San Mateo County Genealogical Society's Blog featuring society events, projects, meeting notes and other items of relevance to genealogists.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

SMC Places:Searsville

Map of Searsville - Situated on the El Corte Rancho The property of H. Templeton
Surveyed by A S Easton - County Surveyor San Mateo Apr 1866
Filed 1 May 1866 by Thomas H Noble, County Recorder
 "After traveling through the mines for some time, he returned to San Francisco and in 1853 came to this county. The next year he built a house on the site of what was afterwards Searsville. Here he established a blacksmithing and wagon making shop and in 1857, he was in partnership with the late Daniel Ford. Disposing of his Searsville property in 1861, Mr. Sears moved to La Honda where he has remained up to the time of his death. " RC Democrat 20 Jun 1907

So began the town of Searsville.  

In Jan 1862 floods swept away six sawmills in the vicinity of Searsville.   Simon Knight lost a child when a slide from the mountain rushed towards his house.  Simon managed to run with two children, but a son of five or six was crushed and buried when he couldn't run fast enough. The child, unnamed, was buried in Union Cemetery in Redwood City(California Farmer and Journal of Useful Sciences (San Francisco)--Vol: XVI Iss:14 Pg: 130) 

Later that year the SMC Board of Supervisors granted SM Tilton  the right to construct a turnpike between Searsville and Pescadero, which was then in Santa Cruz County. (Supervisor Minutes Vol 19 pg 270 Road Account No 347)

San Francisco Bulletin, 23 Dec 1863 Vol:XVII Iss:65 Pg:3
SF Bulletin 3 Jul 1865 Vol:XX Iss:74 Pg:2
The town continued to grow.  A.A. Davis and August Eikerenkoetter opened hotels and advertised in the San Francisco papers. Advertisements for help could be found in local papers.

SF Chronicle 3 Apr 1869  pg2

SF Abend Post 3 Apr 1871 p2
Among those who could be found traveling from Searsville and staying in San Francisco hotels were WE Knott, August Eikerenkotter, E Edmunds and RJ Weeks.

Searsville School
courtesy San Mateo County Historical Association
By 1871 the town and surrounding area had grown enough to have 99 students as//////// .  However, in 1877 when the Grand Jury reported that the Searsville School Board had spent $600 on grand piano, there were only 30 students. (Weekly Alta California 14 Apr 1877 p2)
SF Chronicle 10 May 1881 p2

The Searsville Water Company was incorporated in 1872 to acquire water from Arrago Clanbique and Otter Creeks to supply the inhabitants of Searsville and the surrounding vicinity. 

In May of 1881 the Searsville Hotel and Store was put up for sale by August Eikerenkotter. (SF Bulletin, 16 Nov 1872 pg3)
By 1886 Searsville was being considered as a good site for a water project.  It was reported that Charles Web Howard as president of the Spring Valley Water Company had been purchasing land for a reservoir for about five years, and now had nearly all the land required. (SF Bulletin 7 Apr 1886 p3)  A description of the project can be found in the SF Chroncle on 30 Dec 1886

The building of the dam took a little longer than the three years originally estimated, but in 1891 the dam was complete, the buildings of Searsville were removed and Searsville Lake was filled.  

Thus ended the town of Searsville.

Some deaths recorded for individuals connected to Searsville include

  • Nathan Dawley 23 May 1874 age 57  SF Chronicle
  • Frank Booza Pioneer of the county committed suicide 27 Oct 1890 age 65 SF Bulletin
  • Louis Stephens "French Louie" 19 Aug 1891 suicide SF Chronicle
  • John P Kelly (born in Searsville) in MP 27 Nov 1898  SF Chronicle
  • John H Sears 19 Jun 1907 SF Chronicle

courtesy of San Mateo County Historical Association
For Further Research.....
The Town of Searsville - Journal of Local History Summer 2009 RWC Archives Committee
When San Jose was Young: Searsville (San Jose Evening News 9 Mar 1918)
San Mateo County - SF Chronicle 25 May 1890
The Sears Family in Union Cemetery


Life Story and Family History Writing Group

We would like to form a local group to encourage, support, and learn from each other by sharing writing skills, tips, ideas, organizational strategies, etc.  A ‘sharing of writing’ component would be part of each session. You are invited to join us at a planning meeting on Sunday, Aug 6 at 2 pm. If you are interested, or have questions, please mailing Elle Hedenkamp at or Craig at
We hope to hear from you! 

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