La Peninsula

In 1941, Dr. Frank Stanger started La Peninsula as a way to preserve the colorful stories of the county’s past. A scholarly journal, La Peninsula is produced twice a year and sent to all the members of the San Mateo County Historical Association.

Current Issue

Front cover of La Peninsula showing four men on horseback playing polo

Summer 2021
Historical Association President Mitch Postel explores the history of polo on the Peninsula.

Recent Issues

Summer 2020

Historical Association President Mitch Postel explores the local impact of the Influenza Epidemic of 1918-1919, highlighting the work done by local Red Cross women in caring for flu patients.

While the most recent issues of La Peninsula are not usually offered online, the San Mateo County Historical Association is making this issue on the Influenza Epidemic of 1918-1919 available now due to the current COVID-19 Epidemic.

Several issues are offered free online.

Winter 2019-2020:The featured article is excerpted from San Mateo County’s Ohlone-Portolá Heritage Trail Committee’s “Statement of Historic Significance” authored by Jonathan Cordero, Samuel Herzberg and Mitchell Postel (2018).

Summer 2019: The Founder and Chairperson of the Association of Ramaytush Ohlone, Dr. Jonathan Cordero writes about the Aramai who lived in the San Pedro Valley and surrounding area.

Winter 2018-2019There are two articles in this issue.  The Airports of San Mateo County: Early Days and Growing Pains looks at the “Battle of the Airports” in 1946.  Lathrop House was also a Home explores the history of the 1863 Redwood City house on the National Register of Historic Places.

Spring 2018Water for San Francisco highlights the importance of the County’s water system.  The first article explores San Mateo County and San Francisco’s Search for Water.  The second article is on William Bowers Bourn II: President of the Spring Valley Water Company and Builder of Filoli.  The issue concludes with images showing the building of the Crystal Springs Dam in the late 1880s.​

Fall-Winter 2018World War I: Two Soldiers Write Home includes letters home written by Iler Owen Watson who trained at Menlo Park’s Camp Fremont and sketches sent home by Burlingame soldier Alvin Page Colby.

Spring 2017: Peninsula at War! San Mateo County’s World War II Legacy, Part II is the second issue commemorating San Mateo County’s experiences during World War II. The articles explore the Japanese American experience during the war and war-time industries in the County.

Fall 2016: Peninsula at War! San Mateo County’s World War II Legacy, Part I is the first issue commemorating San Mateo County’s experiences during World War II. The articles explore the defense installations such as the radio station at Sweeney Ridge, training facilities such as the Merchant Marine Cadet Basic Training School and home front activities from Victory Gardens to USOs.

Spring 2016: Between 1910 and 1970, about six million African Americans left the South and created new homes and communities in the North, Midwest and West. Using the stories of local families, The African American Great Migration and San Mateo County explores the themes of Leaving the South, Challenges on Arrival, and Activism and Resilence.

Summer 2015: The four articles in this issue explore the history of Chinese Americans in San Mateo County. The Chinese in San Mateo County: An Introduction gives an overview. Shrimp Camps of San Mateo County details an important story of early Chinese labor. Ah Sam highlights the story of a successful Chinese American family business. The Cases of Sing Sheng and Robert U.M. Ting explores two local cases of discrimination that had national importance.

Winter 2014-2015: Is it Time for a Portolá Trail Designation in San Mateo County? explores the importance of the route followed by Spanish explorer Gaspar de Portolá in 1769. Development of Foster City: A Photo Essay features photographs donated to the Association by T. Jack Foster, Jr.

Summer 2014: This issue commemorates the centennial of San Bruno. Articles include San Bruno before the Gold Rush, From Gold Rush to Great War, Walking Tour of Historic Downtown, The Beginnings of the Airport, San Bruno Military History and The Posy Parade: A Unique Tradition.

Winter 2014: The three articles in this issue explore the agricultural development in the county up to 1942, current trends in agriculture and a history of Rod McLellan and his Acres of Orchids.

Spring 2013: San Mateo County’s Love Affair with the Automobile explores the development of early roads, including the first paved section of the California Highway System, and the “need for speed.” San Pedro Point, Devil’s Slide and the Transportation History of the San Mateo County Coastside discusses early roads, the Ocean Railroad and Highway One.

Summer 2012: During the Cold War, the weaponry on Sweeney and Milagra Ridges featured a Nike guided missile system as defense against aerial attack. This issue of La Peninsula explores the Nike Missle Areas on the ridges designated SF 51.

Winter 2011: There are three articles in this issue. The Most Corrupt County: The Era of Prohibition and Gambling explores San Mateo County in the 1920s and 1930s. Bay Meadows Remembered is a photo essay looking at the race track Bill Kyne opened in 1934. Daly City-Colma: Leaves of History is in honor of Daly City’s Centennial.

Summer 2011: Mexican Americans in San Mateo County. Francisco Guerrero y Palomares and his Neighbors on the San Mateo County Coast looks at Mexican land grants on the Coastside. Aguililla-Redwood City Connection explores the relationship between the two towns.

Summer 2010: The 1910 Courthouse Centennial. A Box of Old Documents looks at the building of the courthouse. If These Walls Could Talk features memories of the courthouse submitted by residents.

Spring 2010: There are thee articles in this issue. Hillsborough, California: One Hundred Years of Gracious Living and Hillsborough: One Hundred Years of Grand Architecture are in honor of the town’s centennial. San Mateo County Historical Association 1935-2010 celebrates the organization’s 75th anniversary.

Fall 2009: This issue features memories of the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake in San Mateo County submitted by residents.

Spring 2009: Portuguese Americans in San Mateo County. Portuguese Immigration to San Mateo County is an overview of the immigrant experience. The Holy Ghost Festas in the County of San Mateo explores the festival Portuguese immigrants from the Azores brought to California. Memories of Pa details the experience of one immigrant family.

Winter 2008: The San Mateo County Coast. Maverick’s explores the history of the big-wave surf spot off Pillar Point. The Storied Waters of Pigeon Points discusses shipwrecks.

Summer 2008: Filipino Americans in San Mateo County. ‘Invisible Minority’ No More: Filipino Americans in San Mateo County is an overview of the immigrant experience. San Mateo County Filipino Pioneer explores one immigrant’s experience.