The town of Ross
is the quintessential example of a bedroom community - quiet, lush
neighborhoods, low-density development, beautiful architecture and landscaping,
and just an 18-mile drive to San
Francisco. Shaded roads and lanes enhance this lovely
town of grand estates and luxury custom homes. Large properties in park-like
settings often have accommodations for horses, as well as tennis courts and
swimming pools. What started out as seven Miwok
Indian shell mounds, is now the home to 800 families.
James Ross (for whom the town is named), an immigrant from Inverness Shire,
Scotland bought the "Rancho Punta de Quentin" for $50,000 in gold
coin from Benjamin Buckelew in 1857. The
"Rancho" was formerly an 8,877-acre Mexican Land Grant. Ross
established Ross Landing (now Kentfield Corners) and ran schooners to San Francisco. The Ross
family moved into the Buckelew home, which still
stands at 111 Redwood Drive.
Ross' eldest daughter Annie and her husband built a home they named
"Sunnyside". The Sunnyside Estate is now known as the Marin Art
& Garden Center
and includes the famous Octagon House. From 1945 through 1970, the Marin Art
& Garden Center
was the site of the Marin County Fair. The Center is a beautiful ten-acre site
that, in addition to housing several non-profit community groups, also offers
many classes and activities for adults and children. Throughout the 1890's
numerous estates are established by prosperous families from San Francisco. The town is incorporated in
1908 and at that time has 750 houses. In the 1980's, all of the Town's five
concrete bridges are included in the National Register of Historic Places.
Surrounding the Ross Common is a small, very quaint commercial area featuring
restaurants and shops. One enterprise, the Ross Grocery, has been operated by
the same family since WWII. Residents are universally proud of, and offer
support to, the local elementary school. In 1991, Child magazine named Ross Elementary
School as one of the top ten schools in the
nation. The academic ranking is the 99th percentile, the highest any school can
achieve. Ross, often characterized as the suburban ideal, is also the
definition of gracious living.
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