Corte Madera was once part of the original land grant, Corte Madera del Presidio, given to John Reed in 1836. The area was used to supply lumber to build the San Francisco Presidio. By 1860 all the old growth redwoods had been harvested and the hills were then used for ranching and dairying by a new generation of settlers.
At the turn of the century Corte Madera had attracted a number of families from San Francisco who came for the summer. Christmas Tree Hill was subdivided in tiny 25′ x 25′ lots for use as tent sites on the weekends. After the 1906 earthquake, many of these tent sites were used to build permanent homes, where some of the tiny cabins remain to this day. Corte Madera became a town in 1917.
Typifying the relaxed outdoor lifestyle of Marin with its pleasant climate, bordering wetlands, and lush open space, there is a strong community commitment to preserving the area’s wildlife and habitat. This commitment to the environment is exemplified by the Corte Madera Reserve Sanctuary for Migrating Birds, the Shorebird Marsh wildlife habitat, and The Ring Mountain Preserve, located at the southeastern end of town, the preserve borders Corte Madera and the neighboring community of Tiburon.
Home to three distinctly different malls, the town provides shopping as a favored pastime for guests and locals alike. Fine shops, unique boutiques, and a variety of excellent restaurants can be found at The Corte Madera Town Center, The Village at Corte Madera, and The Marketplace.
Extending from San Francisco Bay on the east side to Mt. Tam on the west, Corte Madera illustrates the wonderful Marin County blend of nature along with all the amenities of city living.