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Homestead Valley history

Homestead Valley land trust

Samuel Throckmorton chose a small valley at the end of Richardson Bay to build a hunting lodge, naming it The Homestead in 1866. The valley was soon known as Homestead Valley.


With the formation of Tamalpais Land & Water Co. in 1889, and after the 1906 earthquake, a new settler gave further meaning to Homestead Valley's name. Commuter homesteads were built and have now increased to over 1,100 homes. At one time a person could buy a homestead for $10 in gold.


By 1971 some Homesteaders who had enjoyed picnicking under the Redwoods in majestic Stolte Grove began to worry about overdevelopment. They roused neighbors to action to preserve public open space. With a bond measure of $600,000 to be paid over 20 years, these farsighted citizens purchased over 80 acres (about 1/5 of the total valley outside of the GGNRA.) Funding for Homestead Valley Community Association comes in part from Marin taxes collected for this area.


Soon Homestead Valley Land Trust was formed to manage these public lands, one of the first of this type in the nation. HVLT uses limited public money to maintain extensive hiking trails and care for Stolte Grove and Three Groves.

Chuck Oldenburg has written numerous fascinating articles about Homestead History in History of Homestead Valley. The Mill Valley Historical Society has collected Chuck's Homestead history articles.

Chuck's history articles are for sale from him in a bound version for $20. A sample copy can be previewed at Homestead Valley Community Center office.

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