The Marinwood area is part of an original Spanish Land Grant to Don Timateo Murphy. It was operated as a ranch, and then as a dairy farm, until it was sold for development in 1954.
In 1955, the first homes were built near Highway 101, then a four-lane undivided highway. At that time the boundaries of San Rafael were four miles to the south, at the top of Puerto Suello Hill, and the boundaries of Novato were six miles to the north. To provide improved local services, particularly fire protection, and to be able to secure bond financing, the Community Services District was formed in 1960. With bond funding, the CSD was able to purchase the land for Marinwood Park and to develop the firehouse, park, community center and pool.
In 1972, the community again voted to tax itself for the purchase of the ridge of open space bordering the community in order to preserve it from development. The original purchase of 321 acres has grown to 812 acres as additional parcels were purchased and developers were required to set aside land as open space.
The Marinwood Community Services District Fire Department, the Community Center and Pool recreation programs, the parks, and the community open space are all central to the identity of the Community of Marinwood.