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 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 metropolis.

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 Schools.

California Gazetteer | AHGP California

Source: Pacific Coast Business Directory for 1876-78, Compiled by Henry G. Langley, San Francisco, 1875

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