Journey to Work

Pioneering Patterns of Growth

Transportation shaped the development of the Peninsula. Early development started around the stage stops of the stage lines and the large estates of the railroad commuters. In the 1900s, suburban growth occurred near streetcar stops and along new roads built for automobiles. Local transportation made San Mateo County into one of the premier suburban areas of the West coast.

Touching History

History comes alive through hands-on activities.

  • Ride in the stagecoach.
  • Weigh gold for the journey.
  • Send a telegram.
  • "Drive" the streetcar.
San Mateo County "Firsts"

1863: The San Francisco & San Jose Railroad was the first commuter railroad West of the Mississippi.
1902: California’s first automobile gathering traveled from San Francisco to San Mateo’s Crystal Springs Dam.
1912: First paved section of the California State Highway system built near San Bruno.


Thanks to the generosity of the Christensen Family Foundation, renovations were made in Journey to Work in 2012 including new graphic panels, additional artifacts on exhibit and improved interactives.