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History Books

Did you know that Brisbane has several history books that you can access for free online?  They are:

  1. A Spirit of Independence (a book of the early history of Brisbane, pre-incorporation)
  2. Brisbane: The First 25 Years (1961-1986)
  3. Brisbane: The Second 25 Years & 50th Anniversary (1986-2011)

Each of the books are able to be read online for free by clicking on the above links, but if you would like a print version, please call the City Manager's Office at (415) 508-2110.

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In addition, in 1992, the City published "Born of Fire: In Praise of Brisbane Volunteers", which chronicled pictorially how the people of Brisbane started a volunteer fire department in 1932, nearly thirty years before Brisbane incorporated as a general-law city in 1961.  1992 was the year Fire Station No. 1 closed and Fire Station No. 81 opened.  A special debt is owned to the Brisbane Fire Department Commemorative Committee, who devoted many hours guiding and assisting in the preparation of this work.  Committee members were: Richard Kerwin, Mayor; Lee Panza, volunteer and Council Member, Carol Gee, local library historian Dolores Gomez, Fire Captain and native Pete Bell, and Firefighter Paul Rusca.  The Brisbane Library has two copies of "Born of Fire" available to check out, and the San Mateo Library also has a copy that is for "Library Use Only".

In 2009, Arcadia Publishing released "Brisbane", co-authored by Dolores Gomez and Christy Thilmany.  Dolores and Christy were staff members at the Brisbane Library for 27 and 31 years, respectively.  Along with Brisbane historian Dorothy Radoff, they began assembling photographs for the Brisbane Library Historical Collection in the 1970s.  The images from that collection make up the bulk of this work, along with photographs and memorabilia from other collections in the area.  The Brisbane Library has two copies of "Brisbane", and there are 10 other copies in the Library system.