Menlo Park Historical Association invites locals to its 50th anniversary celebration

by Linda Hubbard on October 12, 2021

The Menlo Park Historical Association is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a barbeque in Burgess Park on Saturday, October 16th from 1:00 to 5:00 pm. Residents are invited to participate by bringing what they would to BBQ along with any sides. MPHA is providing  bottled water and soft drinks.

There will be a trivia contest with the winner receiving a prize. Attendees are invited to write down their memories or bring something related to Menlo Park to be placed in a time capsule.

El Camino Real – looking north (1936)

In addition, while shopping downtown you can view 10 large black and white photographs of old Menlo Park. Incorporated in 1927 (94 years ago) Menlo Park had an entirely different look. Photos of Sand Hill Road, the first City Hall, the famous Menlo Camera Shop (pictured below), and an aerial photo of Santa Cruz Avenue are among the photos displayed at 719 Santa Cruz Avenue (the former Village Stationers).

Here are some fun facts about Menlo Park supplied by MPHA president Tim Johnston, secretary Bo Crane and board member Sandra Pachaud.

-Explorer Portola, immediately after “discovering” the San Francisco Bay, marched south and camped in today’s Menlo Park along the San Francisquito Creek. State  There’s a State Historical Monument at the south end of Alma Street.

Menlo Camera Shop special event

-When Menlo Park first incorporated in 1874, boundaries included Atherton, Ravenswood, and East Palo,Alto.

-By the 1880’s Menlo Park’s Chinatown was the largest community south of San Francisco.

-Menlo Park was home to many Italians who maintained the gardens for the rich and famous of Atherton.

-On the Sherwood Hall Estate of Timothy Hopkins, fruit orchards, many varieties of chrysanthemums and violets were cultivated. In 1981 the purple violet was made the official flower of Menlo Park.

Santa Cruz Avenue: Menlo Park Harware, Andrews Realty

-Saloons flourished in Menlo. By 1910, MP had 18 to the dismay of Stanford University. The most popular was Charlie Meyers (pictured top circa 1906).

-Fremont Memorial Park was founded in 1938, 20 years after Armistice Day, Nov. 11, 1918.

-Holy Cross Cemetery contains the remains exhumed and transferred in 1953 from the 1856 St. Dennis Cemetery originally on Dennis Martin’s ranch. Dennis was first resident of Menlo Park.

All photos courtesy of Menlo Park Historical Association

One Comment

Tim Johnston October 13, 2021 at 9:19 am

One important clarification regarding the MPHA celebratory picnic – beer and wine (or any alcoholic beverage for that matter) will NOT be provided by the MPHA.

Tim Johnston
President, MPHA

Comments are closed.


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