Millbrae Historical Society
In 1970, a group of dedicated Millbrae residents banded together to save the historic 16 Mile House, which took its name from the building’s distance to the City of San Francisco’s City Hall. Although the building was eventually torn down, the group remained together under the shared goal of preserving other local, historical buildings and resources. This group named themselves the Millbrae Historical Society.
As Millbrae has grown over the years, the Historical Society has committed to recording the City’s history, dating back to Darius Ogden Mills’ purchase of the land in 1860. Mills named his estate “Millbrae”, combining his name (Mills) with the Scottish word for “rolling hills” (brae).
The Historical Society has dutifully chronicled the major events in the City’s history, all of which can be viewed at the Millbrae Museum. The Museum had originally been the house of a Spring Valley Water Company manager and was later rented out by the California Public Utilities Commission for a number of years. The City of Millbrae purchased the house in 1985 and relocated it to its current address at 420 Poplar Avenue.
The Museum has been carefully restored and decorated with period furnishings. Every Saturday, visitors can catch a glimpse of how the City has changed over the years and gain an understanding of how elements of the City still remains the same.
Backed entirely by volunteer work, the 95 members of the Historical Society have created numerous ways that the public can learn more about their City, such as visiting both the Millbrae Museum and the Train Museum. The Historical Society is currently in the process of building a new Carriage House to enhance the Museum experience.
Lastly, the Historical Society also hosts numerous community events throughout the year, including the 32nd Annual Fourth of July Picnic this Tuesday. Although the RSVP period for this event is now closed, residents are invited to take part in other upcoming events hosted by the Historical Society, as well as take part in the Millbrae history walk, a self-guided walking tour showcasing historically significant landmarks throughout the City.