San Mateo County is a good place to live. Bay and ocean-girt and mountain-crowned, it is a little wonderland of a thousand unique and distinctive charms.
Better than just being a good place to live, it is an easy place to reach from the big city adjacent. A half to a full hour at the most brings the tired business man to his home. It brings him also into Southern California, as far as climate goes. This is pleasant for him -but far more so for his wife and growing children. A flower garden in a flower country is hers to do with what she will.
A place still replete with memories of the past, when the land was once part of the kingdom of Spain-yet a community of up to date little cities, perfect roads and every modern convenience.
But San Mateo County is not a place to live only, there is work to be done here, as well as in the larger cities of the state. In different parts of the county there are thriving industrial communities, employing a large number of workmen: and there are fertile and prosperous farming communities.
San Mateo County is a place to be out of doors most all the time; a place to play and forget every care; a place to take long walks, to hunt and fish ; a place to get better acquainted with the inner man and wax strong in the body for those who have come to San Mateo County have done all these things.
San Mateo County is a place of pleasing harmonies, of blue lakes and blue skies, mountains and meadows, forests and streams all within the circling embrace of placid bay and Pacific Ocean. The trees too weave their charm-the oaks of San. Mateo and Redwood City, the laurel and the manzanita of the hills, and the lofty eucalypti planted by the thoughtful hand of man.
San Mateo County is like two counties rolled into one, a county from the ocean shore, and one from the interior, with a lofty mountain chain between. If one prefers an ocean view with its ever twisting fringe of restless breakers extending far to north and south, and the roar of the sea in his ears, then let him settle upon the sea side of the county: but if the bay view, with protection from the ocean winds by the closely circling mountains, possesses greater charm, then let him choose the eastern half of the county.
San Mateo County, because of its unusual topography, balmy climate, scenic beauties and unique situation. adjacent to San Francisco, lends itself to a comparatively accurate forecast of future development extending over a period of twenty-five or even fifty years.
The natural outlet of San Francisco is down the peninsula rather than across the bay; for San Mateo County is in the direct path of San Francisco’s certain growth. The city’s residential sections have already expanded from the ferry to the ocean. Approximately all the large empty spaces, such as sunset and Richmond Districts have been filled up. Transportation facilities to the most desirable portions of the county are causing new homeseekers in increasing numbers to search for homesites. At the rate at which transportation is being improved, it will be but a fed’ years before the main carrier has further increased its trackage, and no great time-perhaps a decade or more before several other lines have been developed. The inevitable result will follow: better transportation will directly cause greatly increased population.
Within a radius of one hundred miles there is a population of more than a million people, including the residents of San Francisco, the bay region, San Jose City, and Santa Clara and Santa Cruz Counties. This is about one half the population of the entire state, consisting of thousands upon thousands who need but to be shown the manifold attractions and advantages of this county.
The bayside cities of the county, located along the parallel lines of the Southern Pacific Railroad, the United Railroads and the State Highway, will in the near future coalesce into one thriving and beautiful community of homes each with its active little business section. Even now they are expanding toward one another, and in the case of San Mateo, Burlingame, Easton and Hillsborough, have already coalesced.
In the near future all these cities will stretch in a continuous line through the center of the peninsula and wind in graceful curves along the base of the protecting San Morena Mountains.
Although they will appear as one large city, with one common purpose, they will be administered by separate district governments, as are the boroughs of New York.
The foothill districts, sloping upward from the bay, will become one entire exclusive residential section. Further back, nearer the summits of the San Morenas will be found the regal country estates of the wealthy, intermixed with costly country clubs and beautiful resorts.
The entire bayshore of San Mateo County has an especially brilliant future. This section includes a considerable portion of the entire shore frontage of San Francisco Bay, and offers commercial opportunities that equal, and in many cases surpass those of the other vantage points upon San Francisco, Marin, Contra Costa and Alameda County shores.
Hubert Howe Bancroft, historian and economist, in his pamphlet, “Why a World Center of Industry at San Francisco Bay,” sums up the situation of the entire bay frontage from a commercial standpoint, and his deductions in the following passage, although applying to the entire bay, are equally true for South San Francisco, San Bruno, Redwood City, and other points along the San Mateo Bayshore that will in time also become important industrial centers.
“Here then, upon the shore surrounding San Francisco Bay is the natural and logical place for a world center of industry, where the problems of the future may be wrought out, until the sun of progress turns backward in its course or wakens to new life the dead nations of the ancient East
“We find ourselves standing on the border of a great ocean whose waters equal all the other waters of the earth combined, and cover one fourth of the earth’s surface, while the Canal cut through the continent into this ocean makes commercially all the waters of the earth one sea. And in this coming together of West and East, with only the waters between, there will be many undreamed of developments, each as magical as any which have yet appeared upon this earth.
“We have but to open our Golden Gate to show a spot singularly suitable not only for a world center of industry but for a world commercial clearing house. At present New York harbor is the greatest of seaports, as the Atlantic is commercially the greatest of oceans, but as the far greater natural wealth of the far greater ocean is utilized, the first port of the Pacific should attain an eminence surpassing all others.
“Here is this matchless bay, which with its tidal rivers tributary, offers dockage space practically unlimited, over five hundred miles of water frontage being already available for pier construction, which may be further increased by dredging sloughs and reclaiming tule lands.”
Thus in accordance with the great historian’s prophecy, the low lying bayshore will be occupied by factory sites, each with its accompanying homesite colony of industrial workers. In many places the shore-particularly at South San Francisco, San Bruno, San Mateo, Belmont, San Carlos, Redwood City, and Ravenswood will be honeycombed with wharf-lined channels and turning basins filled with seagoing vessels and pulsating with commercial activity.
Great progress has already been made along these lines at South San Francisco, San Bruno and Redwood City.
The amusement business is another line of development along which the county bids fair to progress in the near future. This is especially true in the case of Coyote Point, which because of its comparative closeness to San Francisco, both by train and boat, should sometime equal the record of New York’s famous Coney Island.
The coast side will also grow into a great suburban community through the coalescence of its various coast cities and resorts. Improved transportation will hasten this result.
With its setting of ocean and cliff, and possibilities as a residence community, with pleasure resorts for San Franciscans, its future is equally as brilliant as that of the bayside communities. It is not hard to picture a new Riviera which will rival that of Europe, with its imposing villas set close to the shore in a frame of clean, white sand, while further back, nestling at the base of the abrupt ascents to the San Morenas will be found the imposing mansions of the rich. Prosperous ocean towns with their long slender piers running far out to sea and crowded with pleasure seekers is merely another glimpse of what the future has in store for this promising section.
From the foregoing outline of future possibilities, it will be seen that San Mateo County will come into its own with a probable population of one hundred thousand before the end of the next ten years.