Menlo Park

In the nineteenth century two Irish immigrants, Dennis J. Oliver and his brother-in-law D. C. McGlynn, purchased a 1,700-acre (6.9 km2) tract of land on the former Rancho de las Pulgas. In the 1850s they erected a gate with a wooden arch bearing the inscription "Menlo Park" at the entrance to their property (now the intersection of Middle Ave and El Camino Real). The word "Menlo" derived from the owners' former home of Menlough in County Galway, Ireland. In 1863, the San Francisco and San Jose Rail Road named a nearby station "Menlo Park" after the sign. The 1867 station building still stands on the platform of the current Caltrain station, used by the local Chamber of Commerce. The town of Menlo Park grew up around this station, becoming a popular home for San Francisco businessmen. A post office arrived in 1870, and the city was incorporated in 1874. The original arch which gave its name to the stations and ultimately the city survived until 1922, when it was destroyed in an automobile accident. The origin of the name of Menlo Park, California (ca 1850) pre-dates any work done by Thomas Edison (ca 1876) in Menlo Park, New Jersey.
As of the census of 2000, there were 30,785 people, 12,387 households, and 7,122 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,040.1 inhabitants per square mile (1,173.8 /km2). There were 12,714 housing units at an average density of 1,255.5/sq mi (484.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 68.35% White, 9.03% African American, 0.54% Native American, 6.15% Asian, 1.46% Pacific Islander, 9.56% from other races, and 4.21% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 19.60% of the population.
There were 12,387 households out of which 26.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.3% were married couples living together, 8.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 42.5% were non-families. 32.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.41 and the average family size was 3.12.
In the city the population was spread out with 21.9% under the age of 18, 6.2% from 18 to 24, 34.7% from 25 to 44, 21.4% from 45 to 64, and 15.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 94.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.6 males.
As of the 1999 census, the median income for a household in the city was $84,609. Males had a median income of $79,766 versus $51,101 for females. The per capita income for the city was $53,341. About 4.2% of families and 6.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.8% of those under age 18 and 7.3% of those over age 64. As of 2008 the median income for a family was $133,251.
Much of Menlo Park's economy centers around the companies on Sand Hill Road, consisting of venture capital, private equity, financial services, law firms, and other professional service companies and investment vehicles focusing on technology.
Notable Residents:
Joan Baez, folk singer
Sergey Brin, Google founder
Lindsey Buckingham, musician
Henry Cowell, composer
Jeanne DuPrau, author
Nancy Farmer, author
Jerry Garcia, Grateful Dead singer/guitarist
Vince Guaraldi, jazz musician
Ken Kesey, author
Phar Lap, New Zealand racehorse
Milton Latham, railroad baron/politician/California Governor (shortest term – five days)
Robert McCool, software developer
Stevie Nicks, musician
Ariel Rittenhouse, Olympic diver
Shirley Temple Black, actress and diplomat
Courtney Thorne-Smith, actress
Isaac Baron, professional poker player