Vignette > Enchanted Knolls

Roque Moraes (1883 – 1963) came to the Bay Area from the Azores at age 20. He came to Mill Valley later and ran a dairy on leased land in the Alto area for 36 years.  In 1940 he purchased the Wilkins Ranch. The barn on Highway 101 near the Tiburon Wye is visible in the 1931 photo. The grazing lands were on the adjacent hill that is now Enchanted Knolls.  In 1953, Moreas sold the Enchanted Knolls property to southern California builder Talcott Seaver, who then named the development’s main entry street in Moraes’ honor.  Lot sales began in December 1954 prior to completion of installation of streets, sewers and utilities. In the first unit there were 137 lots, ranging in size from slightly under 7,000 square feet to more than 10,000.  Prices ranged from $3,000 to $5,000. Steeper hillside lots were priced less than those on gentle slopes to offset higher building costs. A limited number of lots were available to individual contractors for speculative home building, provided the plans conformed generally to the types of homes planned for the area.  Seaver said “Enchanted Knolls homes should be custom-built, functional, but not styled or ‘dated’ so as to preserve a high resale value.”