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Filoli is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Early History: Pre-Settlement

The San Francisco Bay and Monterey Bay areas were once inhabited by politically autonomous tribes of Penutian-speaking people. The Spaniards called these people “Costeños” meaning Coastal People. Today, descendants of these native Californians call themselves Ohlone and may also identify themselves with traditional regional names. California, and particularly the Bay Area, was one of the most culturally diverse regions in the world. The indigenous people enjoyed mild weather, abundant natural resources and developed a complex culture, economy and spiritual life.

With the coming of European and American settlers, new patterns of land use emerged. Between 1790 and 1834 the area two miles south of Crystal Springs Reservoir was known as Cañada de Raymundo (Raymond's Valley), though it is not known today who Raymundo may have been. In the confusion over land documents so common in those days, the name Cañada de Raymundo was extended south to include the area around present-day Woodside.

In 1840 the land that was to become Filoli was part of the 12,540-acre Rancho Cañada de Raymundo granted to John Coppinger by the Mexican Governor, Juan Bautista Alvarado. This grant was in return for Coppinger's help in the revolt led by Alvarado against the Mexican barracks in Monterey. Redwood logging and milling operations were carried on at the rancho. The cleared areas on the flatter portions of the land were used for cattle grazing and haying.

From 1852 on, the Spring Valley Water Company, the supplier of water to San Francisco, began purchasing parcels of the Rancho Cañada de Raymundo and imposing watershed restrictions on these properties. Though most of the redwoods and Douglas fir had been lumbered, these restrictions allowed the oak and madrone forests to prosper and gave the upper slopes a chance to develop a second growth of trees.

E. A. Husing of San Mateo purchased 1,800 acres of the Rancho Cañada de Raymundo south of Crystal Springs Lake, adjoining the Spring Valley Water Company's property, and leased it for cattle grazing. This parcel was purchased by Mr. Bourn in 1915.

Most of the level, lower portion of the property not occupied by the House and Garden was grazed by sheep and later by Mrs. Roth's horses. The steeper, upper portions returned to their natural growth and today support the typical California native flora of the mixed evergreen, oak woodland forest and redwood-Douglas fir forest. A large section of the upper portion, covered with dense chaparral plants, most likely was not disturbed during the logging years. The uncultivated areas support a wide variety of birds and wildlife. Quail and deer are abundant along with raccoons, rabbits and other rodents. The mountain lion and bobcat are returning after years of being hunted and nearly exterminated. The area also is an important migratory route for dozens of bird species.