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Millbrae: A Tale of Two Houses

I’m starting to feel a little bit like a tour guide with these city spotlights. But, I’m having fun! I hope you are as well!

Today, let’s take a look at Millbrae, CA.

 Mr Roofing Millbrae CA

The Millbrae Estate

Last week (link to previous blog) I introduced you, very briefly, to Darius Ogden Mills, the founder of the Bank of California and a Gold Rush entrepreneur. Well, there is more to that story!

Mr. Mills built his forty-two room mansion in 1870. His estate covered part of present day Millbrae as well as Northern Burlingame. Mills came up with the name Millbrae himself by combining his own name with the Scottish name for rolling hills – Brae. Sort of poetic, right? I suspect this only works with certain last names!

Mr Roofing Mill’s Mansion

This was not just any forty-two room house. His property also included extensive and intricate gardens, a conservatory, (anyone suddenly want to play Clue?) three, man-made lakes, (because two is not enough) and of course, rolling hills filled with dairy cows.

Sadly, this palatial place burned to the ground in 1954.

But, the land was divided, sold, and is now home to all sorts of landmarks that make Millbrae home to so many. For example: Mills High School (Go Vikings!), Spring Valley Elementary School, Peninsula Hospital, and, who can forget, the Mills Estate Subdivision. Image Credit

The Green House

Finally, a happy story. This is the oldest surviving house in Millbrae.The Alfred F. Green House has been standing strong since 1865. Alfred Green along with his wife, Mary, ran dairy operations for the Millbrae Dairy in partnership with Darius Mills for more than 20 years.

Mr. Green was a busy guy. He also managed the Mill’s estate whenever Mill’s was traveling. And, Green supervised the construction of the Crystal Springs Dam in San Mateo.

Mr Roofing Green House

Image Credit

Mr. and Mrs. Green raised all five of their children in this home. Can you imagine how noisy and busy life must have been?

And, as if all this wasn’t enough, Green served on the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors for thirty years and was elected to a single term in the California State Legislature before his death in 1919.

Still Standing

So, what’s the lesson here? It is possible for a home to last more than a century! I can’t help but wonder if Mr. Roofing will be around in 2115. Who knows! But, we are around right now and I’d like to think we are here to stay – like the Green house!

If you enjoyed reading about Millbrae, Ca, be sure to check out our other city spotlight blogs!

~Mr. Roofing

San Francisco’s residential & commercial roofing experts

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