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Ross, CA - Information & Property Search

Late afternoon in Ross Township

Ross has been considered a superior place to live since the Coast Miwok lived in a thriving settlement here for thousands of years.

In 1857 James Ross, a liquor tycoon from San Francisco, bought the nearly 9,000 acres that included the present-day town of Ross, where he built his country estate. The warm, fog-free valley was shaded by oak and elm, perfect for fox hunting, riding and other pastimes of the gentry. Throughout the 19th century, other wealthy San Franciscans would follow his example and built magnificent estates and manor houses in this lush spot. Many of these still grace the tree-lined streets of Ross. The most impressive estate, by far, was the Sunnyside Estate, built by Ross's daughter Annie and her husband. The newlyweds first built an octagonal house to use as a well-tank housing and temporary home while the grand house was being built. The Worns were interested in horticulture and landscaped the grounds with spectacular plant species. This property has been restored and is now the site of the Marin Art & Garden Center, and the famous Octagon House is the home of the Ross Historical Society.

The Marin Art & Garden Center is a famous Marin landmark. On eleven acres of exquisitely landscaped, serene gardens, the Marin Art & Garden Center offers several different venues for events and weddings. The mission of the Center is to provide an "enriching community resource" and "encourage the arts, horticulture, history, and environmental conservation." To this end, the Center provides a profusion of classes and events, including live theater, concerts and theater for children, and gardening workshops for all ages. The fabulous gardens include a butterfly, an herb, and a native plant garden, ponds, fountains, a rolling lawn, and ancient trees.

When the Town of Ross was incorporated in 1908, there were 750 homes. Today there are only just over 800 homes. This illustrates the degree of control the town maintains over its growth and development. Ross today is still very much the tranquil, tree-shaded refuge it was in the 1800's. There is no postal delivery, for example. Residents prefer to meet and chat everyday at the post-office. There are no bars or convenience stores, but there are several classy boutiques, top-quality restaurants, luxurious salons and an art gallery. The businesses surrounding the Ross Common are small and upscale and locally owned. The Ross Grocery has been run by the same family since the 1940's.

Though the public schools in the Ross School District are rated in the top-ten nationally, Ross is also proud to be the home of the Branson School, a top-rated, private preparatory school. This small, close-knit, private high school was established in 1922 on an old 17-acre estate. It is still turning out independent thinkers today.

Annual events in Ross include The Ross Town Dinner held on the Ross Common, and the Ross Fourth of July Celebration including a parade, picnic lunch, games and music. Ross Recreation Department provides more than 100 classes each year for all ages in programs including computers, carpentry, cooking, gardening and garden tours, science, sewing, and sports, a pre-school and a summer camp.

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