Menlo Park is a city located on the southeastern edge of San Mateo County within the San Francisco Peninsula. Sitting adjacent to its San Mateo County neighbors: (Atherton and Portola Valley to the North and West, respectively, Redwood City to the North and East, and East Palo Alto to the East), Menlo Park serves as the border town to Santa Clara County neighbor Palo Alto on the northern side of the San Francisquito Creek.
Menlo Park houses one of the most highly educated populations in the United States with approximately 70% of its residents having earned a bachelor’s degree or higher. According to the 2010 US Census, it had just over 32,000 residents which grew close to an estimated 35,000 by 2019. Living in Menlo Park offers residents a dense suburban feel that sets Menlo Park real estate apart from other Bay Area communities as most residents own their own homes. In addition to homes, Menlo Park's condos and townhouses for sale allow for a more urban lifestyle near the city's downtown area as well as West Menlo Park. The city is famously home to Facebook and formerly Sunset magazine; it is also where Google and Round Table Pizza were founded. The Menlo Park City School District (MPCSD) has been ranked nationally as one of the top performing districts along with its equally renowned counterpart, the Los Lomitas Elementary School District (LLESD), to the west. Both districts feed into the Sequoia Union High School District, and there is a plethora of highly rated private schools in the immediate area.
Originally, MP was inhabited by the Ohlone when the Portola expedition of 1769 arrived. In 1795, the Rancho de las Pulgas land grant was made that included much of the west side of the current city. In 1854, Irish immigrants Dennis J. Oliver and his brother-in-law D.C McGlynn erected a gate with a wooden arch bearing the inscription “Menlo Park” and the date “August 1854” at the entrance to their property (at the intersection of Middle Ave. and El Camino Real). The word “Menlo” is derived from the owners’ former home of Menlough in County Galway, Ireland, and is the Anglicized version of the Irish name of the place, Mionloch, meaning “middle lake”. In 1863, the San Francisco and San Jose Railroad had built the railroad from San Francisco to as far South as Mayfield (now California Avenue station in Palo Alto). They named a nearby station “Menlo Park” after the sign and it now holds the record as the oldest, continually operating train station in California. A post office was established in 1870, and the city was temporarily incorporated in 1874. In 1917-18, a large portion of Menlo Park was the site of Camp Fremont, a training camp for, at its’ height, 27,000 men being sent to fight in WW1. The army retained the camp hospital, which is now the site of a Veterans Administration hospital off of Willow Road, and the city was permanently incorporated in 1927.
Today the charming “bedroom” community is experiencing a burgeoning downtown core while continuing to emanate a wonderful suburban ambiance.
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