1776 – 1899: Land Grants and Farming
|1776||Miwoks made contact with Spanish settlers at Olompali|
|1839||Rancho de Novato land grant was given to Fernando Feliz by Mexican Governor Alvarado. Today’s downtown Novato is near the center of the 8,870 acre rancho. In 1844, Feliz sold the Rancho to Jacob Leese.|
|1840||Rancho de San Jose, now Ignacio, was granted to Juan Ignacio Antonio Pacheco. Pacheco had claimed and lived on the land since 1835. Of the four original land grantees only the Pacheco family still live on their property in 2014.
Rancho Corte Madera de Novato, in current San Marin area, was granted toJohn Martin. He sold it in 1861 to William Hicks.
|1843||Rancho Olompali granted to Camillo Ynitia, the only native American to receive such a grant. The remains of his adobe home can be seen at Olompali State Park. In 1852 Ynitia sells ¾ of the Rancho to James Black.|
|1846||A skirmish, known as the Battle of the Bear Flag Revolt, between Californians and General Fremont’s men occurs at Rancho Olompali. Manuel Cantua, a Mexican soldier is killed.|
|1948||California becomes part of the U.S. as result of Mexican-American War|
|1849||>Sept. 15, Marin County Court of Sessions divided the countyinto four townships – Sausalito, Bolinas, San Rafael and Novato.|
|1850’s to early 1900’s||Blackpoint (now Black Point) was regarded as an important shipping point for livestock and lumber. Old Town was located at present Nave Shopping Center. The location of the Postmaster’s House, built in 1850, (now the Novato Museum) was on Yukon Way and South Novato Blvd.|
|1856||After passing thru several hands Rancho de Novato was sold to Joseph Sweetser and Francis DeLong. It consisted of 15,000 acres. The two men planted 44,000 fruit trees, the largest apple orchard in U.S, and pine and cypress trees along Novato Blvd.
Post Office established in Novato. Henry Jones was first Postmaster.
|1859||One-room school and church built where the Shell Station at DeLong & Redwood is now located.|
|1861||Charlotte Haven, first person buried in Novato (Pioneer) Cemetery.|
|1862||Aug 12 – Novato School District established for grades 1-8.|
|1863||Mary Black married Dr. Galen Burdell, a dentist in San Francisco. Mary’s farther, James Black gives her Rancho Olompali as a wedding gift. It includes 8,877 acres and 900 head of cattle. In 1867 the Burdells moved to Rancho Olompali.|
|1865||Sweetser/DeLong mansion built at Center Rd and Wilson Ave. The house is also known as the Trumbull mansion.|
|1875||2nd Novato Grammar School built for $1,800 on 3 acres donated by Sweetser &
DeLong near the first school on Redwood Blvd. It was moved in 1922, to be a furniture store at 7400 Redwood Blvd, since razed.
|1879||Sweetser sold out to DeLong except for 1 sq. mile, now Downtown Novato.
Northwestern Pacific Railroad came to Novato, which changed the focus of Novato to “New Town”, now known as “Old Town”. First Train Depot built, it was later moved behind Loustaunau Hall and used as livery stable. It is still located behind the Druids Hall on Reichert Ave.
This was the beginning of many commercial buildings being built along Grant Ave.Still in existence: DeBorba’s 1909, Loustaunau Hall 1899 (now Druid’s Bldg.), Blacksmith’s “Fashion Shop”1893 at Grant & Reichert, and Scott’s General Store1890.
|1885||Francis DeLong died. His son, Frank Coye DeLong inherited the mansion and ranch.|
|1886||Joseph Sweetser died in Florida and is buried in Pioneer Cemetery.|
|1888-1889||Novato Home and Farm Company sets up the first major land development that sold small lots and parcels of 5 to 10 acres. They built the Novato House Hotel/Saloon/Livery at the eastern end of Grant. In 1899 it was purchased by Capt. Heriberren and his wife after Novato Creek silted in too much for large boats to navigate|
|1890||Alexander Scott built a general store on the corner of Grant and Sherman. There was a large open room on the second floor where plays and meetings were held. As a result the building was known as Scott’s Hall. It is the oldest building in old town Novato at the same location.|
|1892||First Catholic Church, Our Lady of Loretto, built on South Novato Blvd. Burned down in 1936.
Carlile house at DeLong & Reichert built. Today it is the Chamber of Commerce Office.
|1893||Frank Coye DeLong filed bankruptcy. Creditors set up the Novato Land Company. Robert Hatch was appointed manager and the rancho became profitable again. It was divided into 7 dairy ranches, leased by tenants, and each identified by a letter, A,B,C,D,E,F,&H
Atherton house built by John and Ellen Atherton. Today the house is located on Redwood Blvd.
|1895||Volunteer Fire Dept. organized. Noon horn signaled everyone to go home to lunch.|
|1896||Novato Presbyterian Church built at 901 Sherman. In 1963 it was sold to the City of Novato and is now the City Hall|
|1899||Loustanau Hall, a saloon and social hall, was built by John (Jean) and Mary Alice Loustanau on the corner of Grant and Reichert. Named the Club and was the largest recreational hall in the county. It was used by many local organizations for meetings and social events. In 1937 it was purchased by the Druids.|