The Old St. Hilary's, Tiburon's iconic hillside landmark, which was originally a mission church named for St. Hilaire, Bishop of Poitiers. The heirs of John Reed - who held title to El Racho Corte Madera del Presidio, the Mexican land grant that included the Tiburon Peninsula - deeded the one-quarter acre site for $2 to the Archdiocese of San Francisco, which built the church as a place of worship for local railroad workers in 1988.
The building is of significant architectural importance because it is one of the few remaining Carpenter Gothic churches to survive in its original setting. It is constructed of redwood, with redwood doors and a Douglas fir ceiling. Amber glass windows after they were broken. The stained glass window above the door has been restored and depicts St. Hilary (fourth century), patron saint of scholars. It was a gift from Dr. and Mrs. Benjamin Lyford.
The current eletric lights are replicas of coal-oil chandeliers, which lowered the ropes that brackets on the walls held in place. Heating and water are modern additions. Original furnishings include the white altar rail and two stands for statues on either side of the sanctuary, as well as the restored Stations of the Cross in the nave. A donor salvaged the cross from a church in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Most of the permanent furnishings are donations in honor of local residents. They include the concert piano and custom-made docent desk, chair and table, as well as oak pews that are reproductions of the originals. A group of local volunteers created the needlepoint pew cushions that feature local wildflowers.
The church was deconsecrated to make way for a new, larger on and was headed for deconstruction until several individuals intent on preserving local history established the Landmarks Society and purchased the site and building in 1959. It has served as a classroom and town meeting hall and is now a popular setting for weddings, concerts and other memorable events.