This book was inspired by San Rafael Illustrated & Described, a rare promotional brochure published by W. W. Elliott & Co. in 1884.
The brochure's purpose was to attract new residents and investors to San Rafael by showcasing prominent homes and businesses and emphasizing the natural beauty of the area. It also highlights modern amenities of the day including the train and ferry systems.
The illustrations are original stone lithographs made from the sketches of Mr. Chris Jorgensen, a teacher at the San Francisco Art School. From 2016 through 2017, Marin County historian and photographer Michelle Kaufman photographed the same views depicted in the 1884 lithographs and researched their history in collaboration with the staff at the Anne T. Kent California Room.
Kaufman's modern views of San Rafael are presented alongside their 1884 counterparts. The Anne T. Kent California Room, located in the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Marin County Civic Center in San Rafael, is an archive dedicated to collecting and preserving information on the history and culture of Marin County. The California Room's digital archive can be found at marinlibrary.org/californiaroom