|Leale home, grave marker and ferry|
Captain William “Bill” Leale was born on the Isle of Guernsey in 1846. He came to San Francisco in April 1866 where he was hired as a deckhand on the river steamer Reform. He became the master of the steamer Pioneer within six years and commanded a number of other vessels.
In 1880 he purchased the steamer Caroline and the tugboat Frolic. By the 1890s he was the captain of the bay ferries for the Southern Pacific Railroad.
In 1883, he bought a home that had been built in 1853 at 2475 Pacific Avenue in San Francisco. He added a bracketed false front and built a small house in the backyard, which he fitted to resemble a pilot house. Historical records indicate that the house is one of the oldest in the Cow Hollow neighborhood of Pacific Heights.
The house has become famous in recent years as the home of Susie Tompkins, who has hosted some of the most prominent Democrats in America, including President Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, future President Barack Obama and Senators Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein.