Where is Homestead Valley?


July, 2001

It’s the valley between Mill Valley and Tam Valley. But where are its boundaries? Who knows and who cares? Some residents mistakenly believe they live in Mill Valley. Check your tax bill for an item labeled, “Homestead-Sanitary”- that’s evidence. Lots of Marinites think Homestead Valley is part of Mill Valley. It’s not. It’s an unincorporated area of the county.

In 1866, Samuel Throckmorton built a lodge which he named “The Homestead” at Ethel and Montford. The area became Homestead Valley.

today-ethel-aveIn 1892 the Tamalpais Land & Water Company (TL&WC) prepared “Map No. 3, Showing Subdivisions of Farming and Grazing Lands, Sausalito Ranch.” The word “Homestead” appears alongside a creek, implying that Homestead Valley was defined by the drainage shed of what is today called Reed Creek.

In 1902 TL&WC prepared “Map No. 6 Showing Lands Adjacent to Homestead Valley Marin County, Cal.” This was a subdivision map of the area now known as Almonte plus the eastern end of Homestead Valley.

In 1903, TL&WC prepared “Map No. 7 Homestead Valley Marin County, Cal,” a subdivision map with clearly defined boundaries. Lots were sold, houses built and the community grew rapidly.

The first of many proposals of an alliance with Mill Valley came in 1908.

The only annexation occurred In 1947, when the city of Mill Valley annexed the commercial strip along Miller from Montford to Reed.

Also in 1947, a governmental agency called, “Homestead Valley Sanitary District” (HVSD) was established. Since then, the boundaries of HVSD have defined the political boundaries of Homestead Valley. So where is Homestead Valley? It’s where the sewer district is.

HVSD includes all the land on Map No. 7 (excepting the Miller Ave. commercial strip) plus a large area to the east consisting of about one fourth of the land on Map No. 6 plus additional land to the south, all in the Reed Creek drainage shed. More recently the Flying Y ranch and other properties on the west side of Sequoia Valley Road have been annexed – they are also in the same drainage shed.

Homestead Valley is surrounded by Mill Valley, Almonte Sanitary District, Tamalpais Sanitary District, Golden Gate National Recreation Area and Muir Woods Park, an unincorporated area west of Sequoia Valley Rd.

You can drive on only some of the boundaries. Start on Montford half a block up from Miller with Homestead Valley on the left and Mill Valley on the right. Follow Montford to Janes to Molino to Edgewood to Sequoia Valley Road. From here on things get complicated. The boundary is on impassable open space and between backyards most of the way back to the start.

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.