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Bolinas, California
—  CDP  —
street scene in Bolinas, 2009
Location in Marin County and the state of California
Coordinates: 37°54′34″N 122°41′11″W / 37.90944°N 122.68639°W / 37.90944; -122.68639Coordinates: 37°54′34″N 122°41′11″W / 37.90944°N 122.68639°W / 37.90944; -122.68639
Country United States
State California
County Marin
 - Type unincorporated
 - County Board District 4
Steve Kinsey
 - Senate Mark Leno (D)
 - Assembly Jared Huffman (D)
 - U. S. Congress Lynn Woolsey (D)
 - Total 1.4 sq mi (3.6 km2)
 - Land 1.4 sq mi (3.6 km2)
 - Water 0 sq mi (0 km2)
Elevation [1] 36 ft (11 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 1,246
 Density 890/sq mi (346.1/km2)
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
 - Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP code 94924
Area code(s) 415
FIPS code 06-07316
GNIS feature ID 0277476
Website Bolinas Community P.U.D.

Bolinas (alternates: Ballenas, Baulenas, Baulings, and Bawlines)[1] is an unincorporated community in Marin County, California in the San Francisco Bay Area. Bolinas is located 10 miles (16 km) west-southwest of San Rafael,[2] at an elevation of 36 feet (11 m).[1] The population of the Bolinas CDP (Census-designated place) was 1,246 at the 2000 census. Located along the coast and accessible only via sometimes unmarked roads, Bolinas is perhaps best known for its reclusive residents; historically, any road signs pointing the way into town on Highway One have invariably been torn down by local residents [3]

Bolinas and its reclusive reputation feature in the 1981 novel Ecotopia Emerging by Ernest Callenbach.



Bolinas peninsula from 40,000 feet

Bolinas is located at 37°54′34″N 122°41′11″W / 37.90944°N 122.68639°W / 37.90944; -122.68639[1] on the California coast approximately 30 miles (48 km) drive north from San Francisco just off California Hwy 1.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 1.4 square miles (3.6 km²), all of it land.


San Andreas Fault

Bolinas is west of the San Andreas Fault, which runs the length of Bolinas Lagoon and then north through the Olema Valley and Tomales Bay. (See the high altitude photograph, above.) Bolinas and the Point Reyes Peninsula are on the Pacific Plate, moving north relative to Stinson Beach and the North American Plate at an average rate of about one inch per year.


The first post office at Bolinas opened in 1863.[2]


Bolinas CDP, California (yellow)

As of the census[4] of 2000, there were 1,246 people, 486 households, and 260 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 900.6 people per square mile (348.6/km²). There were 629 housing units at an average density of 454.7/sq mi (176.0/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 90.53% White, 1.85% Black or African American, 0.32% Native American, 1.77% Asian, 0.40% Pacific Islander, 2.49% from other races, and 2.65% from two or more races. 5.06% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 486 households out of which 27.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.9% were married couples living together, 10.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 46.3% were non-families. 32.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.29 and the average family size was 2.87.

94924 ZIP Code Tabulation Area (yellow)

In the CDP the population was spread out with 21.0% under the age of 18, 4.7% from 18 to 24, 26.0% from 25 to 44, 40.3% from 45 to 64, and 8.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44 years. For every 100 females there were 110.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 102.1 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP was $53,188, and the median income for a family was $56,111. Males had a median income of $48,281 versus $40,417 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $28,973. About 5.5% of families and 10.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.7% of those under age 18 and 2.8% of those age 65 or over.

The much larger area defined by the Census Bureau as Zip Code Tabulation Area 94924, which includes Horseshoe Hill, Dogtown, and Five Brooks, had a 2000 population of 1,560 people (see map).[5]


Bolinas is in the Bolinas-Stinson Union School District, the Tamalpais Union High School District, and the Marin Community College District. Students in primary grades (kindergarten – grade 2) attend Stinson Beach School, while elementary grade students (grades 3–8) attend Bolinas School. Bolinas is in the attendance area of Tamalpais High School, in Mill Valley.

In 1951, Ford Times identified Bolinas as the first in its series of "Tom Sawyer Towns... a good place for boys and girls to live and grow... its school days, its summer vacations, its vast adventures in fishing, swimming, baseball, basking and dreaming in the sun. Such a place is Bolinas."[6]


Bolinas is unincorporated, receiving general government services from Marin County, including law enforcement, land use planning, public health, and code enforcement. Two special districts provide local services. The Bolinas Community Public Utility District provides water and wastewater service and contracts for garbage and recycling collection.[7] The Bolinas Fire Protection District provides fire protection, emergency medical care, and disaster management services.[8]

Regional recreation areas

Notable Bolinas people

Earthquake-damaged homes along Brighton Avenue, Bolinas, 1906.

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ a b c d U.S. Geological Survey Geographical Names Information System: Bolinas, California
  2. ^ a b Durham, David L. (1998). California's Geographic Names: A Gazetteer of Historic and Modern Names of the State. Quill Driver Books. p. 605. ISBN 9781884995149. 
  3. ^ Homeless man's beating shakes up hippie haven -
  4. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  5. ^ U.S. Census Bureau, American FactFinder, Zip Code Tabulation Area 94924 Fact Sheet
  6. ^ Corliss, J. Ray (March 1951). "Bolinas, California". Ford Times 43 (3): 2–11. Retrieved March 29, 2009. 
  7. ^ Bolinas Community Public Utility District
  8. ^ Bolinas Fire Protection District
  9. ^ Winter Butterflies in Bolinas, 1918, Paul Elder & Company, San Francisco, accessed scanned copy February 10, 2007 at
  10. ^, Mary Dunkin Barber, accessed February 10, 2007
  11. ^ San Anselmo Historical Museum, "The Barber Tract", accessed February 10, 2007
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h Steve Clay and Rodney Phillips, The Mimeograph Revolution, 1998, accessed June 13, 2007

    Literary scenes with strong affiliations to the New American Poetry were in evidence elsewhere in California -- most notably Bolinas in the 1970s, when that somewhat remote hippie village north of San Francisco became home to many poets. In particular, the transplanted easterner and Poetry Project veteran Bill Berkson and his press Big Sky flourished there in the decade, publishing both a magazine and a series of books. Bolinas residents of the period also included Robert Creeley, Bobbie Louise Hawkins, David Meltzer, Lewis Warsh, Tom Clark, Lewis MacAdams, Philip Whalen, Aram Saroyan, Joanne Kyger, Jim Carroll, and Duncan McNaughton, among others. Ted Berrigan, Alice Notley, and Joe Brainard were among many occasional visitors, with Joe Brainard's Bolinas Journal providing an interesting record of one such extended stay.

  13. ^ The Braughtigan Archive, "Bolinas", accessed June 13, 2007
  14. ^ SFGate, C. W. Nevius Blog, "Remembering "Trout Fishing in America." June 20, 2006, with some comments by Bolinas residents who knew Brautigan, accessed June 14, 2007
  15. ^ Stein, Ruthe (May 5, 2006). "Are nude scenes challenging? It all depends.". San Francisco Chronicle. pp. E–4. Retrieved 2008-10-09. 

Further Reading

  • Bullis, Mabel Dodge (1974). Early Bolinas Memories. Berkeley, Calif.: Wesley Tanner. pp. 20. OCLC 10328789. 
  • Dibblee, Harrison (1940). Epic of Bolinas. Dallas, Texas: The Kaleidograph Press. pp. 22. OCLC 14635050. 
  • Frank, Phil; Kendrick Rand and Tamae Agnoli (2004). Bolinas and Stinson Beach. Images of America: California. Bolinas Museum and Stinson Beach Historical Society. Arcadia Publishing. pp. 128. OCLC 57345826. 
  • Mason, Jack; Thomas J. Barfield (1973.). Last Stage for Bolinas. Inverness, Calif.: North Shore Books. pp. 168. OCLC 750529. 
  • Reich, Charles A. (1976). The Sorcerer of Bolinas Reef. New York: Random House. pp. 266. OCLC 2388044. 
  • Schell, Orville (1976). The Town That Fought To Save Itself. Photos by Ilka Hartmann. New York: Pantheon Books. pp. 200. OCLC 1976726. 

External links


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