Located just 12 miles north of San Francisco, Corte Madera extends from San Francisco Bay on the east side to Mt. Tam on the west. Corte Madera epitomizes the wonderful Marin County blend of nature along with all the amenities of city living.
Corte Madera occupies an area of four square miles of land, plus surrounding water tidelands. It is next to Larkspur, which shares many city services, and the two cities have been dubbed “The Twin Cities.”
The Corte Madera real estate market is currently booming. Single family homes range in price from $600,000 to $2,600,000. Condominiums range in price from $300,000 to $850,000.
This small, vital town is home to nearly 9,425 residents. It is generally very sunny here, and is within hiking, biking and driving distance of some of the most beautiful vistas in the western United States. With very easy access to Highway 101, it is also just a short drive north from the Golden gate Bridge and is a stone’s throw from the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge.
Corte Madera means “cut wood” in Spanish. Read on for an explanation of the name origin.
About our community…
The Town reflects the easy, outdoor lifestyle long associated with California, with open space and parks in every direction. 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.
The Town boasts two of the largest shopping destinations in Marin County: The Village at Corte Madera (see photo above) and Town Center at Corte Madera. The Village, which is located on the east side of Highway 101 at Paradise Drive, is anchored by tenants Nordstrom, Macy’s, Restoration Hardware and Crate and Barrel . Town Center, which is on the west side of Highway 101 at Paradise Drive, houses such national retailers as The Container Store and Z Gallerie. Restaurants in these shopping centers include Il Fornaio, The Cheesecake Factory, and P.F. Chang’s. The Village has a wonderful outdoor “soft play” area for kids as well and several beautiful fountains.
The popular retailer Restoration Hardware is headquartered in Corte Madera.
The median income for a household in the town was $79,839, and the median income for a family was $95,471. Males had a median income of $70,968 versus $50,380 for females. The per capita income for the town was $46,326. About 2.7% of families and 4.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.2% of those under age 18 and 6.9% of those age 65 or over.
A little history…
The first inhabitants of the area known today as Corte Madera were the Miwok Indians. The Miwok’s first contact with Europeans occurred in 1579 when Sir Francis Drake, the first Englishman to sail around the world, was greeted upon his arrival by Indians in a village near Tomales, approximately 40 miles northwest of Corte Madera. For decades the Coast Miwok resisted the Spanish and Mexicans, but ultimately they fell before European firepower.Corte Madera was once part of the original land grant, the Rancho Corte Madera del Presidio, given to John Reed in 1836. Reed, an Ireland native, originally attempted to claim land in Sonoma County, but the Miwoks were hostile and forced Reed southward into Marin County. Reed built a small mill which cut wood for the San Francisco Presidio (hence the name, “Corte Madera del Presidio”). He also started the first ferry service between Marin County and Yerba Buena.People living in the Corte Madera area quickly became involved in the logging of redwoods to build the Presidio in San Francisco. The local industry shifted to farming and cattle-raising after the majority of redwoods were harvested.
At the beginning of the 20th century the town attracted individuals and families from San Francisco who came to the area in the summer to recreate. Christmas Tree Hill was subdivided into tiny 25-foot square lots for weekend camping. After the San Francisco earthquake of 1906 many of the lots were used to build permanent homes, many of which are still there today.
Not long after incorporation in 1916 Corte Madera was chosen to host the first post office and the first railroad station between Sausalito and San Rafael. The town was also home to a harbor for the loading and unloading of cargo. Steamboats traveling from Larkspur to San Francisco would stop here to purchase produce, lumber, and beef and return to Corte Madera with manufactured goods from San Francisco. Corte Madera however remained a sparsely populated community until World War II when thousands of shipyard workers came from around the country to work at the nearby Marinship.
Visit some of our local websites and watch a video of Corte Madera: