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by Annie Sutter

The following article appeared in the Spring 1980 issue of the SHS Quarterly publication. It is about the first use of the building on Bridgeway where Scoma’s Restaurant currently resides. It has been lightly edited.

Mathias Lange was born in Norway and appeared in Sausalito in the late 1880s. By 1904 the enterprising young man had several boats at work around the Bay including the paperboat which delivered the San Francisco newspapers to Marin County. In 1907 the building which now houses Scoma's Restaurant became headquarters for his business and his advertisement proclaimed; LANGE'S LAUNCH CO - LAUNCHES FOR HIRE AT ALL HOURS.
And work aplenty there was for the few engine driven boats around Sausalito in the early 1900s; towing, water taxi, deliveries, fishing trips, private party cruises. "If you missed the ferry you called Lange; he brought the morning papers and late Sausalitans home from San Francisco."

He must have meant the "at all hours" on his slogan, for he left Sausalito every night at midnight to pick up the Chronicle and Examiner from San Francisco. He left there at 1:30 a.m. and delivered the papers first to Alcatraz, then to Angel Island,  Tiburon and Belvedere, and on to Sausalito, arriving at 4:30 or 5:00 a.m. Three times a week he took papers to Mile Rock lighthouse outside the Gate. The lighthouse keeper would lower a bucket and Lange would deliver the papers to the bucket.  
According to his daughter, he was as faithful to his rounds as the proverbial  postman. "He never  missed  the route, no matter how stormy. He would rope the steering gear, and  sometimes  the  bow would be under water. He would go forward and throw oil to break the waves."

As the years went on his launches, the Marie L and the M. Lange were always hard at work, towing barges and anything that needed hauling, running yachtsmen out to boats moored in Richardson Bay, taking liveaboards home to laid-up sailing ships and freighters, and taking servicemen to their ships (fare 50 cents). These launches were in service for at least 30 years, for we find Lange taking the crew to and from the Zaca before she left Sausalito on a round-the-world cruise in 1930.

In the 1930s the sign changed, the new one featured CRABS AND HOT DOGS, and Captain Lange was known as Pop Lange. He sold bait, soda pop and beer, made sandwiches, took fishing expeditions, and advertised fresh crab. This building survives today, and in 1926 was moved slightly south. It has been a bar and a restaurant, notably the Tin Angel and the Glad Hand, and finally Scoma’s. It has been pushed out, added to, remodeled and redecorated, but underneath, it is still the same building.

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