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Bolinas



The name of the town first appeared in an 1834 document outlining the boundaries of the pueblo of San Rafael. “The valley they call the Baulenes” and simply “Baulenes” were used, both likely rooted in the Coast Miwok native word “Wauli-n.” Another moniker popped up after that in 1845 when a land grant was named “Rancho Baulines,” but the name-calling didn’t stop there. Spellings like “Baulinas,” “Bolanos” and “Bolemus” also appeared. It’s thought all these names are derived from the Spanish word for whales, “ballenas,” though some argue that the more nautical “bowlines” was the original source. Either way, the name Bolinas became official in 1863 when postmaster Henry Cluver listed it as such. He probably wrote what he thought he heard.

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