About This Place
San Mateo ( /ˌsæn məteɪoʊ/ san mə-tay-oh; Spanish for "Saint Matthew") is a city in San Mateo County, California, United States, in the San Francisco Bay Area. With a population of approximately 100,000 (97,207 at the 2010 census), it is one of the larger suburbs on the San Francisco Peninsula, located between Burlingame to the north, Foster City to the east, Belmont to the south, and Highlands-Baywood Park and Hillsborough to the west. San Mateo was incorporated in 1864.
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.