Today we are exploring another great city: Hillsborough, California. Part of the Peninsula, this city was established in 1910 and is now home to about ten thousand residents in just six square miles.
Hillsborough’s history is a pretty fascinating story.
All in the Family
Agnes Poett Howard married William Davis Merry Howard on July 9, 1849. She had two sons with him but was widowed after only seven years. In a tragic turn, her eldest son was murdered by the nanny in a drunken rage.
Agnes married her brother-in-law a year later. Together, they had four more children, traveled the world, and established their estate, El Cerrito, which still stands today. In 1862, while traveling, the couple was presented to Emperor Napoleon III and his wife, Eugenie.
On another trip to Europe in the early 1870s, they met and hired John McLaren. He became their chief gardener. His job: recreate the European countryside on the arid peninsula. He built roads and bridges, redirected streams, and planted thousands of trees.
In fact, you can still see his handiwork today. McLaren’s elms and eucalyptus trees still line El Camino Real, a lasting tribute to a royal family right here in Hillsborough.
A No Commercial Zone
Hillsborough is not zoned for commercial businesses. In fact, there are no businesses within the city limits, except the seven schools, government facilities, a golf course, and a park. And, the minimum lot size in Hillsborough is half an acre. In California, this is very rare.
If you are having as much fun reading these local city stories as I’ve had researching them, you are going to love these blog posts!
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