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Lillie at Larkmead

"Larkmead looked golden in the level rays of the sun and fragrant with myriads of wild flowers. I carried over champagne and we drank to the new house and those who dwelt therein."

~ Martha Hitchcock, Drew Sparks & Sally Kellman, A Salon at Larkmead

In 1851, Charles Hitchcock, an army surgeon, moved from North Carolina to San Francisco with his wife, Martha, and his spirited daughter, Lillie. Soon after arriving, Lillie became captivated by the city fire departments and as a teenager, became the unofficial mascot of the "Knickerbocker Engine No. 5". Later, in recognition of her unwavering enthusiasm and support of the fire stations, Lillie was named the patroness of all San Francisco firemen. The Hitchcocks purchased 1,000 acres of land in Napa Valley situated between the towns of St. Helena and Calistoga. Lillie was so charmed by the melodious song of meadowlarks around the property that she named her country home "Larkmead."