A Homestead Headlines Article by Chuck Oldenburg
A creek originates on the old Diaz ranch, now part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, crosses Homestead Boulevard (now completely overgrown and difficult to find), flows through a valley between Ferndale and Melrose where it has a dam and joins Reed Creek at Homestead School. It’s a sizable stream in winter, and might be called the South Fork Reed Creek. Its drainage shed includes the Worley Tract. Who ever heard of that? Certainly not many of the people who live there.
In 1909, A.D. Avery surveyed the Worley tract for Alfred I. Worley and his wife Fannie. It consists of block 19 and part of block 20 on the original 1903 Homestead Valley subdivision map No. 7 of the Tamalpais Land & Water Co. The boundary line of the Worley Tract starts on LaVerne near Chapman Drive, follows LaVerne to Ferndale which it follows almost to the end, and then goes straight down to the starting point on LaVerne.
The Worley Tract included 7 large parcels and two new streets: Melrose Avenue and Rydal Avenue. Today’s Melrose between Montford and LaVerne was then know as Avery Street. It also included two lanes: Gretna Lane was a cutoff in the Ferndale hairpin turn, and Skye Lane connected Melrose and Ferndale at the Melrose hairpin turn. Skye Lane is still shown but not named on today’s assessor’s parcel map, but Gretna Lane is nowhere to be found.
The Worley Tract parcels did not sell right away. A 1916 map of Homestead’s street light locations shows that only about one third of one parcel had been sold resulting in two parcels on LaVerne across from Scott Street; one was 1.53 acres, the other, 2.40 acres. Today, the Worley Tract contains 68 parcels and 60 homes.
Also in the creek’s drainage shed is Madrone Park, a subdivision surveyed by A.D. Avery in October 1908 for Ralston L. White, president of the Tamalpais Land & Water Co. The land, just below Homestead Boulevard, had been block 24 and part of block 25 on the original 1903 subdivision map. It consisted of 21 parcels on Ferndale and the new Laurel Avenue, today’s Madrone Park Circle. Most of the parcels were between 1/6 and 3/4 acres. Today, there are 37 parcels and 30 homes in Madrone Park.
The Worley Tract and Madrone Park – a beautiful part of Homestead 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.