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Welcome To


Fairfax was originally part of a Spanish land grant conferred to...


Welcome to Fairfax

Location and History

Fairfax was originally part of a Spanish land grant conferred to Domingo Sais in 1839. Sais gave the area now known as the Marin Town & Country Club to Marin County's first physician, Alfred Taliaferro of Virginia, who subsequently passed the property along to fellow Virginian Charles Snowden Fairfax. Lord Fairfax, tenth Baron of Cameron, Scotland, moved here with his wife Ada in 1855, lured west by gold fever.

After the death of Charles Fairfax, the property changed hands, eventually becoming the site of the renowned Pastori's Restaurant in the 1890's. Madame Pastori, once a singer at La Scala in Milan, Italy, was visited in Fairfax by many great figures in the opera world. The restaurant, which was rebuilt on a grander scale after a fire in 1911, still stands.
Convenient railroad service early in this century made Fairfax a favorite weekend and summer retreat for city dwellers. Fairfax Park hosted thousands on weekends. Fairfax was the setting for dozens of early Western movies from 1910 to the early 1920's. Construction of Alpine Dam in 1917 brought a large Italian population to the area, adding to Fairfax's colorful history.
Fairfax came of age in February of 1931 when the town was incorporated as a city with a five-member council government. Fairfax today, with a diverse population of approx. 7,000, is a community of fine neighborhoods nestled in the hills and small valleys of the Upper Ross Valley. Located 16 miles north of San Francisco, within easy reach of numerous State and National Recreation Areas, Fairfax offers the best of both work and play while retaining its small-town atmosphere and charm.


As of the census of 2000, there were 7,319 people, 3,306 households, and 1,811 families residing in the town. In the town the population was spread out with 19.2% under the age of 18, 4.7% from 18 to 24, 33.5% from 25 to 44, 33.1% from 45 to 64, and 9.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 91.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.2 males. The median income for a household in the town was $58,465, and the median income for a family was $68,308.


Two public school districts serve students living in Fairfax. Elementary and middle school students attend schools in the Ross Valley School District, and most high school students attend Sir Francis Drake High School, which is in the Tamalpais Union High School District.
Ross Valley School District provides elementary education to children from Fairfax, San Anselmo, and the surrounding unincorporated areas. Schools serving the Fairfax area are Brookside Elementary, Manor Elementary, and White Hill Middle School.
Tamalpais Union High School District provides secondary school education to students coming from ten elementary districts in Marin County, including the Ross Valley School District.

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