Fairfax, California

Fairfax is an incorporated town in Marin County, California, United States. Fairfax is located 3.25 miles (5.2 km) west-northwest of San Rafael,[7] at an elevation of 115 feet (35 m).[1] The population is 7,441 at the 2010 census.

Town of Fairfax
Downtown Fairfax (The Parkade)
Location of Fairfax in Marin County, California.
Location in the United States
Fairfax (the United States)
Coordinates: 37°59′14″N 122°35′20″W[1]
Country United States
State California
IncorporatedMarch 2, 1931[2]
  Town Council[3]Barbara Coler (Mayor)
Renee Goddard (Vice-Mayor)
Bruce Ackerman
John Reed
Peter Lacques
  County BoardDistrict 2
Katie Rice
  Town ManagerGarrett Toy
  RepresentationSen. Mike McGuire (D)
Asm. Marc Levine (D)
Rep. Jared Huffman (D)[4]
  Total2.20 sq mi (5.72 km2)
  Land2.20 sq mi (5.72 km2)
  Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)  0%
Elevation115 ft (35 m)
  Density3,447.37/sq mi (1,331.33/km2)
Time zoneUTC-8 (PST)
  Summer (DST)UTC-7 (PDT)
ZIP codes
94930, 94978
Area codes415/628
FIPS code06-23168
GNIS feature IDs277511, 2412609


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 2.2 square miles (5.7 km2), all of it land. The geography of Fairfax consists mostly of hills and valleys.


Historical population
Est. 20187,555[6]1.5%
U.S. Decennial Census[8]


The 2010 United States Census[9] reported that Fairfax had a population of 7,441. The population density was 3,376.9 people per square mile (1,303.8/km²). The racial makeup of Fairfax was 6,617 (88.9%) White, 110 (1.5%) African American, 36 (0.5%) Native American, 204 (2.7%) Asian, 4 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 174 (2.3%) from other races, and 296 (4.0%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 504 persons (6.8%).

The Census reported that 7,419 people (99.7% of the population) lived in households, 12 (0.2%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 10 (0.1%) were institutionalized.

There were 3,379 households, out of which 939 (27.8%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 1,422 (42.1%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 319 (9.4%) had a female householder with no husband present, 134 (4.0%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 267 (7.9%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 52 (1.5%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 1,076 households (31.8%) were made up of individuals and 320 (9.5%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.20. There were 1,875 families (55.5% of all households); the average family size was 2.77.

The population was spread out with 1,436 people (19.3%) under the age of 18, 342 people (4.6%) aged 18 to 24, 1,806 people (24.3%) aged 25 to 44, 2,907 people (39.1%) aged 45 to 64, and 950 people (12.8%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 45.9 years. For every 100 females, there were 94.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.9 males.

There were 3,585 housing units at an average density of 1,626.9 per square mile (628.2/km²), of which 2,103 (62.2%) were owner-occupied, and 1,276 (37.8%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 0.9%; the rental vacancy rate was 4.9%. 4,917 people (66.1% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 2,502 people (33.6%) lived in rental housing units.


As of the census[10] of 2000, there were 7,319 people, 3,306 households, and 1,811 families residing in the town. The population density was 3,441.2 people per square mile (1,326.7/km²). There were 3,418 housing units at an average density of 1,607.0 per square mile (619.6/km²). The racial makeup of the town in 2010 was 85.4% non-Hispanic White, 1.4% non-Hispanic Black or African American, 0.3% Native American, 2.7% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.4% from other races, and 3.1% from two or more races. 6.8% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 3,306 households out of which 27.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.2% were married couples living together, 10.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 45.2% were non-families. 31.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.20 and the average family size was 2.76.

In the town the population was spread out with 19.2% under the age of 18, 4.7% from 18 to 24, 33.5% from 25 to 44, 33.1% from 45 to 64, and 9.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.2 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $58,465, and the median income for a family was $68,308. Males had a median income of $51,457 versus $40,815 for females. The per capita income for the town was $34,080. About 4.3% of families and 6.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.6% of those under age 18 and 7.6% of those age 65 or over.

Environmental factors

Soils in the Fairfax area mostly belong to the Tocaloma Series as classified by the U.S. Soil Conservation Service.[11] These soils consist of moderately deep, well drained soils on uplands. These soils are typically formed from sandstone and shale and often occur on slopes ranging above 15 percent.


The Coast Miwok Native Americans occupied stretches along local creeks, spring and seep areas; moreover prehistoric habitations were usually chosen near permanent and seasonal drainages, typically along flat ridges and terraces.

The first post office opened in 1910.[7] Fairfax became an incorporated town in 1931.[7] The town was named for Lord Charles Snowden Fairfax.[7]

Fairfax was the site of the last political duel in California, in 1861. Daniel Showalter and Charles W. Piercy, both former assemblymen in the state legislature,[12] decided to settle a political dispute at the home of Lord Fairfax, a mutual friend of both. Although Fairfax provided lunch to both men and tried to talk them out of it, they eventually headed to an open field nearby and dueled, with Showalter killing Piercy.[13]

On May 16, 1946 a B-17 Flying Fortress bomber, crashed on White's Hill just west of Fairfax.


In the mid-1960s, a softball game between Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead took place at Central Field (also known as Contratti Park), a public downtown baseball field.[14][15][16]

Irving Berlin used to serenade from a treetop piano at Pastori's Hotel, formerly Bird's Nest Glen, the home of Lord Charles Snowden Fairfax, and later known as the Marin Town & Country Club.[17]


In 2017, Fairfax had 5,602 registered voters. Of those, 3,726 (66.5%) are registered Democrats, 370 (6.6%) are registered Republicans, 1,528 (27.3%) have declined to state a political party and 155 (2.8%) are registered with the Green Party.[18] In the 2016 US presidential election, Hillary Clinton received 85.43% of the vote, and Donald Trump received 7.63% of the vote.[19]


  1. "Fairfax". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey.
  2. "California Cities by Incorporation Date". California Association of Local Agency Formation Commissions. Archived from the original (Word) on November 3, 2014. Retrieved August 25, 2014.
  3. "Town of Fairfax, California - Website". Retrieved April 6, 2015.
  4. "California's 2nd Congressional District - Representatives & District Map". Civic Impulse, LLC. Retrieved March 8, 2013.
  5. "2016 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 19, 2017.
  6. "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved August 29, 2019.
  7. Durham, David L. (1998). California's Geographic Names: A Gazetteer of Historic and Modern Names of the State. Clovis, Calif.: Word Dancer Press. p. 631. ISBN 1-884995-14-4.
  8. "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Archived from the original on April 26, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  9. "2010 Census Interactive Population Search: CA - Fairfax town". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  10. "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on September 11, 2013. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  11. "Environmental Impact Report for the Groza-Erickson Property, Ridgeway Avenue, Fairfax, California", Earth Metrics Inc, prepared for the State of California Environmental Clearinghouse, Sacramento, Ca., January, 1989
  12. , accessed July 18, 2009
  13. , accessed July 18, 2009
  14. Rex Radio, January 1991, transcript of discussion with David Grisman and Jerry Garcia Archived January 22, 2009, at the Wayback Machine, accessed February 5, 2008
  15. James Sullivan, San Francisco Chronicle, October 2, 2001, "Dawg days: David Grisman's daughter makes film about his bluegrass partnership with Garcia", accessed February 5, 2008
  16. "The Story of "Ripple" by the Grateful Dead", accessed May 16, 2015
  17. William Sager, Fairfax (Images of America), Arcadis Publishing, 2006 ISBN 0-7385-3090-5, accessed February 5, 2008
  18. "Results" (PDF). elections.cdn.sos.ca.gov. 2017. Retrieved September 26, 2019.
  19. "Results" (PDF). elections.cdn.sos.ca.gov. 2016. Retrieved September 26, 2019.
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