San Mateo County California
San Mateo County. Organized in 1856. Bounded
north by San Francisco, east by the bay of San Francisco and
Santa Clara, south by Santa Cruz, and west by the Pacific Ocean.
Area, 432 square miles. Assessed valuation of property for 1874,
$8,636,527. Population, 9,000.
County seat, Redwood City. Principal towns: Belmont, Half Moon
Bay, Menlo Park, Pescadero, Purissima, San Gregorio, San Mateo,
Searsville, Spanishtown and Woodside. The sources of wealth are
in agriculture, grazing and the redwood forests that fringe the
western slope of its hills. San Mateo is a narrow peninsula
lying between the bay and the ocean, and is generally hilly. The
fogs which rise from the ocean fructify the western slopes, and
grand forests or verdant hills and valleys are the consequence,
giving employment to the lumberman and a fine field for the
dairyman. The principal portion of the milk and water used in
San Francisco comes from San Mateo, the first from the dairy
farms and the latter brought by the pipes of the Spring Valley
Water Company, from the several creeks flowing to the ocean from
the high ridge that forms the peninsula.
On the eastern slope are many very pleasant little valleys,
protected from the fierce sea breezes, which are selected as
choice places of residence by those engaged in business in San
Francisco. These are rendered available by means of the Southern
Pacific Railroad, which passes through the whole length of the
county. Small quantities of gold have been obtained by washing
the soil in the southern portion of the county, but mining is
not carried on to any great extent.
On the ocean side at Half Moon Bay is a small harbor, where much
of the produce of this section is shipped to San Francisco, and
several prosperous villages cluster around the neighborhood.
Other landing places are found along the coast, which are much
resorted to by fishermen and pleasure parties. On the Bay side
are numerous little streams and inlets, which constitute snug
harbors for small craft and afford easy communication with the
At Redwood City is a particularly fine harbor, and a large
business has arisen in consequence. Elections have been held to
effect the removal of the county seat to San Mateo, but the
question remains for the courts to decide.
Officers: James W. Bicknell, County Judge;
George H. Rice, Clerk and Recorder; H. N. Nutting, District
Attorney; John C. Edgar, Sheriff and Tax Collector; John
Freeman, Auditor; John H. Offerman, Treasurer; J. J. Hill,
Assessor; S. B. Gilbert, Surveyor; I. R. Goodspeed, Coroner and
Public Administrator; C. G. Warren, Superintendent Public
California Gazetteer |
Source: Pacific Coast Business Directory for 1876-78, Compiled
by Henry G. Langley, San Francisco, 1875