Vignette > Early Mill Valley History

John Reed’s adobe house, ca. 1890 – click to enlarge

Coast Miwoks were present in the area for at least 5000 years

Land in Mill Valley 94941

1776 – 1821: Spain owns the land

1817: Mission San Rafael is founded

1821 – 1846: Mexico owns the land

1834: Secularization of the church which cedes its land to the government

1834: John Reed (b.1805, Dublin) acquires Rancho Corte Madera del Presidio (9000 acres), encompassing part of today’s Mill Valley 94941

1835: William Richardson (b.1795, London) acquires Rancho Saucelito (20,000 acres), encompassing part of today’s Mill Valley 94941

1846: Bear Flag rebellion, battle of Olompali, ends Mexican control

1848: Mexico formally cedes California to USA

1850: California becomes the 31st state

1855: Samuel Throckmorton (b.1808, New Jersey) acquires Rancho Saucelito

1866: Throckmorton builds The Homestead, a ranch headquarters/hunting lodge

1868: Throckmorton sells 164 acres to Sausalito Land & Ferry Co.

1875: New railroad from Sausalito stops at Collins Summit. Blithedale Hotel carriage meets the trains to pick up guests

1884: Alto tunnel provides a new railroad route from Sausalito to Corte Madera

1889: Railroad spur line to Mill Valley is installed

1890: Mill Valley land auction held at the Old Mill

1892: Mill Valley’s first public school opens

1896: Mill Valley & Mt. Tamalpais Scenic Railway begins service

1900: Town of Mill Valley is incorporated

Note:  Mill Valley 94941 includes the city plus the unincorporated communities of Alto, Strawberry, Almonte, Homestead Valley, Tamalpais Valley, Muir Woods Park and Muir Beach