Tucked away in Marin County’s countryside is the small town of Corte Madera. Extending east from the San Francisco Bay, the town stretches 4.4 miles from the Highway 101 to Mt. Tamalpais in the west. Containing just over 9,000 residents, the small town is a sunny section of suburbia just 15 miles north of San Francisco and is within biking, driving and even hiking distance of many of California’s stunning natural attractions. Combining many open spaces and parks with fashionable, cosmopolitan homes and businesses, Corte Madera is the perfect residence for those who wish to enjoy both the benefits of the country with the advantages of the city.
The town of Corte Madera was incorporated in 1916, but its history begins before that. Originally home to the Miwok Indians that populated the area, in 1836, the land was granted to John Reed, a Dublin native. It was Reed that built and ran the Rancho that Corte Madera gets its name from. Corte Madera means to "chop wood" in Spanish, which is exactly what the Rancho did, harvesting redwoods for lumber that went to building the Presidio in San Francisco. Then in 1848, John Van Reynegom and his family from Pennsylvania settled at the base of Christmas Tree Hill, forming what would become the future town of Corte Madera. Van Reynegom’s settlement was set between Reed’s and another owned by Juan Cooper.
The land was later sold to his son-in-law Frank Pixley, but after his death, the settlement was split between a donation to the Larkspur-Corte Madera School District and as land to be sold for home sites, which many San Franciscans bought for their summer homes. However, in 1906, the San Francisco earthquake caused many to flee the city. Home to a harbor and an easy trade route, Corte Madera was a choice for many.
One of the biggest draws for residents living in Corte Madera is the beautiful, mild climate that characterizes the town and surrounding area. With an average, annual temperature of 58 degrees Fahrenheit, spanning from an average 67 degrees in July and 48 degrees in January, Corte Madera escapes the extreme weather that many face in the rest of the country. While the town sees about 33 inches of rain every year, Corte Madera experiences no snow and roughly 316 days a year of no rain.
In addition to a mild climate, Corte Madera boasts reasonable home prices and quality education, making it an ideal spot to live with a family. The Academic Performance Index ratings of Corte Madera schools show the strong emphasis that the community places on education. This can be explained by the high education level of Corte Madera residents older than 25. The percentage of residents with bachelor’s degrees and beyond is double the amount in the rest of the state. The high education level also accounts for the above average household and per capita income of the town. With high education come better jobs in professional fields. While a suburb, the town’s close proximity to San Francisco and other surrounding cities means that there are many opportunities for residents in the career field of their choice.