Arader Galleries

Official Map of Marin County, California 1892

$ 12,500.00

George M. Dodge

Official Map of Marin County, California.

San Francisco: Schmidt Lithography Co., 1892.


Sheet Dimension: 55 x 54.5 inches

Frame Dimension: 57 x 56.5 inches


 A very rare monumental wall map of Marin county, the Largest, most detailed and most influential survey of the county made during the nineteenth-century.

George M. Dodge was an engineer working in Marin at the end of the 19th century, and in addition to creating this survey of Marin County, was also involved in the railway that was built, purely for tourism, to Mount Tamalpais in 1898. This stunning map gives us a glimpse of Marin County at the end of the 19th century. Towns, such as San Rafael, county roads and ferry routes (from San Francisco to Sausalito and Tiburon) had been established by this time and are shown on this map. The surrounding counties of San Francisco, Contra Costa, and Sonoma are outlined.

Also illustrated are the remaining Mexican land grants in Marin, such as the ranchos of Sausalito, Los Reyes, Corte Madera, Quentin, Novato, Nicasio and San Geronimo. When California came under Mexican rule in 1821, land grants were made to the early settlers in the state, who were known as Californios, in an effort to populate California. Also, the Mexican governor, realizing that political changes were imminent as the United States was moving towards war with Mexico, hastily granted titles of land in Marin County to friends, military figures, and settlers, most of them from Great Britain, between 1834 and 1846. These grants were huge, and many would be worth billions of dollars today. When the United States took possession of California and other Mexican lands in 1848, it was bound by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo to honor the legitimate land claims of Mexican citizens residing in those captured territories. By the end of the 19th century these land grants had been passed down and distributed among the families of the original Californios, and most of the land eventually sold outside the family. Many of the original grantees lost all of their property to the lawyers whom carried their cases to the U.S. Court and accepted land in lieu of fees. These
original land grants shaped many of the existing settlement patterns and boundaries in Marin County today. The following are descriptions of many of the original land grants shown on this map.

Rancho Sausalito:
This land grant was originally given to William Richardson (English) in 1835. Totally 19,571 acres, this area included Sausalito, Marin City, Muir Woods, Stinson Beach, and southern Mill Valley. Richardson ran up huge debts, eventually mortgaging the property and losing most of it in foreclosure to Samuel Throckmorton. Throckmorton went on to develop the town of Mill Valley, and 640 acres Richardson left to his wife were sold to develop the city of Sausalito.

Corta Madera del Presidio:
This area, which encompasses Belvedere, Tiburon, northern Mill Valley, Corte Madera and Old Larkspur, was granted to John Reed (Irish) in 1834. The Reed family held on to much of this ranch until World War II, with the last descendent, Clotilda Reed, owning more than 2,000 acres of Tiburon until her death in 1940.

The 56,807 acres of the Nicaso grant include Nicasio, the east shore of the Tomales Bay, part of Novato, and vast ranch lands. Although this land was originally promised to the Miwok tribes, there were several swindles resulting in the grant going to De La Guerra (Spanish) and John Cooper (Irish).
They broke the land into large parcels and sold it all by 1851. The Miwoks received the right to live on about 30 acres to hunt and fish on the ranch, but not raise cattle.