El Camino Real & San Mateo Ave, San Bruno, CA
"Thorpe's" is the location, on this 1873 "South Sheet: Map Of The Region Adjacent To The Bay Of San Francisco."
Probably one of the most colorful and well-known was a roadhouse that came to be called Uncle Tom’s Cabin. It began in 1849 when a man named Thorpe moved to the property at the intersection of San Mateo Avenue and El Camino Real in what is now San Bruno. Here on the north side of Crystal Springs Creek, he built a 12-foot by 12-foot cabin with stables nearby to care for the horses from the stagecoaches that traveled down the El Camino. The waystation was known alternately as Thorpe’s Place or 14-Mile House since it was located 14 miles from Mission Dolores in San Francisco. The cabin was soon enlarged to form a two-story hotel with a large bar.
Uncle Tom's Cabin in San Bruno
This photograph is contained in one of two volumes by Dobbin titled "Album of San Francisco." Caption written on photo: "Uncle Tom's Cabin 1909. San Bruno." Text written underneath photo: "Famous road house. Meals prepared equal to any in the world. Any brand of wine furnished. I knew the original in 1876. Cunningham's cheaper class of place located further up the road to right. Cunningham was Sheriff of San Mateo County." View shows the two-story roadhouse building set back from the road and surrounded by trees. A sign reading "Uncle Tom's Cabin" is attached to a flagpole by the road. Uncle Tom's Cabin was located on the east side of El Camino Real near the southern end of San Bruno and still existed in the early 1960sUncle Tom's Cabin 1909, San Bruno. Uncle Tom's Cabin 1909, San Bruno.