San Anselmo is an incorporated town in Marin County, California, in the western United States. It is located about 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. Among its notable inhabitants are Michael Jantze and George Lucas.
Most of the downtown antique and boutique stores and restaurants, for which San Anselmo is well known, are along the banks of San Anselmo Creek. Heavy rains caused the creek to flood in 1982, as well as recently on December 31 2005.
From 1902 until the early 1940s, San Anselmo was part of Marin's Northwestern Pacific (in 1907, investors formed the NWP) Electric Train system. The oddly-shaped Miracle Mile and Center Boulevard's "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. The last of the major San Anselmo railroad station buildings was razed in 1963, according to the town's timeline. Interestingly, the 1913 electric train schedule shows a commute time from San Anselmo to the Sausalito Ferry to the Ferry Building in San Francisco of a mere 58 minutes, including the 32 minute ferry transit.
San Anselmo incorporated in April 9, 1907. 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). San Anselmo was a silent film capital in the early 1900s. On March 12, 1974 San Anselmo officially became a town.
All but a sliver of San Anselmo lies within the Ross Valley Watershed that flows into San Francisco Bay. The principle waterway of the town's portion of the watershed is San Anselmo Creek, a branch of Corte Madera Creek. Two of San Anselmo Creek's tributaries, Sleepy Hollow Creek and Sorich Creek, also flow through the town, as do East Fork Creek and West Fork Creek, Sorich Creek's two tributaries.
There are three main roads running through San Anselmo. Their junction is known as the Hub, which lies in the central business district. Sir Francis Drake Boulevard runs north from Ross, turns north-west at the Hub, and then proceeds west to Fairfax. Red Hill Avenue runs east from San Rafael, where it is called 4th Avenue, and into the Hub where it becomes Center Street. Center runs north-east from the Hub to Fairfax.
The town’s natural skyline is dominated by the hills of Ross Valley. To the north are Red Hill and Grove Hill. To the south-west is Bald Hill. To the east is Moore Hill. In the distance to the south is Mount Tamalpais.
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 average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.84.
In the town the population was spread out with 21.8% under the age of 18, 4.4% from 18 to 24, 31.4% from 25 to 44, 31.1% from 45 to 64, and 11.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 89.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.4 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $71,488, and the median income for a family was $86,528. Males had a median income of $61,172 versus $47,170 for females. The per capita income for the town was $41,977. About 2.5% of families and 5.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.7% of those under age 18 and 3.1% of those age 65 or over.