The Miwok Indians roamed Marin County for centuries favoring parts of San Anselmo and fishing in San Anselmo Creek. In the mid-1800’s the Mexican government granted to the Sais Family roughly half of San Anselmo, and the other half was granted to Juan Bautista Cooper in the “Punta de Quintin de Corte Madera, La Laguna y Canada de San Anselmo” grant. James Ross then purchased most of modern day San Anselmo, but it changed hands again soon after his untimely death.
The land was primarily pastoral until the mid-1870’s when the North Pacific Coast Railroad laid tracks from Sausalito to Tomales through San Anselmo. For a period of time, the town was referred to simply as “Junction” until it finally incorporated and took the name San Anselmo from the original land grant.
Today, Sir Francis Drake Boulevard connects San Anselmo with Highway 101. The farther one drives on Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, the warmer the summers are and the less hectic the pace of life becomes. When you arrive at the town of San Anselmo, you have reached one of the most laid-back towns in Marin, perhaps second only to Fairfax, with some of the best Mountain biking and hiking in the county.
I have spoken with many Southern Marin residents who have mentioned that if they had to “do it again” they would have strongly considered buying in San Anselmo. The community has a wonderful downtown, and a tighter social fabric than other areas of Marin County that have greater variation in household incomes.
San Anselmo gets less fog than most other towns in Marin and has beautiful long, warm summer days. If you plan on commuting to San Francisco from San Anselmo, it is best to leave early and return early, or return late as the “rush hour” on Highway 101 and Sir Francis Drake is about that- an hour. San Anselmo is also known for its antiques shopping.
The Ross Valley School District services both San Anselmo and Fairfax.