Camp Fremont

The building that houses The Oasis, which will close on March 7, has a history that predates its 60 years as a beer garden. Emails Barbara Wilcox, who wrote a book about Camp Fremont during World War I:

“[The building] was one of several Camp Fremont YMCAs during the war. Every unit had its own YMCA. People in the Beltramo family [who own the property] tell me it was cut into pieces and moved after the war from roughly where Draeger’s is now.

“Also, David Kennedy, the Stanford historian who won the Pulitzer in 2000 and who advised my Camp Fremont thesis, told me was a hasher at the Oasis when he was a Stanford undergraduate.”

According to the Menlo Park Historical Association: “After the repeal of prohibition, Alexander Beltramo (son of John Beltramo), converted what had been the YMCA Building for Camp Fremont into a Beer Garden.”

Top photo taken in 2010 by Chris Gulker; second photo of the building in its World War I years – credit US Army Heritage and Education Center, Fort Carlisle, PA. 


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

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

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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Camp Fremont Centennial Committee formed to plan events and celebrations

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

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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In praise of one of Menlo’s magnificent heritage oaks

When we moved to Menlo Park in 1973, we wanted a house with something natural to look at besides a neighbor’s back fence.  However, we never dreamed that we’d find one of the largest oaks in Menlo, with a creek behind it as well.  We were so awestruck by the tree that we probably would […]

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One building – and a web of tunnels – is all that remains of Menlo’s military past, Camp Fremont

Only one building – which now houses the Oasis Beer Garden and Menlo Atherton Glass – remains from a brief two-year period in Menlo Park’s history that turned the town into a training ground for troops earmarked for the battlefields of World War I. Camp Fremont became home to over tens of thousands of troops, […]

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