Rancho Corte Madera del Presidio

Coordinates: 37°55′48″N 122°31′12″W / 37.930°N 122.520°W / 37.930; -122.520
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Rancho Corte Madera del Presidio was a 7,845-acre (31.75 km2) Mexican land grant in present day Marin County, California given in 1834 by Governor José Figueroa to John (Juan) Reed.[1] Corte Madera del Presidio means the "lumber mill of the Presidio". The grant encompassed what is now southern Corte Madera, Mill Valley, the Tiburon Peninsula, and Strawberry Point.[2][3][4][5] It reached from Point Tiburon to Larkspur Creek, then known as Arroyo Holon.


John Thomas Reed (1805 - 1843), a native of Dublin, Ireland, came to San Francisco in 1826 and the one square league grant was made to him in 1834. In 1836, John Reed married Hilaria Sánchez (1817 -1872) who was the sister of alcaldes Francisco Sanchez and José de la Cruz Sánchez.[6][7] Reed was the founder of the sawmill that gave Mill Valley its name. Reed served as administrator of the Mission San Rafael Arcángel from 1836 to 1837. He then set out to build a larger house, in what is now Mill Valley, but died in 1843, at the age of 38, before his house was finished. After Reed's death, Hilaria Sanchez married Bernardino Garcia in 1843.[8][9]

With the cession of California to the United States following the Mexican-American War, the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo provided that the land grants would be honored. As required by the California Land Act of 1851, a claim for Rancho Corte Madera del Presidio was filed with the Public Land Commission in 1852.[10][11][12] The Land Commission confirmed only 4,460 acres (18.0 km2) in 1856, and squatters occupied some of the land. After several lawsuits,[13][14] the grant was patented for 7,845 acres (31.7 km2) to the heirs of John Reed in four equal undivided parts in 1885.[15]

Historic sites of the Rancho[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ogden Hoffman, 1862, Reports of Land Cases Determined in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, Numa Hubert, San Francisco
  2. ^ Map of Marin County Ranchos Archived 2008-11-14 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Original Mexican Land Grants in Marin County Archived 2003-11-22 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ Diseño del Rancho Corte Madera del Presidio
  5. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Rancho Corte Madera del Presidio
  6. ^ San Francisco History Alcaldes & Mayors
  7. ^ San Francisco History. Seventy-five Years in San Francisco. Appendix H. The First San Francisco Directory. Mission Dolores Retrieved on April 20, 2009.
  8. ^ Hoover, Mildred B.; Rensch, Hero; Rensch, Ethel; Abeloe, William N. (1966). Historic Spots in California. Stanford University Press. ISBN 978-0-8047-4482-9.
  9. ^ Thomas F. Prendergast, 2001,Forgotten Pioneers: Irish Leaders in Early California, Chapter IV, University Press of the Pacific, ISBN 978-0-89875-390-5
  10. ^ Rancho Corte Madero del Presidio : testimony and proceedings
  11. ^ United States. District Court (California : Northern District) Land Case 183 ND
  12. ^ Finding Aid to the Documents Pertaining to the Adjudication of Private Land Claims in California, circa 1852-1892
  13. ^ Van Reynegan v. Bolton, U.S. Supreme Court, 95 U.S. 33 (1877)
  14. ^ Jacob Gardner v. L H Bonestell, 180 US 362
  15. ^ Report of the Surveyor General 1844 - 1886 Archived 2013-03-20 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ "First sawmill in Marin County". Office of Historic Preservation, California State Parks. Retrieved 2012-10-09.

37°55′48″N 122°31′12″W / 37.930°N 122.520°W / 37.930; -122.520