Moore & De Pue's Official Map of the County of San Mateo California, executed in 1878, is one of the best 19th-century maps of what is now a large part of Silicon Valley. The lithograph, produced by the San Francisco-based firm Britton & Rey, was incorporated in Moore & De Pue's Illustrated History of San Mateo County, and provides a comprehensive visual record of San Mateo County's geographical and infrastructural landscape during this era.
In this detailed map, Britton & Rey capture more than just the altered boundaries of San Mateo County. The document offers a delineation of towns, cities, private property boundaries, ranchos, water supply systems, and railroad networks. The array of details encapsulated within the lithograph indicates a significant understanding of the region's varied aspects.
From a historical perspective, the map serves as a snapshot of San Mateo County during a transformative phase. The final decades of the 19th century were a time of notable growth and infrastructural evolution in the region, as depicted through the rise of new settlements, expansion of property claims, and development of water and railroad systems.
Within the greater framework of the Illustrated History of San Mateo County, the map assumes an integral role, providing a historically and geographically accurate view of the county, a kind of key map for the rest of the work. As a document of its time, it transcends its geographical functions, offering insights into land utilization, infrastructure expansion, and the evolving human imprints on San Mateo County in the late 1800s.