A Partnership
This site is a partnership between the South San Francisco Public Library and the South San Francisco Historical Society for the purpose of preserving and making available to the community information and artifacts from South San Francisco's past.
The Grand Avenue Library houses the South San Francisco History Room devoted to the historical development and current events in South San Francisco.  The Local History Collection was established in 1967 and is located downstairs at Grand Avenue Branch Library, 306 Walnut Avenue.  The collection includes photographs, building and genealogical resources, pamphlets, yearbooks, oral history tapes, maps and many other documents.

The Historical Society is a non-profit organization established in 1980 for all those interested in the history and culture of South San Francisco.

It was originally formed to advocate for the historically significant architecture in the downtown Grand Avenue corridor and for the preservation of landmarks. The Society seeks to achieve this through active support and participation in community planning.Today we now have Sign Hill as a Registered National Landmark, Sidewalk of Names, Magnolia Plaza community room, the Historic Preservation Ordinance, and some 25 historic resources protected against needless destruction. 

A Resident's Reflection on South San Francisco



Recently the City had a chance to sit down with Hilda Barradas, a resident and active member of the South San Francisco community since 1986 and this is what she had to say about South San Francisco.

When did you move to South San Francisco?

Nearly 30 years ago my husband and I, and our two young children moved to South San Francisco. We were a young family, looking for a community with good schools, a library, police and fire department and most of all, a Catholic Church. At the time, I contacted the South San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, which were most helpful.

What is one of your favorite memories?
A favorite memory of SSF is the Child Parent Observation Class, which is offered by South San Francisco Adult Education. This is where my children and I made lifelong friends.  I still, to this day, keep in touch with the moms and my boys keep in touch with the friends they made.

What is one piece of history that you don't think most people know about when it comes to South San Francisco?
I think a piece of history that most people don't know is how we became the Biotech Capital of the World.  “At its simplest, biotechnology is technology based on biology-it harnesses cellular and bio-molecular processes to develop technologies and products that help improve our lives and the health of our planet." I think it is very exciting that this is happening right here in South San Francisco.

What do you think is the "Best Kept Secret" of South San Francisco?
There are many, but one is the fact that the City offers various programs like the Citizens' Academy, Police Academy, the adult and children's classes offered by South San Francisco Parks and Recreation and CERT (Community Emergency Response Team).  We are trained by the South San Francisco Fire Department to help in disaster preparedness, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, ham radio, and CPR. We are also trained to be better prepared on how to respond and recover from a disaster. We work together to train and practice our skills monthly. If anyone is interested in attending a CERT training program, please contact the CERT information hotline at (650)829-4336.

What is your favorite thing to do in South San Francisco?
Walking is a great low impact exercise and keeps me healthy. My favorite thing to do in SSF is to walk the Centennial Trail and go to the Farmers’ Market at Orange Park. It is a beautiful area to walk with its native drought-resistant landscaping and wildflowers

What do you want other people to know about South San Francisco?
I want people to know that SSF is a community with an active Police and Fire Department that works well with our City Council to keep our City safe. Our City Council really listens to the residents of SSF and strives to make our City the best it can be.

Past Resident's Reflections:
Gene Mullin