History

Post image for Peninsula Volunteers celebrate 70th anniversary – and it all started with Little House

In 1947,  a group of forward-thinking women incorporated Peninsula Volunteers, Inc., and with that action started an organization that continues to serve the needs of seniors on the San Francisco Peninsula to this day.

To honor this milestone, the organization is taking a look back through the seven decades of its history, and looking forward at what’s to come for PVI and its programs.

Photos here look at the first decade, 1947-1957, which saw the creation of Little House at a time when there were almost no facilities catering to the needs of older adults anywhere in the country.

The first Little House opened its doors at 630 Menlo Ave. in a rental house in 1949 (top photo). [And here’s an interview with a woman who once lived in that house!]

Little House was the first suburban senior center built in the United States with a purpose: to be charitable and foster community welfare. Starting with seven members, it was indeed a little house. Today, Little House serves over 3,500 people annually.

Later that same year , the first Turnabout Shop opened in south Palo Alto selling gently used clothing to earn funds for the organization. PV members were the sales force that kept the shop running. They rented a building, stocked it with clothing, shoes, and other items. They donated the clothes and sold the merchandise.

In 1951, Little House relocated to larger quarters at 930 Santa Cruz Ave because more space was needed. It moved to its current location on Middle Avenue in 1954, in a building that was constructed expressly as a senior activity center.

Photos courtesy of Peninsula Volunteers Inc.

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Always a local angle: this M-A grad was Playmate of the Month back in the day

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Hu Hefner’s passing brought back memories of one of the stars of M-A’s class of 1966. Under the name Jennifer Liano, Judy Young was Playmate of the Month in May, 1970. Today she posted on Facebook: “RIP Hef.” Judy’s daughter, Lydia McLaughlin is featured on the Real Housewives of Orange County, and Judy herself appears […]

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Filoli makes changes in visitor access, staffing and volunteer training as it looks to the future

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This year, under new leadership, Filoli has expanded hours of operation and the community response was very positive. “We have experienced nearly a 30% increase in attendance just by opening our doors more widely,” said Kara Newport, Chief Executive Officer at Filoli, who was brought on board just a year ago. Filoli is now exploring […]

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Historical photos of Menlo Park available for all to enjoy thanks to Planning Division efforts

Thumbnail image for Historical photos of Menlo Park available for all to enjoy thanks to Planning Division efforts

As part of the recent City Hall Renovation Project, the Planning Division uncovered a number of older photos that were worthy of preservation. After having them professionally scanned, staff has done some basic sorting/labeling and posted them to a public Flickr account for all to enjoy! Photos of interest include: 1968 Downtown Building Survey: This […]

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Learn about the hidden figures of computing — women — on August 2

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Women have been part of computing since the earliest electronic computers were built in the 1940s.On August 2 at 7:00 pm at the Menlo Park Library (800 Alma St.) hear how women in computing have: Been responsible for the first compiler Built code that saved the Apollo 11 Developed a design for large-scale integrated circuits […]

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Spotted: Gathering to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Camp Fremont

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Menlo Park Mayor Kirsten Keith (right) was joined by author Barbara Wilcox (left) and Tom Fitzgerald (middle), Director of  VA Hospital, Menlo Park,  along with Bo Crane from the Menlo Park Historical Association to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the opening of a Base Hospital on what is now the VA campus. The Base Hospital was built for Camp […]

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Spotted: Camp Fremont exhibit at Menlo Park Library

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Emails Menlo Park Historical Association board member Jim Lewis: “Long before Menlo Park became a city, the United States Government created Camp Fremont, increasing the area’s population from about 3,000 persons to over 40,000. Some of what was built then still exists today, per records from the Menlo Park Historical Association. You can learn more […]

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Junior League of Palo Alto•Mid Peninsula hosts historic Barron-Latham-Hopkins Gatehouse tours

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The Junior League of Palo Alto•Mid Peninsula (JLPA•MP) is opening up the historic Barron-Latham-Hopkins Gatehouse to the public for tours on Saturday, May 13. The Gatehouse is the oldest existing structure in Menlo Park and the last surviving gatehouse in the state of California. The Gatehouse is one of only three buildings in Menlo Park […]

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Spotted: Warlocks’ first gig at Magoo’s 52 years ago today

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Scott Fortlage posted this photo on Do You Remember the Old Menlo Park today, noting that the Warlocks (which became the Grateful Dead) played their first gig on May 5, 1965 at Magoo’s Pizza Parlor in downtown Menlo Park. Wow, over 50 years ago…

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Enchanting stone buildings are all that remains of Willowbrook Farm in Portola Valley

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Some of the most intriguing buildings in Portola Valley are the quaint stone houses at 451 Portola that look like castles from a Grimm Brothers story. Was that window in the tower the one where Rapunzel stood and hung down her hair for the prince?  Was it the castle where Cinderella, dressed in her finery, went to […]

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Learn more about Woodside’s history at First Friday event April 7

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Learn about St. Dennis, Greersburg and the real name of Whiskey Hill Road at a First Friday event on April 7 at the Woodside Town Hall (2955 Woodside Rd.). Author Bo Crane will tell the tale of Dennis Martin, whose 1846 pre-Searsville ranch and hand-built Catholic Church fell victim to a Mexican Land Grant dispute that […]

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