[First published in March 2009]
A majestic vertical greenstone outcrop forty feet high overlooks Homestead Valley from high up on the west end of the valley just below Sequoia Valley Road. In 1904, the rock dominated the landscape. It could be seen from the lower reaches of Homestead Valley. Today, trees block a view of the rock from all but a few vantage points.
In 1903, Tamalpais Land & Water Co. subdivided Homestead Valley. The rock is not shown on the subdivision map. In 1910, Carrie E. Bridge purchased Homestead Valley subdivision block 32 where the rock is located. From this and other blocks she created a 30-acre subdivision of 112 lots which she named Castle Park. Her subdivision map shows the rock and identifies it as Castle Rock.
The present Castle Park subdivision is about half the size of what she originally planned. The south half is now the Amaranth subdivision. Its entrance is at Sequoia Valley Road and historic Homestead Blvd. now named Amaranth Blvd. Castle Rock Drive which serves the Castle Park subdivision is a 20 ft. wide one lane private road for residents only. The magnificent outcrop, Castle Rock, abuts the pavement.
In 1908, John Trewavas purchased block 12 east of and below block 32 to create Camp Tamalpais, a subdivision of 138 lots. Ridgewood Ave. divided the two subdivisions. Ridgewood Ave. is still a paper street in that area.
Because of the steepness of the terrain, there is no direct road connection between the two subdivisions. It is a 2-mile drive from the entrance to Camp Tamalpais at Tamalpais Drive and Montford Ave. to the entrance to Castle Park on Sequoia Valley Road. Hikers can go more directly via the Cowboy Rock Trail from the end of Tamalpais Drive to the top of the Dipsea Steps. From there it is a short block up Sequoia Valley Road to the entrance to Castle Park. The more adventurous can follow Laurel Way from Tamalpais Drive and climb up Log Arch Trail to the south end of Castle Rock Drive.
If you have comments or questions about this article
or other topics pertaining to the history of Homestead Valley,
please feel free to e-mail Chuck Oldenburg.