New city gates celebrated in St. Patrick's Day event | March 20, 2019 | Almanac | Almanac Online |

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Community - March 20, 2019

New city gates celebrated in St. Patrick's Day event

by Kate Bradshaw

In a tip of the hat to Menlo Park's Irish roots, a St. Patrick's Day ribbon-cutting ceremony was held March 17 to celebrate the completion of the new "Menlo Gates" that sit near the intersection of Ravenswood Avenue and Alma Street, near the Menlo Park Library.

The gates are a replica of a previous set of arched gates erected in 1855 near what is now the Ravenswood Avenue and El Camino Real intersection by Irish immigrants, brothers-in-law Dennis Oliver and Daniel McGlynn, according to the Menlo Park Historical Association.

The two men purchased a large ranch there and named it Menlo Park, after a village in Galway, Ireland, called Menlough.

The gates were demolished by a speeding car in 1922, which, according to the historical association, was "filled with singing passengers."

Historical association records indicate that when the San Francisco-San Jose railroad was built, a stop was established near the San Francisquito Creek and named after the ranch, Menlo Park, giving the area its name.

According to the historical association, wealthy San Franciscans built summer homes north of the station — in what is now Atherton — while a workers' village grew up around the train station, which later became Menlo Park, formally incorporated as a city in 1927.

The historical association has worked to rebuild the gates for a number of years, collecting community contributions and support from the City Council. It was designed by architect Sam Sinnott and his daughter Melina.

The project was slowed by the deaths of two project chairmen, Ernst Meissner and Bill Weseloh, in 2017.

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