Wunderlich Park History

The first users of Wunderlich Park were the Costanoan Indians who were numerous in the area. Woodside Valley entered current recorded history on November 6, 1769, when the first Portola expedition camped in the valley.

One of the first prominent settlers was John Copinger, who was granted the Canada de Raymundo Rancho on August 4, 1840 by Governor Alvarado. This rancho consisted of most of the eastern slopes and valleys in the Woodside area, including Wunderlich Park. In 1846 Charles Brown received from Copinger a formal deed to 2,880 acres of timbered slopes and valley range, which contained Wunderlich Park.

In 1872 Simon Jones purchased 1,500 acres of the western portion of the property and named it "Hazel Wood Farm". He went on to prove that it had value beyond its lumber. Under his guiding hand the mountainside bloomed. Utilizing Chinese labor, he cleared the matted natural growth, built rock retaining walls, planted grapes and fruit trees and developed the property into a working ranch. Some of the buildings still remain and some of the planting is still evident to this day.

Jones died in 1890 and his son Everett sold the property to James A Folger II on October 12, 1902, Folger came to California in 1850 and had gone into the coffee business in San Francisco. Under Folger's ownership, the land changed roles, becoming a recreation area, suited to the family's taste. Wagon trails and old skid roads became riding and carriage trails. Weekend campouts were quite common in the area of Alambique Creek.

In 1904 Folger developed the first hydro electrical power system in this part of California. Waters from Alambique Creek were used to develop this power.

The next owner of the property was contractor Martin Wunderlich, who purchased the property from the Folger's in November 1956. In 1974 he graciously tendered it for public recreation by deeding 942 acres to San Mateo County for use as park and open space.

 

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