Living the California Dream

San Mateo County developed as one of the premier suburban areas of the West Coast. San Francisco millionaires of the 1800s became the West Coast’s first suburbanites as they established Great Estates on the Peninsula. In the early 1900s, changes in transportation and the development of towns made healthy living on the Peninsula possible for the middle-class. In the post-World War II era, large residential developments made the California dream of a suburban home a reality for many.

Object Theatre

Take a seat and watch the show. During a six-minute presentation, the lights come down in the exhibit. Spotlights highlight different objects in the exhibit and vintage films from the county are shown in the "windows." The goal? To convince you that the suburban life of your dreams can be found in San Mateo County.

Suburban Home

Late 1800s:
The mansion of the millionaire.
Early 1900s:
The bungalow of the middle-class.
Post-World War II:
The ranch house.

Left: Home of Darius Ogden Mills.