It is with Nathaniel that we continue our history.

The San Carlos Station (Southern Pacific Depot)
When the San Francisco-to-San Jose railroad was being laid in 1864, Nathaniel Brittan granted the right-of-way through his property, with the stipulation that a station agent and telegraph office be maintained at all times. Brittan was a friend of Leland Stanford who arranged to lend his University stone masons for the building of the San Carlos (Southern Pacific) Depot in 1888. This is how our now famous landmark, the Southern Pacific Depot, came to be built. It is a rare example of the use of the Richardson Romansque style in California railroad station architecture. It was the first permanent building erected by the San Carlos Land Company to form the nucleus for their speculative town development.

Nathaniel’s Party House
In 1873 Nathaniel Brittan inherited the lands between Pulgas Creek and Brittan Ave. from his father and built his Manor House on Pine in 1881. The home included a bear pit, aviary and fine gardens. Nathaniel also had a huge hunting lodge built on the present Dale Avenue near his elaborate home so as not to disturb Mrs. Brittan when he entertained his cronies. At one time he wished, to build a “Country Jinx” Clubhouse where the Bohemian Club could meet on Druids Hill near the present intersection of Orange and Elizabeth Streets. A cornerstone was laid, but the clubhouse never came about. The original Bohemian Club cornerstone was first laid at the corner of Orange and Elizabeth Sts. and is now at the Bohemian Club Grove, Russian River. Mr. Brittan was one of the founders and a past president of the Bohemian Club, which was formed in 1872. Brittan Ave. in San Carlos is named for this family.

Nathaniel died in 1912. He had three children, Natalie, Belle and Carmelita. There are streets in San Carlos named after these children.

PHOTO: Southern Pacific Depot, 559 El Camino Real, San Carlos, San Mateo County, CA. By Historic American Buildings Survey. Documentation compiled after 1933



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