History

Post image for Barbara Wilcox talks about Camp Fremont at Menlo Park Library on June 11

Local historian and author Barbara Wilcox will talk about Camp Fremont and its legacy and sign copies of her new book, World War I Army Training by San Francisco Bay: The Story of Camp Fremontat the Menlo Park Library on June 11 from 1:00 to 3:00 pm.

During World War I, Menlo Park and Palo Alto were home to the Camp Fremont Army Training Base for a short but productive period. Many residents now live on a patch of the former camp’s land, which occupied over 7,200 acres and accommodated over 20,000 personnel. Some locals have backyard relics or family stories of Camp Fremont.

The foothills acquired munitions ranges from which dugouts and unexploded ordnance still emerge, decades later. Peace broke out before most Camp Fremont troops saw battle, but the skills they acquired helped to enact big changes in American life – in engineering, technology, health care, women’s freedoms, and more.

“I’ll have new maps of Camp Fremont on display made by Will Lee, an architect for US Veterans Affairs in Menlo Park who has been active and helpful in uncovering Camp Fremont’s history and promoting the centennial,” emailed Barbara.

“I’ll talk about Walter Hoag, the unsung father of Menlo Park whose office still stands today on El Camino. I’ll talk about how the camp helped create today’s Menlo Park by providing the future downtown with the needed sewerage.

“And I’ll talk about Camp Fremont veterans who later became war heroes, like Lt. Maud Campbell Davison, the World War II POW nurse played by Claudette Colbert in So Proudly We Hail and Cpl. Harold W. Roberts, who received the Medal of Honor for his valor in the Tank Corps in the Meuse-Argonne.”

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Kathy Wade takes us on a tour of Holy Cross Cemetery in Menlo Park

Thumbnail image for Kathy Wade takes us on a tour of Holy Cross Cemetery in Menlo Park

Holy Cross Cemetery, located at the intersection of Santa Cruz and Avy in Menlo Park, is a place that hundreds pass by daily, but we’re guessing few residents venture in, or know its history, unless they have deep Catholic roots in the community. That assumption — and a couple of upcoming  public events — prompted […]

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Camp Fremont Centennial Committee formed to plan events and celebrations

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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 […]

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Barbara Wilcox writes a book about Army training in Menlo Park at Camp Fremont

Thumbnail image for Barbara Wilcox writes a book about Army training in Menlo Park at Camp Fremont

Hidden World War I tunnels on the Stanford campus? Author Barbara Wilcox first heard about them from a geophysicist colleague when she was working at the USGS in Menlo Park. She later learned that as America entered World War I in 1917, Stanford University leased three-fourths of its Palo Alto land to allow the creation of an Army […]

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The “mother of all demos” took place in Menlo Park 47 years ago today

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Forty-seven years ago today, the computer mouse debuted. And so did other innovations, including hypertext, object addressing, dynamic file sharing and shared-screen collaboration between two people at different sites communicating over a network. The 90-minute live presentation of the online system, NLS, was given by Douglas C. Engelbart and the 17 researchers working with him in the […]

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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

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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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Swimmers and coaches gather for Add Janes reunion at Menlo Swim Center

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Over 30 people turned out last Saturday afternoon for a reunion of folks who swam and/or coached at Add Janes Swim School, which was located in Menlo Park for three decades. The event was held under the trees at the Menlo Swim Center, thanks to Tim Sheeper and staff. Hamburgers and hot dogs were provided by […]

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Menlo Park through the decades is subject of new book packed with photos

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Some things stay the same: Lutticken’s and Country Corner are in their familiar places along the Alameda. Ann’s Coffee Shop and Flegel’s can still be found on Santa Cruz Avenue. But did you know that Sharon Heights was once the name of a 32-room mansion, not just a neighborhood. And during the 50s, helicopters were manufactured in […]

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Add Janes Swim Club reunion planned for Sept. 26

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The Add Janes Swim Club reunion is set for Saturday, September 26, at noon at the Burgess Swim Center in Menlo Park. All former club members, swim students, and swim team members are welcome. There will be lunch and special awards. The event is hosted by former team members. Anyone interested in attending, please email bcferrin@yahoo.com

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Foster’s Freeze – suddenly Menlo Park’s hot spot!

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Looks like a whole new generation of teens has [finally] discovered Foster’s Freeze. There was a big crowd there yesterday, which was an early dismissal day at Menlo-Atherton. Why were they there, we asked? “Because it’s closing,” was the universal answer. As part of the cohort that really did go there everyday at lunch while […]

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