Novato (Spanish for “Novatus”) is a city in Marin County, California, in the North Bay region of the Bay Area. Take a look below for 15 awesome and interesting facts about Novato, California, United States.
1. At the 2020 census, Novato had a population was 53,225.
2. What is now Novato was originally the site of several Coast Miwok villages: Chokecherry, near downtown Novato; Puyuku, near Ignacio; and Olómpali, at the present-day Olompali State Historic Park.
3. In 1839, the Mexican government granted the 8,876-acre (35.92 km2) Rancho Novato to Fernando Feliz.
4. The rancho was named after a local Miwok leader who had probably been given the name of Saint Novatus at his baptism.
5. Subsequently, four additional land grants were made in the area: Rancho Corte Madera de Novato, to John Martin in 1839; Rancho San Jose, to Ignacio Pacheco in 1840; Rancho Olómpali, awarded in 1843 to Camilo Ynitia, son of a Coast Miwok chief; and Rancho Nicasio, by far the largest at 56,621 acres (229.1 km2), awarded to Pablo de la Guerra and John B.R. Cooper in 1844.
6. Following the American Conquest of California and the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, Novato, along with the rest of California, became part of the United States on February 2, 1848. Early pioneers included Joseph Sweetser and Francis De Long who bought 15,000 acres (61 km2) in the mid-1850s and planted orchards and vineyards.
7. The first post office at Novato opened in 1856; it closed in 1860, and a new post office opened in 1891.
8. The first school was built in 1859, at the corner of Grant Avenue and what is today Redwood Boulevard.
9. The original town was located around Novato Creek at what is now South Novato Boulevard. A railroad was built in 1879, connecting Novato to Sonoma County and San Rafael. The area around the train depot became known as New Town, and forms the edge of what today is Old Town Novato.
10. The Great Depression of the 1930s had a marked effect on the area as many farmers lost their land. After World War II, Novato grew quickly with the construction of tract homes and a freeway. As the area was unincorporated much of the growth was unplanned and uncontrolled.
11. Novato was finally incorporated as a city in 1960.
12. One of the most important venues of the time (1960 to 1965) was “Western Weekend”. Beard-growing contests, sponsored by Bob’s Barber Shop, and many other odd activities helped to bring this community together.
13. Parts of Radio Flyer (1992) were filmed in Novato. The film starred Elijah Wood (The Lord of the Rings) and was directed by Richard Donner (Lethal Weapon, Superman).
14. The Fireman’s Fund office complex in Novato was used as a shooting location in Howard the Duck (1986) and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991). The site features in exterior shots for the Khitomer Conference between humans and Klingons.
15. Major highways in Novato include U.S. Route 101 and California State Route 37, and major roads in Novato include Atherton Avenue, Novato Boulevard, San Marin Drive, and Ignacio Boulevard.