Thursday, September 2, 2010

Menlo Park Named by Two Irishmen in 1854

It was in 1854 that Menlo Park received its official name when two Irishmen, Dennis J. Oliver and D. C. McGlynn, whose wives were sisters, purchased 1,700 acres (some sources say it was 640 acres) bordering County Road, now El Camino Real, and built two houses with a common entrance. Across the drive they erected a huge wooden gate with tall arches on which the name of their estate was printed in foot-high letters: "MENLO PARK", with the date, August 1854, under it.

When the railroad came through in 1863, this station had no name, it was just the end of the line, but it needed a designation. During a discussion about the choice of a name, a railroad official looked over at the gates and decided that "MENLO PARK" would be appropriate, and so the name was officially adopted. This station is now California State Landmark No. 955, the oldest California station in continuous operation.

Source: Menlo Park Historical Association

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