The land now known as Marin County was “owned” by the San Francisco Mission. Mission San Rafael was established in 1817 as a recuperative escape in a warmer place for the sick, made miserable by Yerba Buena's dreary and cold weather, and as an outpost to better oversee the vast holdings of the Church. There were still only about 300 people there by 1850, when California entered the Union. Steam-powered ferries soon began running between the village of Sausalito and San Francisco, first carrying livestock south to become consumed, then for hauling Redwood timber south to feed the building trades in the fast growing city, and eventually passengers heading north for sightseeing and vacationing.