Menlo Park Historical Assoc.

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On August 4, 2018, the Menlo Park Historical Association is conducting its annual Victorian Days Walking Tour, sponsored by the San Mateo County Historical Association. The Menlo Park tour is free, as are other tours, and no reservation is required — you just show up at MacArthur Park, 27 University Avenue, Palo Alto, near the University Ave Train Depot, at 11:00 am Saturday morning, August 4.

This year, the Menlo Park tour focuses on two structures built in 1918 for Camp Fremont, one of the nation’s troop training camps for the Great War. MacArthur Park is chosen as the starting point as it was once the Y.W.C.A.’s Hostess House (pictured above), designed by Julia Morgan and constructed in downtown Menlo Park before it was bought and moved by the City of Palo Alto for its first community center. The current restaurant’s  grounds also contain the area’s only Civil War monument.

From there, the tour will venture over San Francisqutio Creek to see the State Historical Monument #2, tucked away on the Menlo Park side of the creek. The monument celebrates a historical campsite established 249 years ago, celebrating its Sestercentennial next year as part of an exploration in search of Monterey Bay and spotting a much larger estuary instead. Monument #1 is the Monterey Custom House, where the expedition passed through twice without matching the adjacent with an earlier description.

The tour then crosses into Menlo Park, passing by the best little street in town en route to twin pillars marking the entrance to the Stanford Park subdivision, now the name of the hotel across El Camino Real. The turnaround comes at the former Oasis pub, built by the Y.M.C.A. in 1918, also for Camp Fremont. When the camp closed, the building was purchased by John Beltramo, patriarch of the well-known local family. The buliding was moved and plunked down during Prohibition and so did not serve alcohol until over a decade later.

The total walk covers about two miles and will be led by Menlo Park Historical Association secretary, Bo Crane, also the author of the Association’s book, The Streets of Menlo Park / Origins of Street Names. Books will be available for purchase.

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Learn how local streets got their names on July 2

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Join Bo Crane, author of the book The Streets of Menlo Park, as he shares information about the origins and namesakes of our local streets.  Discover the fascinating stories and biographies associated with the names — how the streets were named, and who lived on them. Bo’s talk takes place on July 2 at 7:00 […]

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Bo Crane leads MPHA tour of Holy Cross Cemetery on Saturday, May 19

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This year the Menlo Park Historical Association (MPHA) annually sponsored tour of Holy Cross Cemetery will be led by MPHA secretary, Bo Crane, on Saturday, May 19 from 2:00 to 4:00 pm. The Cemetery is at 1100 Santa Cruz Avenue in Menlo Park, located at the street’s bend. Parking for this event is not allowed […]

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Bo Crane authors a book, The Streets of Menlo Park, in time for the city’s 90th anniversary

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Take a quick glance at the photo to the right, taken in Menlo Park. Now answer: Where exactly? Is there a street in Menlo called Fourth Street? Of course there is, or it wouldn’t be in the new Menlo Park Historical Association book written by Bo Crane called the The Streets of Menlo Park. Bo explained […]

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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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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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Great estates of the Peninsula is topic of recent talk sponsored by the Menlo Park Historical Association

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Earlier this fall, Carmen J. Blair, Deputy Director of the San Mateo County Historical Association, gave a talk at the Menlo Park Library entitled The Great Estates of the Peninsula. Carmen was invited by the Menlo Park Historical Association, and her talk was part of that organization’s annual meeting. Carmen’s talk explored the Mid-Peninsula lifestyle during the late […]

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Menlo Park gates to live again – if enough money can be raised

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“Portals of Early Days’ at Menlo Park Laid Low; Landmark of 1854 Falls.” Thus headlined an article in the July 7, 1922, Palo Alto Times. “The landmark…was struck early this morning by two automobiles, filled with singing passengers, which careened down the highway and crashed into the old arch…” The wood “…was rotted and scarcely […]

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

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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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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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