Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Redwood City in San Mateo County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Embarcadero Turning Basin Site

This is the site of the beginning of Redwood City!

 

—The Path of History —

 
Embarcadero Turning Basin Site Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, January 2, 2013
1. Embarcadero Turning Basin Site Marker
Inscription. You are standing over what was once Redwood City’s original waterfront, made up of creeks, tidal basins, and a fresh-water slough, providing the start of lumber, shipping and shipbuilding trades for the area. The tidal basins south of Bradford Street have since been filled, channeled, and culverted to serve contemporary needs and development. The green, decorative pavers on the street in front of you mark where Redwood Creek passes under Broadway.

The Embarcadero was comprised of two basins – an inner basin (the creek), which was very shallow, and an outer basin (the slough), with deeper water closer to the bay. See map above

A few buildings on Main Street and Broadway, dating from the waterfront’s active days, still stand and mark the limits of Redwood Creek and the Embarcadero. Among them are the Diller-Chamberlain Store (726 Main St.), the San Mateo Bank-Fizpatrick Building complex (Broadway and Main Street), and the Sequoia Hotel. In 1850, logging operations in the hills near Redwood City brought the logs down to a fresh-water slough (named appropriately Redwood Creek) where they were tied together as rafts and floated down to the bay, and on to San Francisco.

In 1851, the keel for the schooner “Redwood” was laid at Redwood Creek. It launched in 1852, the first of many vessels to
Embarcadero Turning Basin Site Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, January 2, 2013
2. Embarcadero Turning Basin Site Marker
The green, decorative pavers mentioned in the text can be seen in front of and to the right of the marker.
be built in the area.

The lumber trade, shipping and shipbuilding became major industries, and by the end of 1853 a permanent community arose along the banks of Redwood Creek. As the area developed, lots were laid out along the east side of the creek, with the well traveled roadway in front of these lots becoming Main Street. Bridge Street (eventually becoming Broadway) was a short roadway that included a wooden drawbridge, providing access to the wharves and businesses on the west side of the creek.

Simon M. Mezes, an attorney who was the first to subdivide the townsite, named the settlement Mezesville after he acquired the land from the Arguello family in 1850. However, the name wasn't popular with the community, and was eventually renamed for the industry of its resource, Redwood City.

The decline of shipping from the Embarcadero began with the completion of the San Francisco – San Jose Railroad in 1864. The last active wharf closed in 1916.
 
Erected by Redwood Historic Resources Advisory Committee.
 
Location. 37° 29.189′ N, 122° 13.647′ W. Marker is in Redwood City, California, in San Mateo County. Marker is on Broadway east of Jefferson Avenue, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is
Detail from the Embarcadero Turning Basin Site Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, January 2, 2013
3. Detail from the Embarcadero Turning Basin Site Marker
at or near this postal address: 2065 Broadway, Redwood City CA 94063, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Eureka Corner (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Pioneer Store (about 300 feet away); Diller-Chamberlain Gen. Store/American Hotel-American House/Sequoia Hotel/Bank of San Mateo County (about 400 feet away); Alhambra Theater (about 400 feet away); Former Site of Sequoia High School (about 400 feet away); Sequoia Union High School (about 500 feet away); New Sequoia/Fox Theatre (about 600 feet away); Redwood City War Memorial (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Redwood City.
 
Categories. Notable PlacesSettlements & SettlersWaterways & Vessels
 
Diller-Chamberlain General Store (Quong Lee Laundry) image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer
4. Diller-Chamberlain General Store (Quong Lee Laundry)
Bank of San Mateo County building image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer
5. Bank of San Mateo County building
The Sequoia Hotel image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer
6. The Sequoia Hotel
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on January 15, 2013, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 324 times since then and 33 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on January 15, 2013, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
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