Menlo Mainstays

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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Spotted: Garbage truck on fire near Draeger’s market

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Last Friday morning a garbage truck caught on fire in the parking lot next to Draeger’s market.  According to Captain Jim Montalvo of Menlo Engine 6, the fire, which is under investigation, was contained to the truck. Crews stayed on scene for over an hour to make sure it was fully extinguished. Photo courtesy of […]

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Arthur Flegel approaches his 100th birthday

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We had the pleasure of visiting with Arthur Flegel in advance of his 100th birthday, which will be marked with a gathering of some 80 family and friends on August 6. The man who, along with wife Cleora, brought furniture to downtown Menlo Park with the opening of Flegel’s Home Furnishings in 1954, is in somewhat frail […]

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Country Corner’s beloved owner Bob passes away

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More tears along the Alameda de las Pulgas with the news that the beloved owner of Country Corner, Bob Wehab, passed away on Friday. A steady stream of loyal customers have set up make shift memorial in front of the convenience store/deli, revered for its great sandwiches and super friendly service. A notice of visitation […]

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Family-owned Occasions, etc… celebrates 25 years in Menlo Park

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Editor’s note: Colin Jenkins submitted this post. InMenlo profiled Occasions, etc…co-owners Carrie and Colin — who grew up in Menlo Park and who still live here — in  2012. Started in our Menlo Park garage as Menlo-Atherton Trophy in April of 1992 selling trophies and awards, Occasions, etc… is proud to celebrate 25 years in business on April 15, […]

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Spotted: Foster’s Freeze in Menlo Park under lock up

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We’ve been saying good bye to Foster’s Freeze in Menlo Park for two years now. The big sign is long gone and the stripped down shell of a building gets more and more forlorn looking. The latest chapter is the installation of construction fence, all to make way for the building’s demolition. As previously reported […]

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The former Roger Reynolds Nursery set to meet the wrecking ball

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Menlo Park Historical Association member Jim Lewis emailed: “The guillotine is falling. It’s the end of the road for the endeared local historical property formerly known as the Roger Reynolds Nursery, along with its iconic Carriage House [shown with adjacent dumpster]. “You may wish to take your own photos, documenting one piece of Menlo Park’s […]

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Judy Adams gathers signatures to save the Guild Theatre in Menlo Park

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Across the street from the Farmers Market this morning, Menlo Park resident Judy Adams (left in photo) was gathering signatures to save the Guild Theater, which she recently discovered was on a month-to-month lease. “Having an old single-screen movie theatre in Menlo Park – which once had three – may be considered a cultural dinosaur, what with […]

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Three Menlo Park icons all soon to disappear, but it’s the people we do – and will – miss

Thumbnail image for Three Menlo Park icons all soon to disappear, but it’s the people we do – and will – miss

So, I add my voice to the many who lament on Do You Remember the Old Menlo Park, that icons we grew up with are, in rather quick order, going, going, gone. Yes, the building on the former Roger Reynolds property that once housed Edy’s Ice Cream is lovely and quaint, but the truth is […]

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SLAC’s historic linac turns 50 and gets a makeover

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Since the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory in Menlo Park powered up its “linac” half a century ago, the 2-mile-long particle accelerator has driven a large number of successful research programs in particle physics, accelerator development and X-ray science. Now, the historic particle highway is getting a makeover that will pave the way […]

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Rocky Horror Picture Show continues to draw audience at monthly Guild screening

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The Guild Theater in downtown Menlo Park continues to present screenings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show on the first Saturday of every month at midnight. With live shadow casting by The Bawdy Caste (pictured top), a non-profit theater group, The Rocky Horror Picture Show features lively pre-show entertainment and an interactive movie-viewing experience. Despite its […]

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