Historic photos of Pescadero are hard to come by. The San Mateo County History Museum, my favorite charity, may have the most complete collection–but more would be very welcome.
*Pescadero: In 1833 ‘el Pescadero’ (the Fishing Place) was the name of the valley place around the present town. By the middle 1850s the Spanish village here was called ‘the’ Pescadero. In the late ’50s American settlers took over the place, which they were inclined to call Piscadero; this pronunciation can still be heard. The present form of the name was standard by the middle ’60s.
The land grant record of 1833 states that the place had been ‘previously called San Antonio’: this may be the same as the Indian village San Antonio mentioned in the Santa Cruz Mission register between 1795 and 1802.–Place Names of San Mateo County by Dr. Alan K. Brown, (SMCHA, 1975)
**The Pescadero Basin: The Santa Cruz Lumber Company has for around 30 years used this term for their properties in the upper Pescadero Creek valley above Memorial Park.–Place Names of San Mateo County by Dr. Alan K. Brown (SMCHA, 1975)
***Pescadero Beach: The small beach was so named when it was made a county park in 1954. Previously the name had been applied by the motorists to the large sand beach on the other side of the creek.–Place Names of San Mateo County by Dr. Alan K. Brown (SMCHA, 1975)
****Pescadero Creek: This was the ‘arroyo del Pescadero’ by the late 1830s, and probably long before (the Santa Cruz mission had ranches not far off by 1800 or 1810). The present form of the name appeared with the first American settlers; ‘the Pescadera creek’ is mentioned in a record of 1854. The name is considered to extend up the farthest headwater branch, although this has occasionally been regarded as a separate tributary and called after one or two settlers. — Place Names of San Mateo County by Dr. Alan K. Brown
*****Pescadero Junction: (Intersection of the Coast highway and the Pebble Beach road.) The name is occasionally used. When the new highway was built in 1941 the old Pebble Beach road (which since then no longer runs all the way to Pebble Beach) became the main road into Pescadero. –Place Names of San Mateo County by Dr. Alan K. Brown.
******Pescadero Road: (From Pescadero to just S of La Honda.) Most of the present route was surveyed in 1870 as part of the Redwood City and Pescadero Road project, which was to link the new Pescadero annexation to the county seat. North of La Honda the route followed previously established and named roads, and so the name did not stick.–Place Names of San Mateo County by Dr. Alan K. Brown (SMCHA, 1975)