History

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.
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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. 
Nancy Oresti Brit

A Resident's Reflection on South San Francisco  


Did you know? The State Room on Baden and Linden used to be a movie theater. Catching an afternoon movie here in South San Francisco is a fond memory of Nancy Oresti Britt, a born and raised South San Francisco native. Britt, pictured here (fourth from left) with her mother and three daughters, retired from the Western Conference of Teamsters Pension Trust in 2013.

“South San Francisco is a great city and it’s only getting better.” 

These are her reflections about South San Francisco.

What brought you to South San Francisco?

My parents met and grew up here and were married in 1944 right around the time the war was ending.

What is one of your favorite memories of South San Francisco?

“I have so many favorite memories from South San Francisco of yesterday, just walking downtown on Grand, the bustling hub of the city, and seeing everyone you knew is a fond memory. The community was so family oriented. Back then everyone knew their neighbors. We would enjoy crab cioppino at our next door neighbor’s house.

+ Festivals and weddings at All Souls Church and the epic Minucciani wedding held at Tanforan Racetrack (seemed like all of SSF, at least 4,000+ were invited), food, drinks and music for all to enjoy.

+ Shopping at Woolf’s, The Hub, Santini & Rocucci and Richard’s, a favorite for wedding registries.

+ Hamburgers at Anchor Drugstore and milkshakes at Piwald’s. And who could forget Town Liquors’ Caroline Fregosi’s cooking? Gravy, polenta, meat loaf and her famous leek tortas will be treasured memories forever.”

What is one piece of history that you don’t think most people know about when it comes to South San Francisco? We always adapt and continue to innovate without losing our identity.

What do you think is the “best kept secret” of South San Francisco?
Food. The family-style ravioli at the Garden Club is to die for!

What is your favorite thing to do in South San Francisco?
Spend time with family and catch up with friends (over a great meal, of course!).

What do you want other people to know about South San Francisco?
South San Francisco is a great place for families with something to offer everyone.