History of Burlingame
Once part of a spanish land grant given by Governor Pio Pico to repay a debt to his friend, Cayetano Arenas, and then the location of a San Francisco banker’s vision of a “sacrosanct colony,” Burlingame later became the site of the first country club in California — this is the distinct heritage of Burlingame.
During the 1860s, William C. Ralston, a prominent banker, and partner in the development of the Comstock Lode, purchased vast acreage on the Peninsula for a grand estate. He appreciated the Peninsula’s warm, tranquil setting of oak-clad, rolling hills nestled between San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Coastal Range.
One of the first of many famous guests to his estate was the Honorable Anson Burlingame, who had recently been appointed by President Lincoln as United States Minister to China. Ralston showed his guest the portion of his estate set aside for the summer homes of his wealthy friends. So impressed was Burlingame with the locale that he chose a villa site of approximately 1,043 acres for himself, to be used after his retirement from the China mission.
The attractive name “Burlingame” was now on the property maps and in the news because of the “Burlingame Treaty” with China.
The Burlingame Country Club was founded in 1893 and a year later the Burlingame Post Office opened, making the name official.
As more and more people came to the area and recognized its gentle charms, they chose to stay and soon Burlingame was a flourishing village. Following the 1906 San Francisco earthquake people continued to settle in Burlingame and by 1908 it became incorporated as a municipal corporation of the sixth class, “The Town of Burlingame,” later reclassified the City of Burlingame.
To learn more about the history of Burlingame, write to the Burlingame Historical Society, P.O. Box 144, Burlingame, CA 94011