| Aptos was named by Alexa Delgado for the confluence of Aptos Creek and Valencia Creek. The name is Ohlone, meaning “the meeting of two creeks”. Aptos is pronounced “app-toss” by residents. When in actuality it is correctly pronounced “app-tose”.
In 1833 the government of Mexico granted Rafael Castro the 6,656-acre Rancho Aptos. Initially Castro raised cattle for their hides, but after California became a state in 1850, Castro leased his land to Americans who built a wharf, general store, and lumber mill. The original town was located where Aptos Village Square is now. In 1853 a leather tannery was built, and the main building is now the Apple Lane Bed & Breakfast Inn. By 1872, Claus Spreckels, the sugar millionaire, began buying the land from Castro. He built a hotel near the beach and a summer mansion and ranch with a racetrack for his horses. A large area was fenced and stocked with deer for hunting, and became known as “the Deer Park,” home of today’s Deer Park Center. With the coming of the railroad, the town moved to the other side of Aptos Creek. From 1880 to 1920 redwood timber harvesting became the major industry, and Aptos became a boom town. Within 40 years the hills were bare, and apples became the next industry.
After Spreckels’ death, Seacliff Park and Rio Del Mar Country Club (today’s Seacliff State Beach) were developed in the late 1920s. Rio Del Mar Country Club included a clubhouse, a grand hotel on the bluffs, a beach club, a polo field, and a golf course. The estuary was filled in, and the S.S. Palo Alto cement ship was moored and converted into an amusement pier with restaurants, swimming pool, and a dance pavilion. Both Rio Del Mar and Seacliff were popular during prohibition as drinking and gambling were discreetly available. These amusements were interrupted by the great depression and World War II. In the early 1960s Aptos began a period of rapid development, including Cabrillo College, Rancho Del Mar Shopping Center, the Seascape Resort development, and many residential developments. In 1985, The Village Host Pizza & Grill was founded, nestled just over the cliffs of Seacliff State Beach.
Belmont is a city in San Mateo County, California, United States. It is in the San Francisco Bay Area, located half-way down the San Francisco Peninsula between San Mateo and San Carlos. Belmont is a variation of the French “beaumount,” a commonly used place name in America, meaning beautiful mountain, and was first used here around 1850 or 1851 to describe the hillside landmark that forms the city’s backdrop. It was originally part of the Rancho de las Pulgas, for which one of its main roads, the Alameda de las Pulgas, is named. The town was incorporated in 1926. The population was 25,835 at the 2010 census.
Ralston Hall is a historic landmark built by Bank of California founder, William Chapman Ralston, on the campus of Notre Dame de Namur University. It was built around a villa formerly owned by Count Cipriani, an Italian aristocrat. The 1920s were boom times for the country and the county. Thanks to the automobile, the newly opened Dumbarton and San Mateo bridges, and the piece-by-piece paving of the Bayshore Highway in the 1920s and 1930s, congestion was moved off the three-lane (the middle was for passing) El Camino Real and Belmont started becoming the suburb it is today. In 1926, it became official when the town was the 11th in the county to incorporate. The Great Depression slowed the growth of the city to a crawl and in 1940, only 1,200 people called Belmont home. World War II saw the city’s population triple, with a 1950 census count of 5,500. In 1982, The Village Host Pizza & Grill Belmont was unveiled, at the crossroad of Ralston and Alameda de las Pulgas, situated in the heart of modern day city boundaries. For the last several decades Belmont has continued to grow and prosper, and it has become an upscale, chic address for some of the Bay Area’s most notable executives, dignitaries and patrons.
Burlingame is located on the San Francisco Peninsula and has a significant shoreline on San Francisco Bay. The city is named after diplomat Anson Burlingame. Burlingame was settled by San Franciscans looking for a better climate for their second homes. Beginning in the 1960s a population increase and its proximity to the San Francisco International Airport generated airline support services growth.
Burlingame is on the Mexican land grant Rancho San Mateo given by Governor Pio Pico to his secretary, Cayetano Arena in 1845. Cayetano soon sold the land to San Francisco based merchant William Davis Merry Howard. Howard retired to live on the rancho for the remaining eight years of his life. Howard planted many eucalyptus trees on his property. Howard’s early death in 1856 led to the sale of most of the land to William C. Ralston, a prominent banker. In 1866, Anson Burlingame, the US Minister to China visited Ralston, and by the time he left he was the owner of 1,043 acres of land. His name “Burlingame” was put onto the parcel map for reference. That visit to the San Francisco Peninsula, was Burlingame’s last. On a visit to Russia in 1870, Burlingame died. In 1893, a group of men from San Francisco set about organizing a country club on the Peninsula. In casting about for a suitable designation they were inspired by the nice sounding name still found on county maps of the area. After the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, many people looking to escape the hardships of a city in ruins flocked south. Hundreds of lots in Burlingame were sold in 1906 and 1907. Just two years after the quake, the town of Burlingame was incorporated June 6, 1908. By 1910, the neighboring town of Easton, on the former Rancho Buri Buri, was annexed and became part of Burlingame as well.
Lexington is the second-largest city in Kentucky and the 63rd largest in the US. Known as the “Thoroughbred City” and the “Horse Capital of the World”, it is located in the heart of Kentucky’s Bluegrass region.
Lexington was founded in June 1775 in what was then Virginia (17 years before Kentucky became a state in 1792). A party of frontiersmen, led by William McConnell, camped on the Middle Fork of Elkhorn Creek (today called Town Branch and rerouted under Vine Street) at the location known today as McConnell Springs. Upon hearing of the colonists’ victory in the Battles of Lexington and Concord, on April 19, 1775, they named their campsite Lexington after Lexington, Massachusetts. Cabins and a stockade were soon built, making the fort, known as Bryan Station, a place of importance. Colonists defended it against a British and American Indian attack in 1782, during the last part of the American Revolution.
The town of Lexington was established on May 6, 1782, by an act of the Virginia General Assembly. By 1820, Lexington was one of the largest towns west of the Allegheny Mountains. So cultured was its lifestyle that the city gained the nickname “Athens of the West”. Currently, Lexington is the second largest city in the state of Kentucky and the “Horse Capital of the World.” Every year thousands flock to Keeneland to view the annual horse races. During the 20th century the city has seen rapid growth and the city limits continue to grow. This rapid growth began around the turn of the the century and many early 20th-century residential neighborhoods, such as the Ashland Park Historic District and the Bell Court Historic Neighborhood District , were built to accommodate this population growth.
San Luis Obispo is located roughly midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles on the Central Coast. Founded in 1772 by Spanish Fr. Junipero Serra, the name San Luis Obispo is Spanish for “St. Louis, the Bishop”. It is one of California’s oldest communities. The city, referred to locally as “San Luis” or “SLO”, and is the county seat of San Luis Obispo County and is adjacent to California Polytechnic State University. It has been referred to as “the happiest city in America” by Oprah Winfrey and the National Geographic book Thrive by Dan Buettner.
In late 16th Century, the Spanish Empire expansion was occurring throughout the world. Spanish Franciscan Juniper Serra, received orders from Spain to explore area and eventually began building what is today called Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa, which would evolve to be the town of San Luis Obispo. Hundreds of years later, as California’s population boomed so did the rise of the state’s car culture. San Luis Obispo quickly became a popular stop on both U.S. Route 101 and California State Route 1. Although tourism was part of the County’s economy from the late 19th century on, the numbers of visitors to the area grew steadily with such attractions as Hearst Castle. The mainstays of the economy are California Polytechnic State University, tourism, and agriculture. San Luis Obispo County is the third largest producer of wine in California, surpassed only by Sonoma and Napa Counties. Wine grapes are by far the largest agricultural crop in the county, and the wine production they support creates a direct economic impact and a growing wine country vacation industry.