Historic San Rafael Hill
The worn paths of the pre-mission years (before 1817) still exist on Lincoln Avenue and are still in use today. From San Rafael one could connect to a path along Lincoln Avenue to Puerto Suello, down Los Ranchitos Road and then on to Novato. All of these paths were just above the high tide marks in the marshes that dominated the lands north of Puerto Suello and east of the hills. From Novato one could proceed north to Petaluma where you could connect to an eastern path leading into Somona.
In the early part of the last century, Highway 101 ran down Lincoln Avenue (formerly Petaluma Road), made a right turn at Fourth Street and headed for San Anselmo. There it made a left turn down through Ross, Larkspur and Corte Madera and into Mill Valley (as far as Montford) before turning south into Sausalito. The routes were determined by the high tide marks of the time. The routes are still in use today; however, the high tide marks these days are some miles to the east of these routes.
In the latter part of the last century, Lincoln Avenue was the site of many big homes occupied by the big movers and shakers of Marin. Lawyers, doctors and public officials, among others called Lincoln Avenue home. One notable resident was Peter Donahue, who had a part in establishing and operating the Northwestern Pacific Railroad. His estate was located where the Lincoln Hills Community Church presently calls home.
Currently the neighborhood is made up of single family residential on the hill and mixed residential and commercial on Lincoln Avenue with a few large condo/apartment complexes, a couple of motels and a church.
About the "San Rafael Heart"
The heart was inspiration of Heidi Kuhn (the Roots of Peace lady) about 5 or 6 years ago. She brought together dozens of volunteers, including many members of the LSRHNA, and hundreds of donated daffodil bulbs. These were planted in the shape of a heart on Martin Luther King Day. The following year, the rocks were added to better outline the shape. Narcissus and more daffodils were planted by volunteers, many of them children. More bulbs were planted and the rocks were white-washed the following year, on Martin Luther King Day. As the site, accessible from Robert Dollar Drive, gets many visitors, Ms. Kuhn has been regularly maintaining the grounds. The thanks belong to her and to the many volunteers who have and continue to work on this project.