A Homestead Headlines Article by Chuck Oldenburg
Marin Terraces subdivision is located in the south-east corner of Homestead Valley between Homestead Blvd. and West California Ave. Many homes were constructed there after World War II. In 1957, the Mill Valley School District opened Marin Terrace School on a site that is in Almonte. Two adjacent homes fronting on Loring Ave. are in Homestead Valley. Children attending Marin Terrace School lived in Almonte, Tamalpais Valley and Marin Terraces. In 1962, the school was enlarged. Enrollment topped out at 300 students.
In 1978, when enrollment had decreased to 141students, the Mill Valley School District closed the school. Fifty students were sent to Homestead School and the rest to Tamalpais Valley School. The students were bussed to these schools. In 1979, part of the school was leased by the Marin County French School. In 1980, the School District put a “For Sale or Lease” notice on Marin Terrace School. Vandalism had plagued the school building.
In May 1981, the ten-acre site was purchased for more than a million dollars by Kate Mecca, founder of Mount Tamalpais Primary School which had opened in 1976 at 550 Miller Ave. with sixty students in Kindergarten through Sixth Grade. The former Marin Terrace School was extensively refurbished, enabling her school to expand through Eighth Grade. Enrollment ultimately grew to 240 students. In 1987, the name of the school was changed to Mount Tamalpais School.
Bottom line for the ten-acre site: the public Marin Terrace School which existed from 1957 to 1978 is now the private Mount Tamalpais School.
In 1983, five years after Marin Terrace School closed, the School District closed Homestead School which had been on a two-acre site since 1920. The Mill Valley School District leased classrooms to various private enterprises. In early 1992 the Mill Valley School District signed a ten-year lease with Marin Horizon School which made significant improvements to the physical plant. Summer school began in June and a full toddler through Eighth Grade program began in September. In 2003, a new and much longer term lease was signed and a new building was constructed. The county’s use permit sets the maximum enrollment at 300 students.
Bottom line for the two-acre site: the public Homestead School which existed on the site from 1920 to 1983 is now leased to the private Marin Horizon School.
Children living in Homestead Valley currently attend other Mill Valley School District schools: Edna Maguire, Old Mill, Park, Strawberry Point and Tamalpais Valley.
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.