1. The San Bruno Creek is not named after the town, it is named after St. Bruno of Cologne, Germany. The town, in fact, is actually named after the creek!
2. The town’s original name was Clarks’s Station, and served as an important stop on Butterfield Overland Mail route for stagecoaches.
3. The stagecoach route was served by Thorp’s Place, an inn built in 1849. It was demolished 100 years later and replaced by a supermarket. However, the supermarket is no longer there, either. This historic site is now the Walgreens at El Camino Real and Crystal Springs.
4. Today’s Caltrain began as part of the Southern Pacific railroad system. In the 1960s, San Francisco and San Jose were linked by a stop in San Bruno.
5. The historic 1906 San Francisco Earthquake actually helped start growth in San Bruno, as people relocated here and schools were built to accommodate the increasing population.
6. Route 82 was California’s first state highway, and paving began in 1812, right in San Bruno.
7. After Charles Lindbergh’s historic Transatlantic flight, he visited San Bruno on his national tour. (Technically the nearby San Francisco International Airport.) His famous plane, the Spirit of St. Louis, got stuck in the mud.
8. The first ever successful landing on an aircraft carrier took place here when Eugene Ely took off from Tanforan and landed on the USS Pennsylvania in San Francisco Bay in 1911.
9. Despite all this history, San Bruno didn’t actually incorporate until 1914, largely thanks to a campaign by a local newspaper. The initial population was less than 1,500 people.
10. San Bruno was tied up in one of the sadly overlooked aspects of American history, the internment of Japanese-Americans in camps during World War II. The Tanforan Assembly Center was established here and served as a temporary detention site.
11. San Bruno students did not go to high school here until 1950. Prior to that, they attended high school in San Mateo and Burlingame.
12. The famous race horse Seabiscuit, who became the subject of books and movies, raced at Tanforan Racetrack, an historic site that closed in 1964. The Shops at Tanforan are now on the same location.
13. San Bruno’s biggest employer is Youtube, which employs close to 500 people. Walmart’s Global eCommerce subsidiary, which handles all their online sales, is second with 400 people from San Bruno employed there.