Located 15 miles north of the city of San Francisco is Corte Madera in Marin County. Just 4.4 square miles, this sunny town on the San Francisco Bay stretches east of the 101 to Mt. Tamalpais in the west. Sharing borders, a police department and a school district with the neighboring town of Larkspur, Corte Madera is near many Marin County attractions. With a little more than 9,000 residents, this small community is known in the area for its high standard of living, great education and small-town feel. Providing a quiet, yet close community for those who work in the area, the town of Corte Madera ranks high as one of the most educated and wealthy towns in California.
Incorporated in 1916, Corte Madera began its recent history as a rancho of the same name. Owned by John Reed, who bought the land in 1836, the rancho was named Corte Madera, or chop wood in Spanish, because of its role in the logging of the redwood trees in the area. The rancho played a big part in turning the trees into lumber to build the Presidio in San Francisco. However, while the town gets its name from this rancho, it owes much of its development to the Van Reynegom family, who bought and developed the land at the base of Christmas Tree Hill in 1848. Originally purchased by John Van Reynegom, the land was bought by his son-in-law Frank Pixley, whose death caused the property to be split between a donation to the Larkspur-Corte Madera school district and as land to be sold for home sites, which people bought for their summer homes. Then the town really began to grow in 1906 when the great earthquake hit San Francisco and many fled the city and went to nearby suburbs, including Corte Madera. It only took 10 years after that for the town to be incorporated.
The town was an attractive spot for those fleeing the city because of its mild weather and convenient location. Located right on the bay, it was an easy trade stop for ships heading to and coming from San Francisco. Corte Madera was able to trade produce and materials for manufactured goods from the city. Now it is even more convenient, only a short driving distance away from San Francisco and San Rafael. While Corte Madera’s location makes driving to the city easy, it is still far enough away to escape the foggy reach for which San Francisco is known. With more sunny days in a year than the nation sees on average, Corte Madera’s climate is a draw for many who love being outdoors. With an average temperature of 48 degrees in January and 67 degrees in July, residents and visitors alike can enjoy the outdoors all year long.
Corte Madera is also a great location to raise a family. The public and private schools in the town are some of the best in the Bay Area and even the entire state. Several of them are classified as California Distinguished Schools and, as a whole, have received an Academic Performance Index rating of nine out of 10. In addition, the small-town feel of Corte Madera ensures that Corte Madera is a great place for families and other residents to live.