In 1881, Adolph Sutro bought 22 acres north of San Francisco's Ocean Beach. On a rocky promontory he built a mansion and gardens with wide vistas of the Pacific Ocean and Marin Headlands.
Sutro came to San Francisco in 1851 and set up as a shopkeeper. In 1860, he went to Virginia City, Nevada, and, after a few career changes, made a fortune at the Comstock Lode. He returned to San Francisco, served as mayor and carried out many philanthropic projects.
After his death, his daughter lived at the cliff-top mansion, which overlooked the first inn and restaurant called The Cliff House. By the time she died, the house and grounds had fallen into disrepair.
Today, only the foundations of the house remain, but on a foggy morning one can still imagine the grand life he led.