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Elegant, wooded, quiet, and hilly, Ross features many narrow streets, walls, and gates that protect the privacy of its handsome and often exclusive residences. Throughout much of this small and very stable town, tree-shaded lanes are lined with a pleasing mix of older and newer homes–the majority of which could be described as large estates or luxurious custom builds. Large properties often encompass amenities like tennis courts, swimming pools, or accommodations for horses.

Ross Historic House

Community resources are equally impressive, starting with the Ross Elementary School, listed in Child Magazine as one of the nation’s top ten schools. The Marin Art & Garden Center covers ten full acres with facilities and lush natural beauty, the focal point of many recreational activities and classes. Magnificent trees, charming ponds, and meticulous grounds make the center a delightful place to visit and relax.

A private high school and the close proximity of prime parkland add to the attraction. Ross is just a mile from the College of Marin, which introduces another world of cultural, recreational, and educational possibilities. Commuters to San Francisco can also look forward to a relatively quick trip to the city.

With its convenient 18 mile drive from San Francisco over the Golden Gate Bridge, Ross was originally developed as a summer haven for San Franciscans. At only 1.6 square miles and a population of around 2,300, Ross is known for being a serene place with a special small town feel. This town of grand estates and luxury custom homes provides for some of the most beautiful landscaping you will find in Marin County. This well-cared-for community gives the area a character that is unique to the Town of Ross.

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ROSS Resources
Chamber of Commerce

Larkspur Chamber of Commerce

P.O. Box 315 Larkspur, CA 94977
Telephone: 415.838.0038

Unites businesses, local leaders and concerned citizens of Larkspur, Greenbrae, Kentfield and Ross.


Ross Demographics

Population (2000): 2329
Median resident age: 42.5
Average household income (2000): $102,015
Mean home price (2004): $1,000,000+


Town of Ross

Telephone: 415.453.1453

Council meets second Thursday at 7:00 p.m.

County of Marin

3501 Civic Center Drive San Rafael, CA 94903


Jose Moya del Pino Library / Ross Historical Society Marin Art & Garden Center

30 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard Ross, CA 94957
Telephone: 415.258.9595

Fire Stations

Town of Ross Fire Department

33 Sir Francis Drake Blvd Ross, CA  94957
Telephone: 415.453.1453

Police Stations

Ross Police Department

33 Sir Francis Drake Blvd Ross, CA 94957
Telephone: 415.453.2727

Provides 24-hour law enforcement services. The importance of community involvement and interaction is stressed at every level of the Department, with some members who have both lived and worked in town for well over 15 years.

Marin County Sheriff's Office

3501 Civic Center Drive, #145 San Rafael, CA 94903
Telephone: 415.499.7250 or 911

Responsible for patrol services, prevention of crime and apprehension of criminals in unincorporated areas, and investigates criminal activity. It provides Mutual Aid support to local law enforcement and processes civil writs; serves court warrants.

Marin Sheriff's Office & Emergency Services

3501 Civic Center Drive, Room 266 San Rafael, CA 94903
Telephone: 415.499.6584

Preparing for Earthquakes, Floods, Fires, Landslides, Volcanoes; Children and special populations; Pets and other animals; Securing furniture and bolting foundations; and more.


Jose Moya del Pino Library / Ross Historical Society Marin Art & Garden Center

30 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard Ross, CA 94957
Telephone: 415.258.9595


Marin Girls Softball

P.O. Box 291, Kentfield, CA 94904
Telephone: 415.785.7528

Pixie Park

P.O. Box 437 Ross, CA 94957

Pixie Park is a volunteer-run cooperative playground for children ages six and under.

Ross Valley Mothers' Club

P.O. Box 2449 San Anselmo, CA 94979
Telephone: 415.721.4576


Pixie Park

P.O. Box 437 Ross, CA 94957

Pixie Park is a volunteer-run cooperative playground for children ages six and under.

Ross Recreation Department

P.O. Box 117 Ross, CA 94957
Telephone: 415.453.6020


St. Anselm Church

97 Shady Lane P.O. Box 1061 Ross, CA 94957
Telephone: 415.453.2342

St. John's Episcopal Church

P.O. Box 217 Ross, CA 94957
Telephone: 415.456.1102


Ross School District

Ross Elementary School

Lagunitas And Allen Avenue Ross, CA 94957
Telephone: 415.457.2705

389 students; K-8: Public

The Branson School

P.O. Box 887 Ross, CA 94957
Telephone: 415.454.3612

320 students; Grades 9-12; Private


Sanitary District #1 (Ross Valley)

2000 Larkspur Landing Circle Larkspur, CA 94939
Telephone: 415.461.1122

Marin Recycling Center

535 Jacoby St. San Rafael, CA 94501
Telephone: 415.453.1404

Marin Municipal Water District

220 Nellen Avenue Corte Madera, CA 94925
Telephone: 415.945.1455

Comcast of North Bay

AT&T Telephone

Telephone: 800.310.2355

Pacific Gas & Electric (PG & E)

Telephone: 800.743.5000


Local Weather

Winter temperatures range from 41 to 63
Spring temperatures range from 46 to 76
Summer temperatures range from 52 to 85
Fall temperatures range from 50 to 82
Rainfall XX-XX days per year
Precipitation XX inches per year

SHORTLY AFTER moving to Ross, movie star Sean Penn wandered into the Barn Theatre across the road from his new home.  He was unceremoniously asked to leave by someone in the local theater group who didn't recognize him.  Although embarrassing at the time, the incident fits the town's image as a place where the wealthy and the famous, includ­ing rock stars like Huey Lewis, can live in relative privacy in leafy neighborhoods where the median household income tops $102,000.

The town has a history of its own in films. Shady Lane, with its towering elm trees and gracious homes, was pictured prominently in one of the "Godfather" movies as the leafy street that Al Pacino walked down with Diane Keaton. In "Jack" Robin Williams lived in a restored Victorian off the Ross Commons.

Those who drive through Ross on Sir Francis Drake Boulevard are familiar with the abstract sculpture of a bear by the famed San Francisco artist Benny Bufano that sits on the lawn in front of the police and fire departments and serves as the town's official symbol.  During the holidays, it's decked out with a wreath.

Many families with children are drawn to Ross by its two fine schools. Much of the town’s community life is focused on the private Branson School and the public Ross School, which boasts an elaborate gala auction every two years featuring only-in-Marin items such as backstage passes to rock shows a week in New York City with Tony Award Show tickets and a guitar signed by Carlos Santana. Volunteering on its fund raising committee has become almost a prerequisite for those wanting to get elected to the Town Council.

The town is named after Scotsman James Ross, who paid $50,000 in gold coins for 8,857 acres in 1857. Even then, Ross, which now commands some of Marin's highest housing prices cost a pretty penny.

Ross died five years later and his widow, Annie, deeded 1.4 acres to the North Pa­cific Coast Railroad on condition the mil depot, known as Sunnyside Station, be named after her late husband.

Their daughter, Annie Ross, and her husband built their estate on 21 acres that now make up the Marin Art and Garden Center, one of the loveliest spots in the county for fashion shows and fund-rais­ers.

The couple was involved in horticulture and, during travels abroad, brought back, exotic plants to beautify their estate. Financial hardships eventually forced them to sell the property, but despite land transfers, fires and earthquakes, their original "Octagon House" endured and remains on the grounds.

Town residents, many of whom were wealthy San Francisco entrepreneurs living in country estates, incorporated Ross in 1908. Ross officials wasted no time in requiring dog licenses, permits to cut trees even more precious then than today, because wide tracts had been clear cut and limiting trains to 15 mph.

In 1909, all five of the town's concrete bridges built by designer John Buck Leonard over a meandering creek became eligible for landmark status and in­clusion on the list of the National Register of Historic Places.

Almost a century after incorporating, Ross hasn't changed much and people like it that way. There are only 792 dwellings, only a handful more than a century ago, and many streets are lined with dirt paths !rather than concrete sidewalks. Since there is no mail delivery, the Post Office, once the town train station, has become a popular place for Ross residents to meet and greet. "We've really tried to maintain the small-town character," said Charlie Goodman, who served for 12 years on the   Town Council Goodman grew up in Ross, moved away, but then returned because, he says, "I 'thought it was a great place to raise my  family.

McGuire Real Estate