El Verano

Dutil/French Cottages/Verdier’s, Part Two

Paul Verdier died in 1945. His daughter and her husband, John Piro, take over and managed the resort until 1962. During this period, the resort was extensively photographed by Zan Stark. Several elaborate brochures were also produced .

In 1962 Paul Verdier, the younger, died. He and his sisters had sold the resort to Hugh B. Nyce (really!) that year. Then, in 1964 a big change.

1964 October-Juanita Musson takes ownership of Verdier’s.

Juanita was a well known, even notorious, restaurateur in Sausalito from 1953 to 1963.  The IT informed us “Mrs. Musson, whose language at times is as colorful as her muumuus, was popular restaurateur in Sausalito between 1953 and 1963. Early in 1964, with the backing of Scott Mc Donald of San Francisco, she took over Verdier’s. She ran the business as Juanita’s Galley until 1969, when a fire consumed the dining room, kitchen, owner’s quarters, and several outbuildings. Juanita did not close the business, however. “She still plans to cater a dinner this coming weekend for a Sears Point Raceway group at the Veterans Memorial building which she has rented for the occasion. While the bar will continue “business as usual,” Mrs. Musson told the Index-Tribune yesterday she also hopes to make arrangements for the preparation and serving of food in the and dance hall area.”

A small article next to the bottom photograph notes that lawsuits against PGE for starting the 1964 fire in Boyes Hot Springs, were settled. In 1969. Everything old is new again, the wheels of justice, etc.

Juanita was not able to resurrect the El Verano resort and moved on to Fetters Hot Springs.

Ms. Musson, who loomed large in the Springs for many years, will get her own entry in this journal soon.


Two of the buildings that did not burn looked like this in 2006.

By 2012, the property have been divided and sold to several people. A new house was built that incorporated some of the resort into the back yard.



Back yard of new house on Verdier’s property, 2012, showing the bar, fireplace and sheet metal sign.

This sign was donated to the Sonoma Valley Historical Society by Eric Morrison.

Index Tribune and photo of Juanita courtesy of the Sonoma Valley Historical Society. Other photos by author or from author’s collection.

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