Recently, I’ve been spending time spotlighting nearby cities where Mr. Roofing loves to work. Today, I’m at it again. This time, it’s beautiful Belmont, California.
Located just three miles away from San Francisco, Belmont is a beautiful community that came before the incorporation of San Mateo County. Belmont means “beautiful mountain,” and it really is exactly that.
For years, this city remained small but busy. And I have two quick stories about why that is…
The Soda Works and the Country Club
In 1876, a German immigrant named Carl Augustus Janke founded The Belmont Soda Works, which manufactured one thousand bottles of sarsaparilla and other drinks per month.
Together with his two sons, Carl also formed the Belmont Park outside the grounds of the soda works. It became a rather popular beer garden, and it also might be considered the first California amusement park. This park, along with its carousel rides, restaurants, ice cream parlors, and bars, drew rowdy crowds from San Francisco all the way to San Jose. The rambunctious crowds are what eventually shut the park down. Today it’s known as Twin Pines Park.
If you are looking for a country club that rivals that of Burlingame, you won’t find one in Belmont—but not for lack of trying. In 1925, Monroe, Miller and Lyon, developers from Los Angeles, put their marketing skills to work for their Belmont Country Club, offering free rides from San Francisco, refreshments, and free beer. Club memberships cost $100 per year.
In 1926, hundreds of Belmont lots had been sold, but major plumbing and utility problems led to financial issues. Liens were placed on many of the properties. By the time the stock market crashed in 1929, the developers were bankrupt and the neighborhoods were left to develop organically over the years, as the architecture in this neighborhood does not really conform to the more planned communities nearby.
Wish You Were Here!
Today, Belmont is a gorgeous, private, and quick escape from San Francisco. I always enjoy going to work on homes and commercial buildings in Belmont.
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