Mark Hopkins became a very wealthy man thanks to the railway to the west. He was part of the Central Pacific Rail Road Company. He was the treasurer and power of attorney for the Big Four. Before building a fine mansion, he once enjoyed working his own garden. The Hopkins mansion stood tall on Nob Hill (also known as Snob Hill because of the wealthy property owners). The mansion was long and narrow measuring 82 x 25 feet and 45 feet tall. Before the completion of the mansion, Mark died in Yuma, Arizona on a business trip.
Mrs. Mary Hopkins purchased the Thurlow Lodge in 1883 as a wedding present for her adopted son Timothy Nolan Hopkins. He married Mary Kellogg Crittenden who happened to be a niece of Mary Hopkins, her mother-in-law. Once the property was purchased, it was renamed “Sherwood Hall”, after his mother’s maiden name. This residency became storage for the original Herter pieces, designed for Milton Latham, along with some of the Herter furnishings from the Hopkins Mansion in San Francisco. The Hopkins Mansion was donated to the University of California to house the San Francisco Art Association after the death of Mary Hopkins.
April 18, 1906, 5:12am pct. Tragedy strikes the locals around the San Andreas Faults. Both the Hopkins Mansion and Sherwood Hall are damaged. The Hopkins Mansion was burned as a result to the earthquake while the structure of Sherwood Hall was damaged leaving it abandoned.