In 1542, the land was claimed by the Spanish empire after the Spanish Explorer, Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo lead what is believed to be the first expedition to the west coast of North America including the upper California coastline.
In 1767, Don Gaspar de Portola was appointed governor of California and sent to replace the Jesuits with the Franciscans who set up their own network of missions, serving as the nucleus of permanent settlements. A cattle ranching based economy thrived there and consequently thousands of native Americans were exposed to diseases, forced to work menial jobs and converted to Christianity.
Mission Dolores in San Francisco was fed partially from converted farmland in the San Pedro Valley below Pedro Point Headlands. Built in 1842-1846, the Sanchez Adobe remains today, preserved as an historical park, from that agricultural enterprise.
The Ohlone village of Pruristac was located on the what became the Sanchez Adobe site. The San Pedro Valley provided the Ohlones with an abundance of food and raw materials. Hunters and gatherers, they used tools made from stone, shell, wood and plant fibers. They built dwellings of willow poles covered by tule.
from: San Mateo County Museum Site