Corte Madera is a paradise for shoppers and
nature lovers. The town is home to two of Marin
County's finest shopping centers - Town Center
and The Village. Ring
Mountain Preserve and the
Corte Madera Reserve Sanctuary for Migrating Birds exemplify the commitment to
preserving the area's wildlife and habitat. Along with all the amenities of
city living, Corte Madera captures the relaxed outdoor lifestyle of Marin with
its lush open space and bordering wetlands and pleasant climate. Corte Madera
occupies an area of four square miles of land, plus surrounding water
tidelands. The town extends from San Francisco
Bay on the east, across Highway 101,
to Mount Tamalpais on the west. John Reed, the
owner of the mill that supplied lumber to build the San Francisco Presidio,
owned much of the land where Corte Madera now exists. In 1848, Pennsylvanian
John Van Reynegom arrived with his family at Paradise Bay
and found a spot to settle at the base of Christmas Tree Hill. His daughter
Amelia married Frank Pixley who purchased his in-laws property and upon his
death, Amelia began to sell off the parcels. Many of these early settlers were
artists attracted to the climate and the good bay views from Christmas Tree
Hill, where most of them built their homes.
Much of Corte Madera's summer population remained
after the 1906 earthquake and fire; ten years later the town was incorporated.
The town was a small, sparsely populated community of snug, wooden bungalows
until World War II, when thousands of shipyard workers streamed into the area
to work at nearby Marinship. The postwar baby boom continued and population
grew from 1,000 in 1940 to 8,200 in 1966. In the late 1960's, the largely
unchecked growth was a threat to the area's fragile marshlands but inspired the
birth of the town's powerful environment movement. The Corte Madera Ecological
Reserve, marshlands along the town's northern bayfront, is the movement's
living, breathing monument. In Corte Madera you will find a blend of contrasts
- from its rural, sprawling hillsides and bordering waterways to its
cosmopolitan, fashionable homes and businesses.
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