Marin Views Nicole Burton
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Marin Views Nicole Burton
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History

Marin County is one of the original 27 counties of California, created February 18, 1850, following adoption of the Constitution of 1849 and just months before the state was admitted to the Union.The origin of the county's name is not clear. One version is the county was named for Chief Marin, of the Coast Miwok, Licatiut tribe of Native Americans who inhabited that section and waged fierce battle against the early Spanish military explorers. The other version is that the bay between San Pedro Point and San Quentin Point was named Bahía de Nuestra Señora del Rosario la Marinera in 1775, and it is quite possible that Marin is simply an abbreviation of this name.The Coast Miwok Indians were hunters and gatherers whose ancestors had occupied the area for thousands of years. About 600 village sites have been identified in the county. The Coast Miwok numbered in the thousands. Today there are few left, and even fewer with any knowledge of their Coast Miwok lineage. Efforts are being made so that the are not fogotten.The English explorer and privateer, Sir Francis Drake and the crew of the Golden Hind was thought to have landed on the Marin coast in 1579 claiming the land as Nova Albion. A bronze plaque inscribed with Drake's claim to the new lands, fitting the description in Drake's own account, was discovered in 1933. This so-called Drake's Plate of Brass was later declared a hoax.In 1595 Sebastian Cermeno lost his ship, the San Agustin, while exploring the Marin Coast. The Spanish explorer Vizcaíno landed about twenty years after Drake in what is now called Drake's Bay. However the first Spanish settlement in Marin was not established until 1817 when Mission San Rafael Arcángel was founded partly in response to the Russian-built Fort Ross to the north in what is now Sonoma County.Mission San Rafael Arcángel was founded in what is now downtown San Rafael as the 20th Spanish mission in the colonial Mexican province of Alta California by four priests, Father Narciso Duran from Mission San Jose, Father Abella from Mission San Francisco de Asís, Father Gil y Taboada and Father Mariano Payeras, the President of the Missions, on Dec. 14, 1817, four years before Mexico gained independence from Spain.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 828 square miles (2,145 km²), of which, 520 square miles (1,346 km²) of it is land and 308 square miles (799 km²) of it (37.24%) is water. According to the records at the County Assessor-Recorder's Office, as of June 2006, Marin had 91,065 acres (369 km) of taxable land, consisting of 79,086 parcels with a total tax basis of $39.8 billion. These parcels are divided into the following classifications:
Parcel Type Tax ID Quantity Value

Vacant

10

6,900

$508.17 million

Single Family Residential

11

61,264

$30,137.02 million

Mobile Home

12

210

$7.62 million

House Boat

13

379

$61.83 million

Multi Family Residential

14

1,316

$3,973.51 million

Industrial Unimproved

40

113

$12.24 million

Industrial Improved

41

562

$482.83 million

Commercial Unimproved

50

431

$97.89 million

Commercial Improved

51

7,911

$4,519.64 million


Geographically, the county forms a large, southward-facing peninsula, with the Pacific Ocean to the west, San Pablo Bay and San Francisco Bay to the east, and -- across the Golden Gate -- the city of San Francisco to the south. Marin County's northern border is with Sonoma County.Most of the county's population resides on the eastern side, with a string of communities running along San Francisco Bay, from Sausalito to Tiburon to Corte Madera to San Rafael. The interior contains large areas of agricultural and open space; West Marin, through which State Route 1 runs alongside the California coast, contains many small unincorporated communities whose economies depend on agriculture and tourism.Notable features of the shoreline along the San Francisco Bay include the Sausalito shoreline, Richardson Bay, the Tiburon Peninsula including Ring Mountain and Triangle Marsh at Corte Madera. Further north lies San Quentin State Prison along the San Rafael shoreline.

National protected areas

  • Golden Gate National Recreation Area (part)
  • Marin Islands National Wildlife Refuge
  • Muir Woods National Monument
  • Point Reyes National Seashore
  • San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge (part)
 

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