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Archived News Release from 2007

For Immediate Release

City Celebrates Release of Extraordinary New Book -
Redwood City: A Hometown History

Redwood City, CA - October 31st, 2007– Redwood City proudly announces the release of a new book detailing the deeply varied, intriguing, sometimes tragic, sometimes humorous, and always fascinating history of our community, entitled “Redwood City: A Hometown History.

The 520-page book was made possible by the Archives Committee of the Redwood City Public Library and the staff of the Redwood City Public Library. In true community-building fashion this book features the varied perspectives and contributions of 18 different local authors. It is lavishly illustrated with an incredible array of photos from the Library’s Local History collection - many never-before published!

This, the first comprehensive and now quintessential history book about Redwood City, is available at the Redwood City Library and local bookstores, and on Local proceeds from sales of the book benefit the Redwood City Public Library and its Historical Archives.

The book features captivating descriptions and insights into the vibrant and character-filled history of our community. From saloons and breweries to visitors both famous and infamous; from the Union Cemetery to the earliest version of Sequoia High School; from the early lumber and tannery industries to the birth and development of high-tech; and from our “Climate Best” motto to the Port, the County Seat, and the diversity of our community of both yesterday, and today.

Here are a few choice selections:

  • Redwood City ’s original land area was part of Rancho de las Pulgas, owned by the well-landed Arguello family, and the City originally had five names (including Mezesville) before settling on its current name.
  • Japanese immigrants made a remarkable contribution to our local agricultural industry, and not even World War II could erode the working respect between nationalities in Redwood City. In fact, a local Caucasian banker managed the businesses and homesteads on behalf of many Japanese-Americans forced into internment camps at that time.
  • The deep-water channel that now affords our Port was discovered in 1851 and was used to ship wood and logs from the redwood forests in the peninsula hills to San Francisco.
  • The Redwood City men of the 19 th Century were engaged in some of the most physically challenging occupations of the era: felling trees and milling lumber, tanning cattle hides, and handling boat cargo.
  • Living conditions for early Redwood City’s hardworking population ranged from primitive camps in the woods to the rooming houses and small “hotels” close to the port. This mostly male atmosphere offered little resembling a “domestic life” and their social life took place in the saloons which were a prominent part of downtown Redwood City.
  • Among the famous dignitaries visiting early Redwood City were presidents Cleveland, Garfield, and Hoover.
  • The storied and infamous Wyatt Earp also visited Redwood City and its rough-hewn western atmosphere.
  • A number of historic buildings still stand in Redwood City, of which the community is rightly proud.

Redwood City’s history is now fully contained in this extraordinary book, a must-read for the entire community.

Visit Redwood City’s award-winning website at for information about the City and its services, the community, recreation programs, education, and local business. Take a look at the variety of City webcams at, and subscribe to Redwood City’s email newsletter or other documents by visiting



Gene Suarez
Redwood City Public Library


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