A British acquaintance once quipped that she loved teaching California history because there are only two dates to remember: 1849 and 1906. (The first is the year the Gold Rush began and the second is the year of the Great Earthquake.) These dates are also the critical ones for local history. Burlingame-Hillsborough’s founding families created their wealth during the 1849 Gold Rush; 1906 marks the point when the local area ceased to be a rural playground for the wealthy and instead became the suburban home for workers commuting to San Francisco by train. This exhibit focuses on the period between those two dates.
The idea of a web exhibit came from W.D.M. and Agnes Howard’s great-great-granddaughter, Jeannie Howard Siegman, whom I met at one of the Town of Hillsborough’s centennial events in 2010. Over the next two years, Jeannie graciously began to share her collection of Howard family photos and artifacts with the Burlingame Historical Society. We decided that her collection was so rich it should be shared with a wider audience and we have designed this web exhibit with that goal in mind. We hope that it also encourages family members of other Burlingame-Hillsborough families to share their stories, photographs and family heirlooms with the Burlingame Historical Society as well.
Exploring the past often raises as many questions as it answers. Sometimes accounts conflict, and I have noted those discrepancies where they have arisen. History, and our interpretation of it, is always evolving. If any readers have additional information or corrections to the material presented herein, we would love to hear from you. You may contact us by writing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Burlingame Historical Society