From Coast Miwok Village
To State Historic Park
Seven hundred-acre Olompali State Historic Park, in Marin County in Northern California, occupies a unique location within a bowl-shaped area formed by Burdell Mountain and its lower flanking slopes. These hills adjoin the expansive marsh and slough system of the Petaluma River, which flows south to San Pablo Bay.
This prime location on the edge of land and water encouraged ancient habitation by the Coast Miwoks, and use of the site as a way station along El Camino Nacional. In acquiring Rancho Olompali, Camilo Ynitia received the only patented grant from the U.S. government to a Northern California Native American.
In 1846, a brief skirmish during the Bear Flag Rebellion became popularized as the "Battle of Olompali." In 1852, James Black acquired Olompali from Camilo Ynitia, and he gave the property to his daughter when she married Dr. Galen Burdell in 1865. The couple constructed their house to encase Ynitia's adobe. For the Burdell family, Olompali was a productive ranch, and in the early 1900s became an exclusive estate with construction of a mansion around the original Burdell wood frame house and adobe. Through subsequent ownerships, Olompali was used as a Jesuit retreat, a dairy ranch and a private swim club. In the late 1960s, the site was home to a hippie commune, until fire severly damaged the Burdell mansion in 1969.
Recognizing the historic significance and the value of the natural environment, the State of California acquired the site in 1977 and classified it as a state historic park in 1981. The following year, The Olompali People was formed. In 1989, TOP gifted a general plan for the park to the State, and in 1990, Olompali State Historic Park opened to the public.
Help Bring History to Life
Interested in helping maintain the recreated Coast Miwok Village at Olompali? How about putting your gardening skills to work in the Native Plant Garden? Come on out the second Sunday of each month 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to participate. Gardening Tools and Refreshments provided, along with lots of satisfaction.