While Corte Madera is a small town in Marin County, it is incredibly diverse and a little difficult to define. Incorporated in 1916, the town is now best known in the surrounding communities for its fashionable shopping centers. In addition to the high-end Town Center and the Village at Corte Madera, the town also boasts bordering wetlands, lush open spaces, a large Town Park, Ring Mountain, the Corte Madera State Ecological Reserve and more. In fact, Corte Madera is a pioneer in land preservation, truly embodying the outdoor lifestyle characteristic of much of Northern California. Include the town’s strong sense of community and small-town feel, and it makes a wonderful place to live.
With a central location in Marin County, only 15 miles north of San Francisco and a mild climate just outside the city’s foggy reach, Corte Madera has become a popular place to live. The town contains a multitude of neighborhoods and different architectural styles, resisting homogenization while remaining a moderately priced community when compared to its neighbors. The average price of a single-family home in Corte Madera in 2011 was listed at $880,773.
Considered a twin city with neighbor Larkspur, Corte Madera also abuts Mill Valley and is only a short drive from San Rafael. If you want to reach the town from San Francisco, you only need to cross the Golden Gate Bridge and follow the 101 into Corte Madera. With a close proximity to so many desirable destinations, it is easy to see why more than 9,000 people call Corte Madera their home.
Corte Madera gets its name from the Rancho Corte Madera that predates the town. Meaning “chop wood” in Spanish, the name refers to the rancho’s role in the logging industry, when the local redwood trees were cut and turned into lumber to build the Presidio in San Francisco. However, much of the land that went on to be the home of the current town was settled by John Van Reynegom and his family. After the death of his son-in-law who bought the land from him, the land was split between a donation to the Corte Madera/Larkspur School District and as plots to be sold for home sites. After the earthquake of 1906, many in San Francisco fled the city to nearby towns. Many came to Corte Madera and instigated its growth.
Now Corte Madera is a town of more than 9,000 residents, with a community that is more educated than the state average. Due to this high education level, the town boasts above-average income levels, a high quality of life and a strong emphasis on education. In fact, many of the schools in town have received the status of California Distinguished School and rank 9 out of 10 on the Academic Performance Index scale. While Corte Madera is small, the surrounding areas are filled with great opportunities for careers, inviting many who work in San Francisco, San Rafael and elsewhere in Marin County to call the town their home.