New history book is all about Atherton

Atherton is the latest town to get the local history treatment, with a new coffee-table book called "Under the Oaks: Two Hundred Years in Atherton."

The book is penned by Nancy Lund of Portola Valley and Pamela Gullard of Menlo Park, the same duo behind "Life on the San Andreas Fault: A History of Portola Valley," published in 2003.

The hardcover book contains 450 archival photos and images, and highlights the contributions of noted residents, including Faxon Dean Atherton, for whom the town is named, Mary Tutt Eyre, who helped create Trinity Parish, and inventor Leon Douglass.

The book costs $75 and is expected to be available in September. The book is available for presale at a discount -- $60 -- if ordered by June 30. For more information, or to order a book, go to ■ Under the Oaks Web page.


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Posted by R.GORDON
a resident of another community
on Jun 29, 2009 at 1:38 pm

I cannot wait for the publication being a fouth generation San Franciscan and having heard some stories as a child in the 50's and driving down weekends to see friends of my parents who had "opulent but good taste" in the designe of the mansions of Atherton.
While I do know a lot of the past history, it surely cannot match the knowledge and research these authors put into the book.
Mostly, I am anxious to see if they covered the "other part" of its history which began to become "hush hush" as the newer, or let's face it, nouveau, began building.
San Francisco learned a few tricks from the types who had arrived a lot earlier who were not just industry leaders or magnates.

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Posted by Jay Gertridge
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Jul 6, 2009 at 1:02 pm

I too am looking forward to reading this lastest history of Atherton, but at $60 - $75 per book, I certainly hope our local libraries will have several copies for all to enjoy. I was fortunate in my youth, to learn much of Atherton's history from the town's greatest living historian at the time, Frank Moulton Merrill.

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Posted by Maury O'Hearn
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jul 27, 2009 at 11:03 am

Looking forward to this book very much - having spent my youth delivering the Palo Alto Times to most of Lindenwood - I had the good fortune to meet a lot of the fist time home owners in that development - along with one of the area pioneers Leland Prior - for whom Prior lane was named. I recall him telling me the story of watching the "brick wall" being built when he was just a kid...
Encinal School was a Tomato farm and the prior ranch was bordered by large elm trees (mostly lost to Dutch Elm disease over the past few years) the Farm bordered Watkins to the north Middlefield to the East, Encinal Ave to the South and The Rail Road tracks to the west.
Our home at the time on Lane Place was actually where the stables were - and even growing up in the 60's we were still digging up horse shoes in the back yard....My how things have changed...

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Posted by Margo Ritter
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Sep 9, 2009 at 2:10 pm

I bought three books, one for each of my children for Christmas presents. We all loved Atherton and it was a wonderful place to bring up children. I know they and their children will enjoy reading about our favorite town where we have such fond memories.

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