Religious Row Walking Tour
This 90-minute, 2-mile walking tour offers an engaging journey through Menlo Park's rich history. Developed by Bo Crane and Pete Zivkov, the tour explores the legacies of the San Francisco Peninsula's wealthiest 19th-century citizens, whose fortunes and actions significantly influenced the development of contemporary Menlo Park.
The tour begins at the historic Menlo Park Railroad Station, highlighting the early role of rail travel in the region's development. Key figures like Leland Stanford and Timothy Hopkins are introduced, emphasizing their profound impact on Menlo Park and the establishment of Stanford University.
As participants stroll through Menlo Park, they'll learn about the transformation of large farmland parcels into opulent estates, many of which were later converted for public or religious purposes, shaping the cities of Menlo Park, Palo Alto, and Atherton.
The tour includes various stops, each narrating a unique story. Participants will visit sites like the Menlo Park Train Depot, notable for its association with the Stanfords, and the Ravenswood area, reflecting the region's changing economic fortunes.
Other highlights include the Bright Eagle mansion, a testament to Menlo Park's architectural evolution, and the Corpus Christi Monastery, showcasing the area's religious heritage. The tour also delves into the history of local establishments like the Vallombrosa Center and the Church of the Nativity.
Towards the end, the tour focuses on post-war suburbia, the impact of the military-industrial complex, and the significance of the Menlo Park Gates, which recount the town's naming.
The tour is self-paced, designed for mobile devices, and provides web links for additional information. It emphasizes safety, especially when crossing streets and railroad tracks, and concludes back at the Menlo Park Railroad Station.
Participants are encouraged to provide feedback on this enlightening journey through Menlo Park's history, a project proudly presented by the Menlo Park Historical Association.