San Mateo, California: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

City of San Mateo
—  City  —
San Mateo from above
Location in San Mateo County and the state of California
Coordinates: 37°33′15″N 122°18′47″W / 37.55417°N 122.31306°W / 37.55417; -122.31306Coordinates: 37°33′15″N 122°18′47″W / 37.55417°N 122.31306°W / 37.55417; -122.31306
Country United States
State California
County San Mateo
Incorporated September 4, 1894
 - Mayor Brandt Grotte
 - City Manager Susan Loftus
 - Total 16.0 sq mi (41.3 km2)
 - Land 12.2 sq mi (31.6 km2)
 - Water 3.7 sq mi (9.7 km2)  23.43%
Elevation 43 ft (13 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 92,482
 Density 7,569.5/sq mi (2,922.1/km2)
  United States Census Bureau
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
 - Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP codes 94401-94404
Area code(s) 650
FIPS code 06-68252
GNIS feature ID 1659584

San Mateo (pronounced /ˌsæn məˈteɪoʊ/) is a city in San Mateo County, California, United States, in the San Francisco Bay Area. It is one of the larger suburbs on the San Francisco Peninsula, located between Burlingame to the north, Foster City to the east, and Belmont to the south. San Mateo was incorporated in 1894.



Originally part of the Rancho de las Pulgas (literally "Ranch of the Fleas") and the Rancho San Mateo, the earliest recorded history is in the archives of Mission Dolores. It indicates in 1789 the Missionaries had named a Native American village along Laurel Creek Los Laureles or the Laurels (Mission Delores, 1789). An 1835 sketch map of the Rancho refers to the creek as arroyo de los Laureles, but by now most of the Laurels have vanished.

Coyote Point was an early recorded feature of San Mateo in 1810. Beginning in the 1850s some wealthy San Franciscans began looking for 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 trickled over into San Mateo.

A.P. Giannini, founder of the Bank of Italy (that became Bank of America), lived here most of his life. His mansion, Seven Oaks, currently in disrepair and listed in the National Register of Historic Places (No.99001181), is located at 20 El Cerrito Drive.

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 Parrott Hill. After substantial use of the automobile by about 1935, neither name was commonly applied to that hill (Brown, 1975). The Borel estate was developed near Borel Creek in 1874, with present uses being modern offices and shops; the property is still managed and owned by Borel Place Associates and the Borel Estate Company.

Scholars Cottage, at 37 E. Santa Inez Avenue, was built by Ernest Coxhead in 1875 in the Tudor Revival style. The Eugene J. De Sabla Teahouse and Tea Garden was established in 1900 at 70 De Sabla Avenue, designed by Makota hagiwara. It exists today as a garden of a later home, and it features rock art and other sculpture.

"Hayward Park," the extraordinary 1880 American Queen Anne style residence of silver and banking millionaire Alvinza Hayward (often said to be "California's first millionaire"), was built on an 800-acre (3.2 km2) estate in San Mateo. The property, which included a deer park and racetrack, was converted into a hotel after Hayward's death in 1904. It burned in a spectacular 1920 fire.


View of the San Francisco Bay from Shoreline Park

Perhaps the best-known natural area is Coyote Point Park, a rock outcropped peninsula that juts out into the San Francisco Bay. The early Spanish navigators named it la punta de San Mateo (Brown, 1975), but cargo ships carrying grain in the bay renamed it Big Coyote (BLM, 1853). In any case sailors had a penchant for naming promontories at the edge of San Francisco Bay after the coyote, since across the bay in Fremont are the Coyote Hills, part of Coyote Hills Regional Park. By the 1890s the shore area was a popular beach called San Mateo Beach, originally named by the Spanish in 1842 as playa de San Mateo. Today Coyote Point is home to the Coyote Point Museum, one of the best natural history museums and wildlife centers in California. The Peninsula Humane Society is also situated at Coyote Point.

There are a variety of natural habitats present, including mixed oak woodland, riparian zones and bayland marshes. One endangered species, the California clapper rail, was sighted feeding on mudflats by the Third Avenue bridge in San Mateo (Pfeifle, 1980). The marsh areas are also likely habitat for the endangered Salt Marsh Harvest Mouse, who enjoy the middle and high zones of salt and brackish marshes, as well as for the endangered marsh plant, Point Reyes bird's beak.

Sugarloaf Mountain, whose name traces back to at least 1870, is a prominent landform between the forks of Laurel Creek (Brown, 1975). In late 20th century, this mixed oak woodland and chaparral habitat was a site of controversy involving proposals to develop a portion of the mountain for residential use. Today it is park and open space area and home to the endangered Mission Blue Butterfly.

San Mateo is located at 37°33′15″N 122°18′47″W / 37.55417°N 122.31306°W / 37.55417; -122.31306 (37.554286, -122.313044)[1]. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 16.0 square miles (41.3 km²), of which, 12.2 square miles (31.6 km²) of it is land and 3.7 square miles (9.7 km²) of it (23.43%) is water.


San Mateo enjoys a mild Mediterranean climate, shielded from the Pacific Ocean by the Montara Mountain block of the Santa Cruz Mountains. There is a gap in the mountains, west of the College of San Mateo, where State Route 92 meets State Route 35, resul