Over on Noel Drive, just a short distance from The Gatehouse at Ravenswood and Laurel, stands the Bright Eagle – reported to be the second oldest surviving structure in Menlo Park. It was built by San Francisco businessman Lemmon T. Meyer as a summer house in 1869 – 140 years ago!
Since then, the building has served many different roles including a gambling and poker parlor in the 1870’s, a family home, an officers’ club for Camp Fremont during WW I and a military academy. In the late 1930’s, it became a hotel – known originally as the Laurel Grove Hotel and later as the Marie Antoinette Inn. In the early 1960’s, it was purchased by Mary J. Rafferty who converted it to an antique parlor and tea room. She gave the building its name: Bright Eagle. In the 1970’s it was converted to offices and continues in that role to today.
Photo by Scott Loftesness