Native Americans have lived around the San Francisco Bay Area for thousands of years. There are archeological finds of Coastal Miwok villages in the Tiburon Peninsula.

John Reed was the first European settler of Marin and his Rancho Corte De Madera Del Presidio spread out from Tiburon Peninsula to Mill Valley.

Israel Kashow was a forty-niner and one of the first settlers of Belvedere Island which he wanted to call Kashow Island.

By 1880 the Kashows, Reeds, Lyfords, and Portuguese immigrants made up the settlers of Tiburon Peninsula. It all started to change when Peter Donahue started using Tiburon Point as a railroad terminus.

Tiburon took a long time to incorporate and Angel Island joined in the same year, 1964. Belvedere was incorporated much earlier, in 1896.


c100 BC: Permanent villages of twenty to thirty Coast Miwok Indians.

1775: First Spanish entry into San Francisco Bay. Capitan de Ayala anchored at Isla de los Angeles. It is now known as Ayala Cove on Angel Island.

1814: HMS Racoon, a British ship, believed to have taken shelter at Ayala Cove, and giving its name to Racoon Straits.

1834: First Mexican land grand in Marin, Rancho Corte Madera del Presidio, given to John Reed. The rancho included Tiburon Peninsula, Belvedere, a major portion of Mill Valley, Corte Madera and Larkspur. Belvedere was then called El Potrero de la Punta del Tiburon.

1855: El Potrero is occupied by Israel Kashow, a forty-niner from Ohio, who farmed until 1885, when he was evicted by the courts by land claims of the Reed heirs.

1864: Stillwater Bay, now Belvedere Cove, used for drying codfish. Union Fish Co. op[erated on west shore of Belvedere Island until fire destroyed plant in 1937.

1883: First real estate subdivision, Lyford's Hygeia, developed by Dr. Benjamin Lyford, husband of Hilarita Reed.

1884: Rail line from San Rafel to Point Tiburon with connection to San Francisco by ferry, was opened by Peter Donahue, an industrial tycoon, and establishing the beginnings of the town.

1886: Corinthian Yacht Club built its first clubhouse on tip of Valentine's Island, which was later renamed Corinthian Island.

1888: First church, St. Hilary's Roman Catholic mission, dedicated. Deconsacrated in 1954 and purchased in 1959 by the Landmarks Society. Marin 001, California Point of Historic Interest.

1890: Belvedere Land Co. incorporated, acquired and renamed Belvedere Island, developing primarily a summer community.

1890: Ferryboat Ukiah built in Tiburon. Rebuilt in 1923, renamed Eureka. It is now preserved at San Francisco Maritime Historical Park.

1897:  Belvedere City incorporated, encompassing the island, west side of Corinthian, cove and lagoon.

1901: Ferryboat service directly to San Francisco ends. Service via Sausalito ferry ends in 1934.

1904: First water line brought into Belvedere from Mill Valley.

1907: Corinthian Island is subdivided.

1908: California City, site of codfishery on east side of peninsula, became Naval Coaling Station. This is the site of Romberg center now.

1921: Last of series of disastrous fires swept Tiburon.

1928: Water lines extended to Tiburon. Gas lines installed for both towns.

1930: Tiburon Blvd, state highway built for direct route to Tiburon Point instead of over Belvedere sandspit (San Rafael Ave).

1934: San Francisco Yacht Club, founded in 1869, moves to Belvedere Cove.

1939: Belvedere Nursery School, first early childhood center, established as WPA project. It evolves into parent co-op and charitable corporation.

1942: Hilarita Project, first apartment complex, built for wartime naval personnel. From 1954 to 1974 it's operated by Marin Housing authority. In 1975 it's razed and replaced as moderate income housing development by Tiburon Ecumenical Association.

1949: Belvedere Community Center built on San Rafael and Laurel Aves. Created on land donated by Harry B Allen, it includes city hall and the first public playground on the peninsula.

1950: Reed Union Elementary School District formed, a merger of Tiburonand Belvedere districts, taking name of of first school disctrict, Reed(1874 to1921).

1953: Belvedere Library joined county system, merging with Tiburon branch.

1955: Angel Island became state park.

1956: Combined post office opens.

1959: Belvedere-Tiburon Landmarks Society formed to acquire and preserve property of historical interest.

1961: Richardson Bay Audubon Center is establibshed. A culmination of a seven year local campaign to protect bay and shoreland from real estate development. The Center includes the Rose Verrall gift of nine shoreland acres and the wildlife sanctuary of nine hundred tideland acres.

1961: Old St. Hillary's Historic Preserve, first hillside open space conserved, with wildflower acreage part of Marin County parks system.

1962: Commuter ferryboats between Tiburon and San Francisco resumed.

1964: Tiburon town incorporated, covering most of the peninsula and majority of Angel Island.

1967: Last barge docked and last train departed from Tiburon.

1971: Richardson Bay Path and lineal park established on old railroad right-of-way along shoreline.

1978: Belvedere Cove waterfront acquisition by city for open space, panoramic vista and preservation of China Cabin.

1983: Ring Mountain Preserve dedicated under ownership and management of The Nature Conservancy.

1997: Library moves to its current location.


Pictorial history of Tiburon : a California railroad town / edited by James Heig ; Louise Teather, historian ; Philip Molten, archivist