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San Marcos

San Marcos, CA Area Guide


The residents of San Marcos strive to provide a high quality of life for the people who live, work, and play in San Marcos. There is an emphasis on creating a safe family-oriented atmosphere that is culturally diverse and rich in natural resources to provide continuous economic and educational opportunities for area residents.

According to legend, groups of Spaniards pursuing a small band of Indians that originally lived in this area came upon a fertile valley in 1797 which was later named Los Vallecitos de San Marcos (Little Valleys of Saint Mark). The city was established successfully and on April 22, 1840 Governor Juan Bautista Alvarado granted Los Vallecitos do San Marcos to one of his relatives. After changing hands several times, the land eventually wound up in the hands of Cave Couts who allowed the first permanent settlement to be built on the land by Major Gustavus, a French Merriam from Topeka, Kansas. In the early 1880s German and Dutch immigrants began to move to the settlement, while Merriam himself worked on his 160 acre homestead and began producing wine and honey. In 1884 the nearby town of Barham was established, and soon it had its first post office, blacksmith, feed store, and weekly newspaper. In 1887 the San Marcos Land Company purchased nearly all of the land owned by Major Gustavus and divided it into to tracts to attract home seekers.

For more information about the history and culture of San Marcos, please visit the official site:

Parks and Recreation

The residents of San Marcos enjoy a Master parks and trail program, a variety of recreation programs, a wealth of cultural programs, and easy access to beaches and lakes. There are designated group areas at several City parks including Walnut Grove Park, Woodland Park, Bradley Park, Jack’s Pond Park, Simmons Park, Hollandia Park, and San Elijo Park.

Special Events

A number of events are held throughout the year and are hosted by San Marcos Community Services. There is a high level of participation from community members and local businesses, and last year over 26,000 visitors came to enjoy the events held in San Marcos. These contributions paid for fireworks shows, art projects, children’s play areas, and several other opportunities during the year.




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