Chronological History

1839 Mexico grants Domingo Sais 6,658 acres, including Sleepy Hollow and northern half of San Anselmo. Sais builds first permanent home.
1840 A second grant awarded to Juan Cooper covering the southern portion of San Anselmo.
1851 Harvey Butterfield begins a dairy ranch in Sleepy Hollow.
1853 Domingo Sais dies. The breakup of his lands begins.
1856 James Ross buys Cooper’s land grant.
1860 James Ross dies triggering several San Anselmo land sales.
1861 Daniel Showalter kills fellow State legislator Charles Piercy in a duel at Lansdale.
1869 First large house in San Anselmo; two-story home built by Minthorne Tompkins.
1874 North Pacific Coast Railway adds spur track from San Anselmo to San Rafael and in 1875 completes line from Sausalito to Tomales via San Anselmo.
1876 The first school opens on Butterfield Road.
1880 Great Red Hill Cemetery road built by Dr. Henry DuBois.
1881 San Anselmo’s first subdivision, Sunnyside, holds lot sales.
1883 Station renamed San Anselmo after being called Junction since 1875.
1890 Contract for main building of San Francisco Theological Seminary let for $52,000.
1892 The Seminary relocates to San Anselmo.
1892 San Anselmo post office established.
1892 First homes receive electricity.
1893 San Anselmo School District is formed.
1898 Main School opens.
1899 Trees planted along the highway between San Anselmo and Ross Stations.
1900 New buildings of the Presbyterian Orphanage at San Anselmo dedicated February 4th.
1903 Electric rail service starts October 17th between Sausalito, Mill Valley and San Rafael via San Anselmo.
1903 First homes receive telephone service.
1904 The Bush Tract of 447 acres between San Anselmo and Fairfax sold to Hoag and Lansdale for $40,000.
1906 The April 18th earthquake brings an influx of new residents. Seminary Buildings are damaged to the extent of $25,000.
1907 San Anselmo incorporated.
1907 Independent Volunteer Fire Department organized in August.
1908 Chamber of Commerce organized.
1909 Lansdale School opens.
1910 James Tunstead donates land for Town Hall and fire house.
1910 Rossi’s Villa burns in December. Cheda Building constructed on site the following year.
1911 Contract for building of Town Hall and Fire House let for $5,291 in January.
1911 San Anselmo Herald founded.
1913 Robert Dollar School at Presbyterian Orphanage destroyed by fire in May.
1914 A bandit holds up the Bank of San Anselmo in March.
1915 The San Anselmo Carnegie Library dedicated in February.
1922 A heavy snowfall covered Marin February 2nd; six inches deep in places.
1922 Main buildings of the Presbyterian Orphanage destroyed by fire in May. Loss estimated at $100,000. No children injured.
1924 Town buys land for recreation (Memorial Park).
1924 St. Anselm’s School opens.
1925 Sleepy Hollow Dairy sold to developers.
1925 Worst flood in the history of Marin followed seven inch rainfall in February. San Anselmo, Ross, and Kentfield suffer heaviest damage.
1926 San Anselmo Women’s Club open new clubhouse on Tunstead Avenue.
1926 Home mail delivery begins.
1927 Red Hill School built; later changed to Isabel Cook School. Lansdale School name changed to Yolansdale School.
1929 A fire starting on Bald Hill burns over 250 acres in August.
1938 Sir Francis Drake School built on site of present high school. Continues until 1948.
1940 February storms brings 11.38 inches of rain in three days and $10,000 damage.
1941 Two Air Force planes crash on Bald Hill on November 2nd. Pilots killed.
1941 Passenger train service through San Anselmo ends; freight service in 1942.
1943 Several hundred Army, Navy and civilian firefighters battle blaze starting on Bald Hill and endangering Ross Valley, on September 2nd.
1946 Wade Thomas School built on site of old Main School.
1947 Red Hill School renamed Isabel Cook School. Brookside School built.
1948 Carmel Booth first woman elected to City Council.
1950 Sir Francis Drake High School opens in September.
1952 Geneva Hall built on the crown of Seminary Hill.
1957 Hotaling Mansion in Sleepy Hollow destroyed by fire.
1957 Hidden Valley (Upper Brookside) School opens.
1960 Contract awarded in January to demolish old Northwestern Pacific powerhouse building at the Hub.
1961 San Anselmo Fire Station No. 2 opens in February.
1963 Town’s historic train station razed.
1965 San Domenico moves to new Sleepy Hollow campus.
1965 City Council opposes U.S. Army Engineers proposed flood control plan to put concrete ditch through San Anselmo.
1965 City acquires 62 acre Sorich Ranch in October.
1966 Red Hill Middle School opens.
1967 Four apartment buildings collapse in slide on Red Hill during heavy rains in January.
1967 Grand opening of Red Hill Shopping Center on June 28.
1974 Gift of fourteen acres of open space for park given to city by Frederick Faude.
1974 Fire destroys Robson Estate carriage house.
1979 Town Hall’s renovation completed and building is dedicated. Robson Harrington House refurbished for public use.
1982 A flood caused by a combination of heavy storms and high tides brings disastrous results.
1982 San Anselmo and Fairfax Fire Departments merge.
1984 San Anselmo and Fairfax School Districts merge.
1987 San Anselmo celebrates its 80th birthday.
2000 A “community build” erects Millennium Playground
2005 Another disastrous flood
2007 San Anselmo celebrates its 100th birthday
2015 San Anselmo Public Library celebrates its 100th birthday

Comments are closed