City Government: Evolving to Meet the Needs of Each Era

The early government dealt with what might be considered mundane issues. Some examples in the 1890s: a request for a wagon and foot bridge across the creek connecting Second and Webster streets to enable schoolchildren to get to the new school; a requirement that hucksters obtain a license costing $20, which was good for only 24 hours; and an ordinance regulating the riding of bicycles and tricycles on the streets between sunset and sunrise.

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Celebrate Redwood City’s History In May, It’s National Historic Preservation Month!

National Historic Preservation Month, an annual celebration of America’s rich architectural and cultural history, is a tradition that was first sponsored in 1971 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation — although until 2005 it was only a week-long celebration. Redwood City has taken part in the celebration for many years, and 2017 will be a special one as it also marks the 150th Anniversary of the City’s incorporation!

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Who Were Woman’s Club’s Founding Mothers?

When the Redwood City Woman’s Club’s building hit the century mark in 1911 there was frequent lauding of the venerable group’s “foremothers,” depicted as taking a daring step at a time when women were, as one club official put it, “expected to stay in their homes and concentrate exclusively on their own family.”

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Peninsula Women Made History in 1910

March is Woman’s History month, a good time to recall that women made history in San Mateo County as far back as 1910. In fact, they literally wrote it.

The July 4, 1910 edition of the Redwood City Democrat covered every aspect of the new County Courthouse that was dedicated on that date, but in hindsight that issue of the paper was important for another reason: it was the first time women produced the Democrat.

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Parade & Rodeo

Celebrating 4th of July has been a highly anticipated part of Redwood City’s civic calendar since its early days. The first local newspaper, the San Mateo County Gazette, recounts in 1861 hosting patriotic activities, such as John Diller reading the Declaration of Independence at the flagpole. It also makes modern readers feel like they were there when excited locals awaited news from the Pony Express about the war, which had recently begun.

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Redwood City Library Was One of the First in the West

In April 1865 the cornerstone for the first library in Redwood City was laid.  Located on Main Street a short distance south of Broadway (then named Bridge Street), the library shared a building with the San Mateo County Gazette newspaper.  Most libraries at this time, including Redwood City’s, were subscription based, founded by an association whose members bought stock in the enterprise and managed it for the cultural benefit of the community.  

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Redwood City and Prohibition

In 1908 the Redwood City Council adopted an ordinance regulating the liquor trade. A year later, saloons were banned within 200 feet of a school, meaning at least three of the four saloons on Broadway would have to close.  Around this time, the “family men” began forming fraternal organizations that allowed husbands to drink with their friends without rubbing elbows “with the rougher elements” that patronized saloons.

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