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Millbrae, a comfortable Bay Area suburb located just next to the San Francisco International Airport, is home to some 30,000 people and hundreds of businesses. The city stretches from the marshes by the bay up to the sweeping hills by Interstate 280, near the spot where Spanish explorer Don Gaspar de Portola first surveyed the region in 1769. In the 1830s, after Mexico gained independence from Spain, the area was part of Rancho Buri Buri, granted by the Mexican government to Jose Antonio Sanchez. As the years passed, the land was subdivided and sold to various parties, including banker and town namesake Darius Ogden Mills, who built the fantastic Mills estate here in the 1870s.
About the Author
In these pages, the Millbrae Historical Society depicts a place that grew from farmlands and fields to become one of the peninsula’s most cosmopolitan and desirable residential cities. Images from both the society’s archives and private collectors illustrate the journey of this town, including its businesses, prominent citizens, police and fire departments, streetcars, government, nurseries, cattle ranches, dairies, schools, and churches. These photographs capture Millbrae as it once was and pay tribute to its unique legacy.