San Mateo is a city in San Mateo County, California, approximately 20 miles south of San Francisco, and 31 miles northwest of San Jose. San Mateo had an estimated 2018 population of 105,025. It has a relatively hot climate and is known for its rich history. San Mateo is where I grew up and to this day love San Mateo.
Documented by Spanish colonists as part of the Rancho de las Pulgas (literally "Ranch of the Fleas") and the Rancho San Mateo, the earliest history is held in the archives of Mission Dolores. In 1789 the Spanish missionaries had named a Native American village along Laurel Creek as Los Laureles or the Laurels (Mission Dolores, 1789).
At the time of Mexican Independence, there were 30 native Californians at San Mateo, most likely from the Ssalson tribelet.
Captain Fredrick W. Beechey in 1827 traveling with the hills on their right, known in that part as the Sierra del Sur, began to approach the road, which passes over a small eminence, opened out upon "a wide country of meadowland, with clusters of fine oak free from underwood It strongly resembled a nobleman's park: herds of cattle and horses were grazing upon the rich pasture, and numerous fallow‑deer, startled at the approach of strangers, bounded off to seek protection among the hills.
This spot is named San Matheo and belongs to the mission of San Francisco. An 1835 sketch map of the Rancho refers to the creek as Arroyo de Los Laureles. In the 21st century, most of the laurels are gone, having been removed for development.
In 1810 Coyote Point was an early recorded feature of San Mateo. Beginning in the 1850s, some wealthy San Franciscans began building summer or permanent homes in the milder mid-peninsula. While most of this early settlement occurred in adjacent Hillsborough and Burlingame, a number of historically important mansions and buildings were constructed in San Mateo.
A.P. Giannini, the founder of the Bank of Italy (which later became the Bank of America), lived there most of his life. His mansion, Seven Oaks, is listed in the National Register of Historic Places Located at 20 El Cerrito Avenue, it has been deteriorating as it has not been preserved or occupied for years.
In 1858 Sun Water Station, a stage station of the Butterfield Overland Mail route was established in San Mateo. It was located 9 miles south of Clarks Station in what is now San Bruno and 9 miles north of the next station at Redwood City.
The Howard Estate was built in 1859 on the hill accessed by Crystal Springs Road. The Parrott Estate was erected in 1860 in the same area, giving rise to two conflicting names for the hill, Howard Hill and Parrot Hill. After the use of the automobile changed traffic patterns, neither historic name was commonly applied to that hill (Brown, 1975). The Borel Estate was developed near Borel Creek in 1874. It has been redeveloped since the late 20th century for use as modern offices and shops. The property is managed and owned by Borel Place Associates and the Borel Estate Company.
Hayward Park, the 1880 American Queen Anne-style residence of Alvinza Hayward (often said to be "California's first millionaire" from his silver and banking fortunes), was built on an 800-acre (3.2 km2) estate in San Mateo which included a deer park and racetrack, roughly bounded by present-day El Camino Real (on the west), 9th Avenue (on the north), B Street (on the east) and 16th Avenue (on the south).
A smaller portion of the property and the mansion was converted into The Peninsula Hotel in 1908, following Hayward's death in 1904. The Hotel burned down in a spectacular fire on 25 June 1920.
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