San Mateo County History
Source:  City Directory, Bisbane, California
Compiled and Published by the Community Baptist Church, Brisbane, California, 1940
Brisbane Beginnings . . .

    The Tract, now known as Brisbane, was opened up in 1908, under the name of Visitacion City.  Streets were laid out, some of them graded, gutters constructed, water and electricity brought in, sidewalks and sewers laid in the lower portion, and some of the streets lined with young trees.

    Although every lot is a scenic one, conditions at the time must have been unfavorable, as they did not sell, with the result that, not only the original promoters, but also two groups of their immediate successors, failed.  With but three houses established, one of them being the Hotel, the little city showed almost no progress until 1929, when things began to happen.  Progress was temporarily checked as calamity sprang from the grassy slopes of surrounding hills, wiping out everything by fire.  Houses were rebuilt, but were burned out a second time.  Notwithstanding these setbacks, homes continued to spring up on all sides.  One of the greatest of these was a house of palatial proportions and appointments, which was the home of the distinguished Arthur Brisbane.

    Because the name, "Visitacion City," was similar to that of "Visitacion Valley," a neaby district of San Francisco, a new name was desired for this now vigorous infant project.  It came about that the name, "Brisbane," was selected.  Without defininte information as to the source of this new name, is seems reasonable to suppose that the fact, the famous Author by that name had been connected with the place, influenced the choice.

    In 1930 Brisbane began to assert itself.  A licensed bus service to San Francisco was established, and free bus service for High School students was secured.  In the month of August, the Improvement Club was organized, and a school was opened up for the first time in the basement of the Mozetti home.  The Post Office was authorized in this year, and opened in the Hotel building in March, 1931.

    The Parent Teachers Association was organized on February 9, 1932, with twenty-one charter members, and Mrs. L. W. Prestedge as President.  The Fire Department had its beginning in March with a Volunteer Bucket Brigade, and two home-made trucks.  The Voter's League succeeded the Improvement Club, and the Public Library soon followed.  On April 29th, the first issue of The Brisbane Sun, a weekly (not weakly) periodical made its appearance amid great enthusiasm.  For two and a half years, and until the death of its Editor and Founder, Arthur Gledhill, it exerted no small influence in Brisbane.

    By 1933, four hundred homes were scattered over the tract;  the Boy Scouts were organized, and in June, 1934, the Fire District was authorized, and standard equipment began to be introduced.  The Brisbane Merchants Association was organized on October 8th, with George Heywood as President.

    In 1936 Dr. S. J. Guardino, Physician and Surgeon, established both his residence and his practice, becoming Brisbane's first resident physician.

    In 1937 both the Roman Catholic Church and the Community Baptist Church were founded, and the Civic League succeeded the Voter's League.

    The Brisbane City Directory, published annually by the Community Baptist Church, came out for the first time in 1938, and the same church, in 1939, established the Brisbane Church Messenger, a monthly magazine.

    The Y.M.C.A., together with the Community Baptist Church, sponsored the Pioneers, and in 1940 the same organizations organized the Friendly Indians, and the Hi Y's, all organizations for boys.

    Although not yet incorporated, today Brisbane is a modern and pleasant place in which to live and rear a family.  Being but fifteen minutes from Market Street, San Francisco, its open spaces, green hills and abundant sunshine are very attractive to city dwellers.

    The population has reached the three thousand mark, and continues to increase rapidly as is shown by both the fact that the Public School, which provides for eight grades in a beautiful modern building, now has forty per cent more pupils than a year ago, and also by the buzz of saws and the ring of hammers in our ears continuously as new homes are being built on every hand.  At this writing, four new business houses are under construction on Visitacion Avenue.

    The organized activities indicated above are keeping pace with the growth of the population, and continue to serve well.

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