Ross is a small incorporated town in Marin County, California, United States, just north of San Francisco. Ross is located 1.5 miles (2.4 km) west-southwest of San Rafael, at an elevation of 36 feet (11 m). The population was 2,415 at the 2010 census. The town is bordered by Kentfield and Greenbrae to the east, Larkspur to the south and San Anselmo to the north. Ross is named in honor of James Ross, who acquired Rancho Punta de Quentin in 1859.According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 1.6 square miles (4.1 km2), all of it land. Notable landmarks in Ross are the Ross Bear located in front of the Ross police station, the post office, the Marin Art and Garden Center, and Phoenix Lake.
After the Mexican Revolution of 1821, the “land grant” system of parceling out land gave rise to what is now known as Marin County. Ross was originally part of an 8,877-acre (3,592 ha) Mexican land grant to Juan B.R. Cooper in 1840 known as Ranch Punta de Quentin Canada de San Anselmo. In 1857, James Ross (1812–1862) bought Rancho Punta de Quentin for $50,000. Ross, a Scot who had arrived in San Francisco from Australia in 1848 and made his fortune in the wholesale liquor business, set up a trading post called “Ross Landing”. He built his home on Redwood Drive and moved there with his wife and three children. When James Ross died in 1862, his wife, Annie Ross, was forced to sell a portion of James Ross’ larger land holdings to pay each of their daughters $10,000.
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