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The Joy of Calling Corte Madre Home

By Tiffany Moore

“My favorite thing about living in Mariner Cove is that we are not just ‘neighbors’ we are good friends. It’s not a cliche either! As I walk my dog around the streets of Mariner Cove, I always enjoy running into someone and chatting or passing a house and thinking about how the family might be doing. We are more than acquaintances in Mariner Cove. We do what real friends do together. We smile, wave, laugh, cry, stop, hug, visit, text, email, call, tolerate, celebrate, commiserate, block streets, congregate, party, check in, check on, congratulate, and much, much more! Aren’t we lucky?!”

~ Katie McGee (A Mariner Cove resident for 18 years)

Nestled beside the beautiful waters of the San Francisco Bay with majestic Ring Mountain rising in the distance, Mariner Cove, the place we all call home, is a treasure. A unique mixture of long-time residents and newer families,
the neighborhood feel of Mariner Cove is indeed a staple and testament to the lovely people that make their home here. The ability to walk or bike to school, greeting neighbors by name, and for some city transplants the simple joy of walking on flat streets are all delights experienced in Mariner Cove. Rebecca Auster shares, “I’m so grateful to have lived here for this period of my life while raising my girls.” Her sentiment is echoed by many.

 

Let’s travel back in time about 60 years to the beginning of Mariner Cove when cattle grazed on Ring Mountain and train whistles echoed through Corte Madera as the railcars thundered by en route to Tiburon.

In the late 1950s, Mariner Cove was the new, exciting neighborhood under construction in Corte Madera by Billings- Hutchinson Construction and the Glendale Construction Company. Three bed, two bath homes in the development ranged in price from $19,450 to $28,900 (Newspaper.com - Daily Independent Journal, Sept 29, 1960). On Sunday, October 19, 1958, the model home for Billings-Hutchinson Construction opened at 53 Spindrift. The land Mariner Cove sat upon was land filled by San Clemente Developers from the San Francisco Bay tidelands. At the time of its completion, Mariner Cove was one of the largest land-fill projects ever undertaken in the area (Newspaper.com - Daily Independent Journal, Oct 18, 1958).

Summer of 1961 began the final phase of construction for Mariner Cove. By qualifying for the Live Better Electrically Medallion, this new set of homes could earn a gold medallion rating for electrical use and wiring. An emphasis was placed on having a minimum of 20 electrical outlets strategically placed in the home to guarantee efficient electrical usage. Additionally, a focus on utilizing upgraded electric ranges and appliances, good lighting, and energy efficient home designs with good horsepower were hallmarks of these cutting edge homes (Newspaper.com - Daily Independent Journal, Aug 19, 1961).

 

In the summer of 1964, the adult residents of Mariner Cove were concerned about the flooding of the San Clemente Creek and the importance of getting the town to agree to dredging. This undertaking would add 20 cents toward the tax rate of the town (Newspaper.com - Daily Independent Journal, June 30, 1964). However, during those summers in the 1960s the children living in Mariner Cove were concerned with freedom from school and long hours of playtime with friends and neighbors. Childhood resident Jeff Mindham reminisces, “I don’t know if you know of the old 1960s TV show Leave It To Beaver? If you do, Mariner Cove in the ‘60s was exactly like that, with kids living in every other house.”

While I was able to share a snapshot of history regarding our little section of streets in Mariner Cove, Corte Madera also has a rich history dating back hundreds of years beginning with the native Miwok Indians and traveling through Spanish, Mexican, and finally American governorship. A free PDF download of the book A History of Corte Madera edited by Jana Haehl and Richard Bloch is available here for those neighborhood history buffs.

 

While Mariner Cove celebrates a rich history, it promises a strong and happy future. Resident Karen Ruppanner shares,“I love living in Mariner Cove because of the people. When we moved into the neighborhood nine years ago, we were blessed with meeting amazing families who have become our ‘village.’ This sense of community is definitely the best thing about our neighborhood!” The hard work of the Mariner Cove Neighborhood Association and dedicated neighbors helps foster this strong sense of community. Through drills and neighborhood leadership, the Neighborhood Response Group helps promote a robust sense of neighborhood safety. Social opportunities through book clubs and social gatherings allow friendships to be formed and strengthened. Playtime promotes wonderful childhood memories of friends and fun adventures for the younger residents.

In closing, I would like to share with you one final quote celebrating the wonder of our Mariner Cove. Jamie Cunha notes, “I love living in Mariner Cove for the community! Everyone takes care of one another! It is so family friendly, and I see seniors taking care of young families, families taking care of seniors, friends taking care of friends, and everyone lifting each other up. We’re also a really fun neighborhood, and for all of this I am so grateful to live here!” It is my hope that Jamie’s sentiments are shared by all those that read this and call Mariner Cove home!

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