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History of Daly City

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Daly City, California sits just south of San Francisco at the foot of San Bruno Mountain. The history of the Daly City area dates as far back as 2700 BC when the entire area was inhabited by the Ohlone people. The Ohlone people inhabited the area until the 16th century when the land on which they lived was occupied and claimed by Spanish settlers.

The Spanish settlers brought their faith and customs to the Daly City area, creating an influence that is still felt in the community today. Their strong faith gave rise to a number of Missions which connected communities up and down the California coast, and they created ranches and farms in the Daly City, California. area for raising cattle and sheep.

During the time of Spanish rule, the area between San Bruno Mountain and the Pacific were uninhabited. But when Mexico was granted independence from Spain, Mexican nobles were given massive ranches in the Daly City area and farming and cattle remained important for generations. The area was also greatly impacted by the extension of the Southern Pacific Railroad.

The Daly City community has proven to be an important one in the region’s history. In the 1940s, developers turned to the land around Daly City as a place for suburban expansion from San Fransisco and brough new homes and shopping centers. This suburban expansion greatly increased the local population and changed the area from a rural community to a more urban one.

Daly City even inspired a hit song in the 1960s! Called “Little Boxes,” the song is an ode to suburbia in which it describes the homes as being made from “ticky tacky” and all looking alike in a row on the hill. Recently, the gong has had a resurgence after being featured on the popular TV show “Weeds” on Showtime.  These row houses still stand in Daly City and are brightly painted in pink, yellow and blue, bringing a touch of color to the Daly City community. 

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