Tomales, California

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Tomales (formerly, Tomalles)[3] is a census-designated place (CDP) on State Route 1 in Marin County, California, United States. The population was 210 at the 2000 census.[1] The largest employer in Tomales is Tomales High School, which has a student body of approximately 250.



Tomales is located at 38°14′47″N 122°54′20″W / 38.24639°N 122.90556°W / 38.24639; -122.90556,[2] above Keys Creek, about 3 mi (5 km) northeast of Tomales Bay. The nearest city is Petaluma, about 24 minutes away by automobile, and the nearest large city is San Francisco, about 75 minutes to the south.[4]

The CDP has a total area of 0.31 sq mi (0.8 km2), all land.[1]


When Europeans first reached Tomales Bay, it was home to Coast Miwok people. Numerous authenticated Miwok villages are known from this area, including one (named Utumia) sited near the present-day town of Tomales.[5]

The Tomalles post office opened in 1854, and changed its name to Tomales before 1879.[3]

Starting in the 1870s, Tomales was a stop on the North Pacific Coast Railroad connecting Cazadero to the Sausalito ferry.

Built near the San Andreas Fault, Tomales was affected by the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. One of the town's two cemeteries predates the earthquake, and the damage to the pre-1906 plots show just how widespread the quake's effects were.

Much of the 2001 movie Bandits was filmed in and around Tomales,[6] as were the opening shots of Mumford (1999),[7] and parts of Scream (1996),[8] and Village of the Damned (1995).[9]

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