Inverness is a community on the southwest shore of Tomales Bay, about 19 miles (14.5 km) southeast of Bodega Bay and 3.5 miles (5.6 km) northwest of Point Reyes Station, California. The community was named after Inverness, Scotland by a Scottish landowner. Inverness is primarily a residential community, with little industry other than tourism.
Tomales Bay is a long, narrow inlet of the Pacific Ocean, approximately 15 mi (24 km) long and averages nearly 1.0 mi (1.6 km) wide, effectively separating the Point Reyes Peninsula from the mainland of Marin County. The bay is formed along a submerged portion of the San Andreas Fault. Oyster farming is a major industry on the bay. The two largest producers are Hog Island Oyster Company and Tomales Bay Oyster Company, both of which retail oysters to the public and have picnic grounds on the eastern shore. There is also grazing land west of the bay on farms and ranches leased from Point Reyes National Seashore.
In 1857, a complex real estate litigation resulted in the Shafter family acquiring 75,000 acres (30,351 ha) of farmland at Point Reyes. They leased the land to dairy farmers who provided milk and butter to an ever-growing San Francisco population. James Shafter began to develop the property at Inverness in the 1890s. It became a summer resort where people from San Francisco and Oakland came to camp, hike, and swim in Tomales Bay. Many built small summer cabins that still exist today. Small steamboats took day trippers down the bay to secluded beaches. They left from Brock Schreiber’s boathouse, which has since been preserved and is still a prominent local landmark. Read more here and here. Explore more of Inverness here: