April 7, 1862: Marin County
April 7, 2012
We were in the hills three days, and hard days they were….climbing all the principal ridges, getting the geological data and notes for a correct topography….From the summits of these steep hills we got some most magnificent views, while many of the valleys are perfect gems of beauty, nestled among these rugged hills. The finest grazing district I have yet seen in the state is among these hills, lying near the sea, moistened by fogs in the summer when the rest of the state is so dry. But the curse of Marin County is the Spanish grant system. The whole county is covered with Spanish grants, and held in large ranches, so settlers cannot come in and settle up in smaller farms. The county is owned by not over thirty men, if we except men who have small portions near the bay or near some villages. As a consequence, there is but one schoolhouse, one post office, etc., in the whole county, although so near San Francisco. Specimens collected, April 5-7: Claytonia exigua subsp. exigua; Actaea rubra; Ranunculus californicus; Nemophila heterophylla; Fritillaria affinis; Wyethia glabra; Salix lasiolepis; Quercus kelloggii; Trifolium willdenovii; Athysanus pusillus; Galium californicum; Cardamine californica; Phlox gracilis.