Welcome to San Anselmo
Location and History
San Anselmo is an incorporated town in Marin and located about 20 miles (32 km) north of San Francisco. Neighboring towns include San Rafael to the east, Fairfax to the west, and Ross to the south. Mount Tamalpais dominates the view to the south. The population was 12,378 at the 2000 census. Its name came from the Punta de Quintin land grant, which marked this valley as the Canada del Anselmo (Valley of Anselm - an Indian who was buried in the area).
In the 1870's, what is now known as The Hub in San Anselmo was the spot where a spur track to San Rafael was added to the Sausalito-Tomales run of the Pacific Coast Railroad. For a few years, the town was referred to on railroad maps as, "Junction", but in 1883, the name San Anselmo came back into use. Miracle Mile's and Center Boulevard's current "raised roadbed" were the railroad's right of way. Becoming unprofitable as a result of competition from the automobile and the opening of the Golden Gate Bridge, the railway was officially closed on March 1, 1941.
San Anselmo incorporated in April 9, 1907. On March 12, 1974, San Anselmo officially became a town. The downtown area is very "small town" in appearance, but offers a variety of shops and restaurants. San Anselmo Avenue, the town's main shopping area, is a curving boulevard of awning-shaded shops, cafes, galleries, restaurants, and boutiques. Known as the "Antique Capital of Northern California," there are, within a half-mile radius of downtown, more than 150 antique dealers who attract collectors from all over the West Coast. The most visible landmark in town, a beautiful stone castle that overlooks San Anselmo, is actually the San Francisco Theological Seminary, established in 1892 to train Presbyterian clergy. From the ivy covered chapel with its enchanting bell tolling the hours, to the turrets and towers, this beautiful facility has an ethereal, fairy tale look.
As of the census of 2000, there were 12,378 people, 5,267 households, and 3,191 families residing in the town. There were 5,267 households out of which 30.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.5% were married couples living together, 8.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.4% were non-families. 28.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The median income for a household in the town was $71,488, and the median income for a family was $86,528.
Two public school districts serve students living in San Anselmo. 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 San Anselmo, Fairfax, and the surrounding unincorporated areas. Schools serving the San Anselmo 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. It includes three comprehensive high schools, all of which have been designated as California Distinguished Schools, and two alternative schools.
San Anselmo has a number of private campuses, addressing a wide range of academic needs.