Charles Marchant Stevenson began his painting of "The Goat Lady's House" at the Goat Lady's dairy farm in the mid-1950s, and completed the painting at his San Francisco studio in 1960, just before his move to Mendocino. Stevenson's luminous portrait of a simple Queen Anne house glowing in early morning light at the edge of the sea evokes the last woman who made it her home. Built in the 1870s, Lyford House - the Goat Lady's house - has become a Registered Historical Landmark and is now open to the public.
Stevenson's lifelong friend Arnold Borley remembers:
"Last time I saw it, the Goat Lady's house was still standing on the road leading to Tiburon. A little white-haired old lady owned the place. She lived there and she had a group of goats. She lived very frugally. While Charles painted the house, we often spoke with the owner. She said that she was keeping the house to donate to someone who would preserve it. I remember her saying that developers had offered her great sums, but she knew they would tear down the little hill behind the house. 'I don't want anyone to destroy my little hill', she said. That lady was an original."
The Goat Lady, her goats and her little hill are gone, but her house was saved by Marin County preservationists. In 1957 Lyford House was barged from her Stawberry Point goat farm at the edge of Richardson Bay, across to a spectacular coastal wildlife sanctuary owned by the National Audubon Society, where the Goat Lady's house stands in a meadow on another road to Tiburon.