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Marin County is a county located in the North San Francisco Bay Area of the State of California. As of the 2010 Census, the population was 252,409. Its county seat is San Rafael. Marin County is included in the San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area. It is across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco.
Marin County is well known for its natural beauty. The county is governed by the Marin County Board of Supervisors.
The Marin County Civic Center was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and draws thousands of visitors a year to guided tours of its atrium design. Marin County's natural sites include the Muir Woods redwood forest, the Marin Headlands, Stinson Beach, the Point Reyes National Seashore, and Mount Tamalpais.
The United States' oldest cross country running event, the Dipsea Race, takes place annually in Marin County, attracting thousands of athletes. Mountain biking was invented on the slopes of Mount Tamalpais in Marin.
Marin County was named after Chief Marin (whose native American name was Huicmuse), an 18th century leader of the Licatiut, a branch of the Coast Miwok. Chief Marin lived toward the end of the era of Spanish rule in Alta California, a period of severe decline for the Coast Miwok and other native American tribes, whose populations were decimated by centuries of introduced disease, conflict, abuse and enslavement by European colonists.
The Coast Miwok were hunters and gatherers who over time inhabited some 600 village sites in the region between Sonoma’s Bodega region and southern Marin. They were skillful craftsmen in basketry, flint knapping and clamshell bead-making. They subsided by hunting and gathering on the land and harvesting from the sea an abundance of crab, clams, mussels, abalone, oysters, halibut and rockfish.
Photo by Alan Plisskin | ASP Images