San Domenico moved to its current location on Butterfield Road in 1965. We are grateful and honored to a part of this magical valley and the Sleepy Hollow community.
Events From musical concerts to theatrical performances and sports games, San Domenico welcomes Sleepy Hollow community members to attend School events. For current event listings visit www.sandomenico.org/events.
The Sleepy Hollow Tennis Club calls San Domenico home. Learn more here.
Local community members are welcome to join our pool. We have swimming lessons for all ages, including a Masters Swim class for adults. For more information contact email@example.com
Music Lessons are available in various instruments, voice, and evening pop music classes, such as rock band, open to Sleepy Hollow residents. Learn more here.
The best summers start at San Domenico! Our beautiful Marin County (500+ acre) campus with its rolling hills, organic garden, outdoor kitchen / classroom, hiking trails, and state-of-the-art sports and arts facilities have been making San Domenico an ideal place to spend summer days. Learn more here.
In the beginning, Sleepy Hollow was a prehistoric river bed. The fertile valley attracted the first inhabitants, the Miwok Indians. As proof of their stay many artifacts have been found; a shell mound, arrowheads and grinding stones. Their era came to a close with the coming of the white man, who brought epidemics of measles, mumps, smallpox and other diseases to which the Indians had no resistance.
The first recorded history of the Hollow began in 1839. A Mexican land grant was given to Domingo Sais, a soldier at the Presidio in San Francisco. His land consisted of 6,659 acres, including part of San Anselmo, Fairfax and Sleepy Hollow. Legend has it that in 1836 Domingo left the Presidio on a raft and, traveling with the tide, drifted until he was able to land at what is now Pt. San Quentin. He traveled as far as San Anselmo, where he built his first house of rushes. Domingo called his grant “Cãnada de Herrera” or “Valley of the Blacksmiths.” It had huge stands of oak trees, and timber was cut for many years and shipped by schooner from Ross Landing to the sawmill near Lagunitas.
Domingo Sais died in 1853 and left his land to his widow and six children. Sleepy Hollow went to his oldest son Pedro.
Harvey Butterfield leased the property from Pedro for a dairy farm. It was fenced for the first time. Cowboys referred to the dirt road leading to the ranch house as “The road to Butterfield’s place.” Thus the birth of Butterfield Road.
Pedro Sais died in 1879 and the land was sold to Peter Austin for $16,000. Austin planted the first eucalyptus and poplar trees for shade along Butterfield Road. He planned a million-dollar hotel, a mile-long lake, and golf course, but was forced out by a mortgage foreclosure.
Anson P. Hotaling bought the land in 1887. He was a wealthy San Franciscan, whose son Richard developed a beautiful estate and called it Sleepy Hollow. He built a mansion at the end of Butterfield Road which reflected his love of the theater. The living room had a stage, complete with a Romeo and Juliet balcony. Many plays and Bohemian parties were held there.
Hotaling also imported 200 Holstein cows from Holland. He carried out the Washington Irving theme by naming prize bulls after the names in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. After living in his mansion for four years he tired of the country life and chose to sell his property to Sigmund Herzog. In 1910, Herzog originated the first certified milk dairy in the nation.
A Chicago syndicate bought the land in 1925 from Herzog. (Herzog moved the dairy to Petaluma where it is still in business today.) In 1929, the Depression and Stock Market crash halted the syndicate’s plans for development and they sold the land.
George Kaenel and H.A. Willard bought the land in about 1930 and they put in an 18-hole, 8,000 yard golf course. It was the first pay-as-you-play golf course in the West. It was considered the second largest course in the world, acclaimed by famous players for its natural hazards and boundless beauty.
Lang Realty and David Adaros bought some acreage in 1932 and subdivided the parcel into one-half acre and ten-acre plots.
In 1939, the golf course was closed due to lack of water. For a short period of time in the early forties, during World War II, the United States Army occupied part of the Hollow as a secret ammunition storage depot. Barracks housed 30 men. There were two batteries composed of four-inch antiaircraft cannons manned by five soldiers on a 24-hour basis. One was on Stuyvesant Drive and Oak Manor, and the other on Oak Springs Hill. With the end of the war, the Army left.
A.G. Raisch bought 500 acres and the Hotaling mansion for $50,000 in about 1946. The Raisch Family modernized the house, added beautiful gardens and barbeque areas. A lovely artificial lake was created. Fifty head of cattle grazed on their property. Many gala parties of 600 people enjoyed the dance pavilion, roasted steer, and martinis made in a cement mixer. In the early fifties the Raisch family moved to San Francisco and, while unoccupied, the mansion burned to the ground, leaving only a concrete wall and steps that are visible today.
The Dominican Sisters of San Rafael bought the property, comprising 537 acres. It was dedicated as the San Domenico School for Girls on April 30, 1966.
The Sleepy Hollow Homes Association was formed by the total population (50 families) in 1946. Dedicated volunteers built the Community Clubhouse and swimming pool in 1952. The School has maintained membership in the Association since its move to Sleepy Hollow.
May all who visit or live in this beautiful valley of “Cãnada de Herrera” – Sleepy Hollow – enjoy and protect the land. Ours is indeed a special heritage, so let us preserve it for future generations.