Pre-1800 - Home of Ohlone Indians

1776 - Spanish Colonel Juan Bautista de Anza exploration started the Spanish arrival

1822 –Arguello family land grant re-affirmed by Mexican government after independence from Spain

1840’s- Influx of Americans migrated westward, occupying Arguello’s land

1848 - California Gold Rush – Redwood City became an industrial town (logging, tanning, shipping)

1853- Mezesville Period – Lawyer Mezes established Arguello’s clear land title and was paid in property including what is now downtown Redwood City.

1854- Town of Mezesville survey completed, which included most of downtown Redwood City; Simon Mezes donated two blocks to Redwood City for plazas (one of the blocks became known as “Mezes Plaza”, and later became “Mezes Park”). The other, later known as California Square, is now occupied by part of the San Mateo County Government Center complex

1856 - Consolidation Act – Created City and County of San Francisco and created San Mateo County. Redwood City selected to be County seat because of large business base, after much competition.

1856 – Mezes donated two blocks for public use, California Square Park (now San Mateo County Hall of Justice) and Mezes Park.

1861 – Volunteer firefighter program launched

1862 – First firehouse built on Main Street

1863 – Railroad arrived though Redwood City, leading to the first commuters

1865 – First Redwood City library opened downtown, sharing a building with the San Mateo County Times-Gazette newspaper downtown

1867 – City of Redwood City files for incorporation

1869 - First China Camp in San Mateo County established in Redwood City for Chinese shrimp fishermen

1874- Frank’s Tannery opened (operated on Redwood Creek until 1959).

Late 1870s- Morgan Oyster Company imported live Eastern oysters to Bay water off Redwood Peninsula

1880 – Census determined population at 1,382

1887 – Redwood City held first Independence Day Parade

1889 – Redwood City’s first official City Librarian James Van Court appointed

1889 – City established first official fire department

1891 - President Benjamin Harrison visited by train.

1895 – Sequoia High School established as a feeder school for Stanford University

1896 – Alhambra Theater opened

1900 – RWC Ordinance 30 established free public municipal library service supported by $628/year in special taxes

1904 – City received $10,000 grant from Andrew Carnegie to build the new Downtown Library

1905-- New Downtown Library opened

1906 – Earthquake shocked Bay Area and led to development west of El Camino Real as people fled the city and were encouraged to locate in Redwood City; Received another $6,000 grant from Andrew Carnegie to rebuild destroyed the Downtown Library after the earthquake.

1907 – Rebuilt Downtown Library opened

1907- Japanese immigrant brothers Eikichi and Sadakusi Enomoto became among first recorded growers of Chrysanthemums

1908 - City Council adopted ordinance regulating the liquor trade

1909 – Women’s Club established

1910 – Courthouse rebuilt and rededicated (after earthquake)

1911 - Women got the right to vote, and were appointed to civic bodies like Parks Commission and Board of Health

1912 – First City Hall opened

1913   Raker Act established (led to protected Hetch Hetchy water system)

1915 – City appointed first Fire Chief and orders first motorized fire engine

1916 - Lynch Field (Redwood City's airport) founded by Silas Christofferson. Amelia Earhart and Eddie Rickenbacher both touched down there.

1918 - Prohibition Era- Redwood City Trustees passed the ordinance to close all saloons in Redwood City.

1920 – Firehouse on Middlefield Road built

1921 – Wave of Spanish and Portuguese immigrants settled in Redwood City.

1923 – Sequoia High School’s main school building and historic Argo Bell tower built

1924 - Pacific Portland Cement erected its first plant in Redwood City Port; Building boom in Redwood City prompted Town Trustees to establish a Planning Commission

1926 – Redwood City earned “Climate Best By Government Test” designation

1926- Chamber of Commerce proclaimed Redwood City the Chrysanthemum Center of the World

1928 - Leslie Salt Company moved operations to Redwood City for salt brine evaporation areas

1928 - Veterans Building was moved into Mezes Plaza block

1929 - The Sequoia Theater opened (renamed Fox Theatre in 1950s)

1930- Booming agricultural floral period with Japanese flower growers and greenhouses; San Francisco purchased Mills Field for SFO and shortly thereafter aviation died in Redwood City

1934 - Hawes Park was developed 

1935 - Lights were added to Hawes Park, making it the first lit athletic field in Redwood City (for softball)

1936 - Voters approved amendment to City charter to establish a Port Department.

1937 - Alfred “Red” Morton became first City Recreation Director in July

1938 – City passed a bond to build a new downtown library building at Jefferson & Middlefield (current City Hall site)

1939 - Dedicated a new City Hall and downtown library (paid for with funds from Public Works Administration); City’s Park and Recreation Commission established; Cooperated with Sequoia High School to use its gym and pool for activities, creating the first such program in California; Fleishman Park was developed and named in honor of the first Redwood City police officer killed in the line of duty

12-7-1941 – Pearl Harbor

12-15-1941 Redwood City Council passed a resolution urging tolerance toward American-born citizens of Japanese, German and Italian ancestry.

1942 - Postwar plans included the development of a 30 acre park – which is now Red Morton Park (then called Community Park)

1944 - City passed $988,000 bond measure for postwar construction and included plans for “better streets and sewers, a branch library and parks and recreation improvements”

1948 - New Recreation Center (old Red Morton Community Center) completed. Dedicated on June 13.

1946 - Stafford Park was developed

1951 - Stulsaft Park was developed

1956 - Veterans Memorial Senior Center built

1956 - San Francisco 49ers made Community Park their home practice facility

1958 - Palm Park dedicated

1959 - Redwood Shores annexed to Redwood City after being rejected by Belmont and San Carlos; Schaberg Library opened, funded by a bequest in the will of Hannah Schaberg, widow of former County Clerk Herman W. Schaberg

1961 – Fire Department Centennial celebrated

1963 - Dove Beeger Park dedicated

1964 –City Council approves creation of General Improvement District to fund capital improvement projects in Redwood Shores, including development of land, lagoons, beaches, streets, and water systems.

1965 - Newly expanded 49er building named the Morabito Memorial Field House

1966 - Spinas Park dedicated

1967 - City’s Recreation Department celebrated its 13th anniversary by opening the Community Activities Building; old Recreation Center was renamed in Red Morton’s honor; Hoover Pool built

1968 – Marine World opened, built same time as first phase of Redwood Peninsula development

1970 - Marlin Park opened; Peninsula Library System cooperative was formed under the leadership of Redwood City Library Director Karl Vollmayer

1973 – Lathrop House placed on National Register of Historic Places

1974 – Fair Oaks Community Center opened (Fair Oaks Library opened inside); Redwood City Public Library gained access to Dialog, an online database of academic journal articles

1976 - First female officer hired at Redwood City Police Department; Redwood City renamed a downtown plaza, Arguello Plaza, in honor of Arguello family.

1977 – Commercial district consisting of the Diller-Chamberlain Store, Bank of San Mateo County, Fitzpatrick Building and the San Mateo County Building and Loan Association placed on National Register of Historic Places; San Mateo County Courthouse (now San Mateo County History Museum) placed on National Register of Historic Places

1978 - Dolphin and Mariner Parks were completed

1981 - Garrett Park dedicated

1982 - Hoover Park built from agreement with School District

1982 – Citizens’ referendum defeated South Shores Project to build on westerly portion of Bair Island

1983 – Union Cemetery placed on National Register of Historic Places

1984 - $8.4 million bond passed to remodel Fire Station No. 1 into the new Redwood City Downtown Library

1986 – Marine World / Africa USA moved to Vallejo. Property later developed in 1989 as Oracle moved in

1987 – Project READ literacy program launched; Marshall Street Firehouse opened

1988 – New Redwood City Downtown Library opened

1988 – Redwood Shores had 2,400 housing units and population of more than 7,000

1992 – Redwood City Public Library awarded Library Journal’s “Library of the Year” award

1992 – Sequoia Station opened

1994 – Fox Theatre placed on National Register of Historic Places

1995 - Sequoia High School placed on National Register of Historic Places; Fair Oaks Library moved to its current location in the County Human Services Agency building

1997 – New City Hall building opened in current location

1997 – Remaining portion of Bair Island land sold to Peninsula Open Space Trust. Entire property between Steinberger Slough and Redwood Creek became protected wildlife habitat

1997 – Sandpiper Elementary School and Community Center opened in Redwood Shores

1998 – Opened Fire Station #20 in Redwood Shores

1999 - San Mateo County History Museum opened in old Courthouse

2000- Census determined Redwood City’s population at 75,402 people  

2002 – 2003 – Community-building activities first offered by City Manager’s Department including PACT – Partnership Academy for Community Teamwork

2003 – Red Morton Skate Park dedicated (created with active community participation)

2005 – Junior Fire Academy program started

2006 – Downtown cinema opened as part of the Cinema Project

2006- Courthouse Square and façade restoration completed

2007 – Redwood City’s Downtown Precise Plan launched, winning national acclaim

2007 – Park and Recreation moves “Downtown Live” concert series from City Plaza to Courthouse Square; Summer in the City brought movies, concerts and events to downtown, launching the Square

2008 – Redwood Shores Branch Library opened

2010 –Women’s Club Centennial Preserve Park opened

2011 – Redwood City’s Downtown Precise Plan updated with community input

2012 – Redwood City General Plan receives Outstanding Achievement Award from American Planning Association

2013 – Mezes Park renovated

2015 - Main Street Dog Agility Park opened; John Offermann House and John Dielmann House placed on the National Register of Historic Places