as a nurse in World War I. During World War II, she organized the first volunteer female firefighting team in Mill Valley, and the estate served as the headquarters for the unit. Back then, the house had nine bedrooms and used them to house the fire crew (today, it counts five bedrooms and five baths). Given the home's colorful past, you could look at the off-white rooms as a blank canvas ready for a new chapter.
· 166 Elinor Ave. [Official Site]