Fairfax was also the setting for dozens of early Western movies. Local extras rode with "Broncho Billy" Anderson, early Western hero and movie producer, who later employed Ben Turpin and Charles Chaplin. Several movie companies used the area in and around Fairfax from 1910 to about 1923. Fairfax had its own movie studio, United Keanograph Studio, which produced in Fairfax the movie "Money" in 1915. This film was shown in movie houses across the country.

Movie poster of Salomy Jane, filmed in and around Fairfax. This ending scene was at the edge of Lake Lagunitas, 1914.


The name "Arequipa" has had a long association with Fairfax . A tuberculosis sanatorium, built in 1911, it cared for TB in wage-earning women until 1957, drawing national attention to its unique approach in combining health care with pottery making used to help defray the cost of care and providing rehabilitative therapy for the women. Arequipa is now part of the Bothin Youth Center, currently owned and operated by the Girl Scouts. 

Women of Arequipa in the pottery shop.
Arequipa grounds, 1912 Learn more on features page



The town itself built up around a tract of land known as Fairfax Park.The tract consisted of 65 acres and was leased in 1875 to the North Pacific Coast Railroad by Manuela Sais, widow of Domingo, for summer picnics.
Nine acres of the Fairfax Park Tract were acquired from Henry Frustuck by the Fairfax Volunteer Firemen in 1920 to be preserved as a town park. A number of improvements were made, including the Pavilion and an athletic track where a number of Olympic stars appeared. The park has grown smaller over the years. Part of the acreage was sold to the school district in 1921 for the construction of Central School; the fire station and town hall were built on another section; and the Women's Club on still another.
This photo shows the downtown area in 1906, looking north-west. The "Fairfax Park Annex" building, just above the buggy, is located at the corner of Main Street (Broadway) and Bolinas road (current location of the Alpine Building, todays"coffee roastery").


Fairfax finally came of age in February of 1931 when the town was incorporated as a city of the sixth class, with a five-member council government.

Fairfax today is no longer hay fields, dairy ranches and vineyards but a community of fine neighborhoods nestled in the hills and small valleys of the Upper Ross Valley. Within easy reach of numerous State and National recreation areas, Fairfax offers the best of both work and play and is ideally suited to an easy, friendly lifestyle.

The train lets passengers off at the downtown station.




 Link to Fairfax Railroad under the features pages