Archive of Jym Clendenin

Jym Clendenin has lived in Menlo Park for 35 years and thinks the town’s best attributes are its attractive housing, friendly residents, and just-right downtown, not to mention the near perfect weather. He worked nearby at SLAC for 33 years as an experimental and accelerator physicist, retiring in 2008. Now he enjoys running, biking, backpacking, cooking and reading as well as unearthing facts about Menlo Park’s little known corners and hidden past.

Jym has written 61 article(s) for InMenlo.


Post image for Camp Fremont Centennial Committee formed to plan events and celebrations

Ninety-nine years ago today (April 6, 1917) the U.S. entered the European war. At the time, Menlo Park was a relatively sleepy country community consisting of a couple hotels, a few businesses (including several bars) and perhaps 2,000 residents clustered around a Southern Pacific train station.

As Barbara Wilcox details in her new book, World War I Army Training by San Francisco Bay, the powers-that-be in San Francisco arranged to have one of the 32 camps hastily set up by the Federal government to train a wartime army located on large portions of Stanford land and in what is now Menlo Park and East Palo Alto. The camp was designed to train an army division (then 28,000 soldiers).

Division Headquarters (photo) was on El Camino Real opposite Ravenswood Avenue. After the armistice on November 11, 1918, the camp was closed and hastily disassembled. But the continuing impact on Menlo Park was considerable. A new downtown along Santa Cruz Avenue emerged, and within a few years the City of Menlo Park was incorporated.

Now a Camp Fremont Centennial Committee is forming to plan appropriate events to remember this important period of local history. The committee, representing organizations in Palo Alto and Stanford University as well as Menlo Park, met on March 23rd with Jim Cogan of the City Menlo Park to brainstorm ideas for the celebration. Several exhibitions are anticipated.

If you have any artifacts related to Camp Fremont — including posted envelopes, postcards, photograph, uniforms or other equipment — that you would be willing to loan for an exhibition, please contact the Menlo Park Historical Association at mphistorical@yahoo.com or call (650) 330-2522 (leave voicemail if there is no answer). In the near future, look for a website, a Facebook page (or group), and possibly a call-in voicemail site for recording oral histories.

Editor’s note:  Barbara Wilcox is having a reception for her book, World War I Army Training by San Francisco Bay: The Story of Camp Fremont  on Sunday, April 10, from 4:00 to 7:00 pm at MacArthur Park restaurant, 27 University Avenue, Palo Alto. The Julia Morgan-designed 1918 building was originally Camp Fremont’s Hostess House.

Photo courtesy of Menlo Park Historical Association

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Menlo Park expands Friendship City program

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During the month of March, the display case at the Menlo Park Library entrance features two of Menlo Park’s friendship cities: Galway City in Ireland and Bizen in Japan. The signing of a friendship agreement with Galway City in 2013 was the culmination of over 50 years of official and unofficial contacts between the two cities. […]

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Spotted: New shiny red bike racks at Trader Joe’s

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There are now five new, bright-red bike racks to compliment the two older gray ones at Trader Joe’s. The ironic thing was that I had just been at the City Admin building discussing bike racks with Mayor Rich Cline. He told me the City is looking to install more of them on Santa Cruz Ave. I complained about not […]

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Menlo Park’s first resident, Dennis Martin, is subject of book by local author

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It is only fitting that the full story of Menlo Park’s first resident, Dennis Martin, should have been unearthed (so to speak) by ultra-local resident Bo Crane. Bo was born in the old Palo Alto Hospital (now Hoover Pavilion) and was baptized at Holy Trinity Church on Pine near Ravenswood a few years before the […]

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A look at Menlo Park schools from 1875 to 1927 is focus of mini-exhibit

Thumbnail image for A look at Menlo Park schools from 1875 to 1927 is focus of mini-exhibit

A new mini-exhibit with photos and other items chronicling Menlo Park schools from 1875 to 1927 is featured in the Menlo Park Library’s downstairs display case through October 30th. What is the significance of these dates? In the 19th century, the name Menlo Park was used for essentially all the area between Redwood City and the […]

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Local bicyclists view coastal farms on 20-mile POST organized ride

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On Saturday morning (6/27), over 75 bicyclists of all ages and skills — many from Menlo Park —participated in the first Bike the Coast with POST (Peninsula Open Space Trust). The 20-mile loop began on Cloverdale Road just outside of Pescadero. Riding south, the first stop was at the Root Down Farm , a new organic […]

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Galway City Mayor and Chief Executive visit Menlo Park as part of St. Patrick’s Day tour to the states

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Editor’s note: This article was co-written by Lucy Spaziano. On the eve of St. Patrick’s Day, Menlo Park welcomed Galway City’s Mayor Donal Lyons (left in photo) and Chief Executive Brendan McGrath (right) for a two-day visit March 11th and 12th. This visit continues the Friendship Agreement signed by the two cities in 2013. Galway is a city […]

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Former Menlo Park City Attorney Jack Jorgeson talks about the 60s and 70s at Menlo Park Historical Association annual meeting

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At the annual meeting of the Menlo Park Historical Association an audience of about 50 were taken back to the City of the 1960s and 70s by Jack Jorgenson, the Menlo Park City Attorney from 1961 to 1985. In 1960, Jorgenson was assistant to City Attorney James O’Keefe, Jr. when O’Keefe left to take an elective […]

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Italian stone pine in Fremont Park gives birth to art & play structure – with new trees to come

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From disaster and death can come the birth of something good (myth of the phoenix). The big Italian stone pine that guarded the eastern side of Fremont Park had to be taken down in September, a disturbing event for many in our community. From the collective brainstorming of residents and city of Menlo Park staff, […]

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City of Menlo Park honors the Menlo Park Historical Association

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At last Tuesday’s City Council Meeting, Mayor Ray Mueller presented the Menlo Park Historical Association with a proclamation recognizing its accomplishments since 1971 in preserving the history of Menlo Park and in making its archived materials available to the public, including through its website Most recently the Association was instrumental in the creation of the […]

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New planting boxes bring extra burst of Spring to downtown Menlo Park

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In early 2013, the Menlo Park City Council decided to invest in an upgrade of the street plantings and furniture on downtown Santa Cruz Avenue (SCA). The project was completed in early 2014. The following is a reconstruction of an interview on April 24th with the project leader, Ruben Niño, Assistant Director of Public Works. […]

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