Beverly Wright Bastian was known rightfully as the Tiburon Penninsula’s ‘community organizer extraordinaire.’ She founded the Belvedere-Tiburon Landmarks Society in 1959. Under her direction, the Society acquired, restored and maintained the peninsula’s most cherished historical landmarks: Old St. Hilary’s, the Social Saloon of the S.S. China (China Cabin), the Tiburon Railroad-Ferry Depot Museum and the 19th century farm cottage and garden (AKA the Landmarks Art and Garden Center in Tiburon.) The Society’s archives center in the Boardwalk Shopping Center is the most significant repository of the art, images, papers and ephemera documenting the community’s past. Bastian was the only Tiburon Peninsula resident to be named “Citizen of the Year” by both Belvedere and Tiburon.
This amazing woman was also recognized for her work in education. Bastian established six nonprofit cooperative nursery schools in southern Marin (the co-op in Marin City predated Head Start service in that community.) She also founded the Marin Child Development Center for neurologically handicapped preschool children. As executive director of the co-op schools for twenty years, Bastian was a role model for mothers, many of whom were inspired by her example to return to school for advanced degrees.
Over the years Beverly Bastian wore many hats. She was appointed to the first board of directors of Marin’s Family Service Agency in the 1940s. She served on Belvedere’s Parks and Recreation commission and chaired it for seven years. She worked as a journalist for The San Francisco Chronicle, Marin Independent Journal, The Ark and the Mill Valley Record. She co-authored A Pictorial History of Belvedere, 1890 – 1990: A California Island Town.
Bastian has also enjoyed success in business, having opened Custom House Antiques on The Boardwalk. Bastian achieved all this despite having narcolepsy, a lifelong disability that prevented her from getting a driver’s license.
In 1992 Bastian was honored for Distinguished Public Service by her Alma Mater, the University of the Pacific. She was honored by the Conference of California Historical Societies and received the Jefferson Award from the American Institute for Public Service. Awards also came from the Family Service Agency, the Marin Child Development Center, the Marin Conservation Council and the Daughters of the American Revolutions (DAR).
In recognition of her remarkable contributions, the Marin Women’s Hall of Fame joins the Landmark Society in calling Beverly Wright Bastian ‘the catalyst, the master mind, the guiding spirit’ behind much that is good in the County.