The modern history of Tiburon began in 1834 when John Thomas Reed was formally granted permission by the Mexican authorities to occupy the Rancho Corte de Madera del Presidio, which was a vast area of redwood groves and grassland that included the Tiburon Peninsula, Belvedere, and major portions of Mill Valley, Corte Madera, and Larkspur.
The area which currently contains the Town of Tiburon began to grow with the establishment of a railroad line in 1884 between Tiburon Point and San Rafael with a ferry connection to San Francisco. Early growth centered around marine, commercial, and industrial development. In the 1940s, growth occurred in association with World War II and the presence of Navy and Army facilities on the Tiburon Peninsula and Angel Island. The Town of Tiburon incorporated in 1964.
The Town Council appoints a volunteer Town Historian that serves the community by coordinating the preservation of the historical record of the Tiburon Peninsula. The Town Historian works closely with the Heritage & Arts Commission.
The Landmarks Society is a non-profit history organization that aims to acquire, preserve and maintain artifacts, landmarks, and open space of local historic significance and make them available to the public. The Landmarks Society manages and maintains the Old St. Hilary's Landmark and surrounding wildflower preserve, the China Cabin, the Railroad & Ferry Depot Museum, and the Landmarks Art and Garden Center.
The Landmarks History Collections houses a vast collection of photographs, fine art, artifacts, maps, documents, oral histories, and a reference library.