Vignette > Hill Ranch
In 1904, john Dias purchased 20 acres in Homestead Valley between Ridgewood Ave. and Homestead Blvd. He built a four-bedroom, one-bath house and named it Hill Ranch. He also constructed a bunkhouse for hired hands, a cookhouse and barns for dry cows, calves and bulls. Hill Ranch was the headquarters for the extensive Dias Ranch and dairy that encompassed several hundred acres of owned and leased land. John Dias and his wife Ida lived in the Hill Ranch house with their four sons and four daughters. In 1917, John Dias died after having been kicked by a bull at Hill Ranch. The eldest son, James Dias, took over ranch management. Ida Dias and her family continued to live at Hill Ranch until 1921 when they moved to San Anselmo. In 1921, Alex and Mary McCurdy rented the Hill Ranch house from Ida Dias, and bought it in 1927. Alex was chief of police in Mill Valley from 1926 to 1935. Hill Ranch was home to the McCurdys, their daughter Mary Baker and their grandson, Bill Baker, until 1982. The house then sat empty until 1992 when it was demolished and replaced by Ridgewood, a Tudor style mansion.