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Redwood City Information

Community Information for Redwood City

Redwood City has a rich history; in the early years it was inhabited by the Ohlone people, later became a port city and now is an administrative center for San Mateo County.  The city shares borders with San Carlos, Atherton, and Woodside, stretching from the mountains to the bay.   The neighborhood of Redwood Shores is also part of Redwood City, despite the two cities having no direct contact.  Redwood City is one of the bay area’s largest cities, with a population of 76,815 in 2010. To this day Redwood City is home to the only deep water port in the San Francisco Bay south of San Francisco, which is still in use today. With the motto “Climate Best by Government Test” it’s no surprise people flock to the city during the summer months for outdoor music, movies, festivals and parades.  


Redwood City was first populated by the Ohlone tribe.  In 1776, Spanish soldiers and priest began venturing into the area setting up ranches and missions. Unfortunately, the Ohlone tribe had no immunity to the European diseases and within fifty years of their first European interaction, the tribe was nearly extinguished.  In the following years, Don Jose Dario Arguello was granted 69,000 acres by the Spanish government. This land encompassed what is currently Belmont, San Carlos, Woodside, Redwood City, and Menlo Park as well as the Redwood City wharf and rivers. The Redwood City water ways were eventually used for shipping lumber to San Francisco, creating a much more efficient transportation for the logs rather than over land. After the Mexican- American war the United States forced all owners to defend the titles to their lands before the United States Land Commission.   The owner of the acres hired attorney Simon Mezes, who eventually was able to successfully establish clear title for the Arguellos . 

Mezes eventually helped to sell off the land in pieces to the many logging industry squatters who began living and running businesses on the land. Mezes started a new town which he named “Mezesville”,  even though the residence continued to call it Redwood City.  In 1856 the town of Redwood City was well established and San Mateo County was created. In the following years the wharf business became very busy with the shipping and receiving of lumber, hay and wheat.   Wharf industries and support business began springing up in the current downtown.   Due to its large business base, Redwood City was selected to become the County Seat for San Mateo County. After the arrival of the railroad in 1863, the area saw dramatic changes.   Land value rose as wealthy San Franciscan commuters began coming south to build larger homes. In 1868 Redwood City became the first incorporated city in San Mateo County. Towards the end of the 19th century, the lumber business had moved and other businesses began taking its place.  In 2006 the city revitalized its downtown by adding a movie theatre, shopping, restaurants and made major improvements on the historical courthouse located at the center of the newly added courtyard. Today, it is home to a few major technology companies, like Oracle and Electronic Arts.  

Distinctive Properties  |   648 Santa Cruz Avenue, Menlo Park, CA 94025  |   650.328.8881  |   BRE #: 01023392  |

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