May 6, 2010
  • 5/6/2010 - Hillsborough Celebrates 100th Birthday 
    By Bill Silverfarb  San Mateo Daily Journal    The sun shined on Hillsborough yesterday as the town’s residents celebrated its 100th birthday in  style with about 500 people packed between Town Hall and the newly-dedicated Centennial Park  on Floribunda Avenue.      Two bands, a barbershop quartet, women dressed in period costumes and seven former mayors  were on hand for the event as Mayor Christine Krolik served as the master of ceremonies. A  special phone call from U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier, a Hillsborough resident, congratulating the town  on its special day was one of the highlights of the event.      “I’m proud to be a resident of our great community,” Speier said from Washington, D.C. “I’d  rather be there with you all than here.”      The town put together a time capsule that will be opened in 50 years. It contained letters from  many Hillsborough elementary and Bridge School students and other timely items that was  buried in Centennial Park.      The town was incorporated May 5, 1910.      The birthday party attracted many local lawmakers including county supervisors Carole Groom,  Adrienne Tissier, Mark Church and Rich Gordon. Special proclamations were presented to the  town including a joint proclamation from both state Assemblyman Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, and  state Sen. Leland Yee, D-San Francisco/San Mateo.      A brief history lesson was also given.      The town was once the home to sprawling estates with a population of about 1,000 but has  grown into a town with many neighborhoods that now has about 10,000 residents.      “The stillness of those great estates are now bustling neighborhoods and the old polo fields are  now schools,” Krolick said.     William Davis Merry Howard and his wife, Agnes Poett Howard, purchased “Rancho San  Mateo” in 1846, according to town history. This tract of over 6,000 acres encompassed most of  what today is Hillsborough, Burlingame and part of San Mateo. The couple built one of the first  great homes on the Peninsula, El Cerrito, which became the center of Peninsula society and  philanthropy.      The town grew significantly after the earthquake of 1906 that left much of San Francisco  destroyed as many families migrated to the Peninsula.      Today, Hillsborough is also known as a center of philanthropy, with its residents offering  generous support to many nonprofit agencies that operate in the county, including Community  Gatepath, which offers a broad range of services for people with disabilities.      Deborah Rush, who grew up in Hillsborough, wore a vintage dress to yesterday’s celebration.  Her father, Jack Rush, was the town’s former public work’s director.      Rush puts on vintage fashion shows and has a collection that spans 200 years.      “I wanted to wear something that might have been worn when the city was incorporated,” said  Rush, who was wearing a silk velvet print.      The town has two more main events scheduled this month to celebrate its birthday. May 14, five  historic Hillsborough homes will be open for viewing and May 31, the town will hold “The  Parade of the Century” that will start at Town Hall and wind its way up Floribunda Avenue to  the North School field. A barbecue, music and entertainment will follow the parade.