Our Regional Heritage


Click on picture to enlarge.

Pacific Mail Steamship commodore James T. Watkins commanded the company's first trans-Pacific voyages between San Francisco and the Orient in ships similar to this one. When Commodore Watkins was not at sea, he lived next door to Faxon Dean Atherton on 20 acres he purchased in 1866 at Valparaiso Park. His ship's carpenters constructed a 3,500-square-foot home there, which, after several moves, survives today at a site near Menlo College, on Alejandra Street. Picture courtesy of the Menlo Park Historical Association.

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