Tucked away in Marin’s green countryside, Corte Madera stretches from San Francisco Bay on the east side of Highway 101 to Mount Tamalpais on the west. Incorporated in 1916, the town of Corte Madera occupies an area of four square miles of land, plus surrounding water tidelands. The town was originally named Adams to honor Jerry Adams, the first postmaster; however, the name was changed to Corte Madera in 1902, which is a command in Spanish that means “chop wood”—a reference to both the Rancho Corte Madera del Presidio granted to John Reed in 1834 and the town’s long-held connections to the lumber industry.
Despite its somewhat humble beginnings, Corte Madera has become one of the most affluent towns in Marin. Today, it retains a close-knit feel with nearly 9,425 residents and a rich tapestry of local events that bring the community together during the year. The town’s Fourth of July celebration with its twin city, Larkspur, for example, draws thousands of spectators and residents from all over the Bay Area with a parade through Old Town, festivities and a picnic. Much of its historic charm remains throughout its neighborhoods. Christmas Tree Hill is one of the oldest sections of Corte Madera and was named because the lighted homes on the hill leading up to Mount Tamalpais create the shape of a lighted Christmas tree. Residents appreciate Corte Madera’s ample sunshine, which often peeks through the sheets of fog surrounding Mount Tamalpais. It is a true outdoor paradise with outstanding hiking, biking and some of the most beautiful vistas in the western United States.