National Register of Historic Places in San Mateo County
The Gold Rush lured Robert Mills from England to San Francisco where he worked as a glazier. His projects included William Ralston's Palace Hotel and his home in Belmont. Like most of the men who prospered during the Gold Rush, Mr. Mills earned his money from trade, not gold. By 1862, he had saved enough to buy 1,100 acres in this secluded valley south of San Francisco.
During the next several decades, Mr. Mills built a house, a dairy barn and other dependencies to create a ranch. The landmark dairy barn, built in 1889, was originally over two hundred feet long and housed more than one hundred cows as well as tenants who had immigrated from England, Ireland, Italy and Portugal.
The ranch remained in the family for over a century until Mr. Mills' grandson and heir, Burleigh Hall Murray, died in 1978. His estate donated the property to the California Department of Parks and Recreation the following year.