Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Menlo Park in San Mateo County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

El Palo Alto

 
 
El Palo Alto Marker image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, March 28, 2011
1. El Palo Alto Marker
The artwork on the marker depicts the tree when it still had its two trunks.
Inscription. Under this Giant Redwood, the Palo Alto, November 6 to 11, 1769, camped Portola and his band on the expedition that discovered San Francisco Bay. This was the assembling point for their reconnoitering parties. Here in 1774 Padre Palou erected a cross to mark the site of a proposed mission (which later was built at Santa Clara). The celebrated Pedro Font topographical map of 1776 contained the drawing of the original double trunked tree making the Palo Alto the first official living California landmark.
 
Erected 1927 by Historic Landmarks Committee, Native Sons of the Golden West.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Juan Caspar de Portolá Expedition, and the Native Sons/Daughters of the Golden West marker series.
 
Location. 37° 26.838′ N, 122° 10.209′ W. Marker is in Menlo Park, California, in San Mateo County. Marker can be reached from Alma Street near Palo Alto Avenue. Click for map. Marker is located in El Palo Alto Park at the southern end of the pedestrian bridge which crosses the San Francisquito Creek. Marker is in this post office area: Menlo Park CA 94025, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. San Francisquito Creek Watershed (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also
El Palo Alto Marker image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, March 28, 2011
2. El Palo Alto Marker
Marker is mounted on the boulder at the foot of the tree. At the far left of the photo the National Arborist Association and The International Society of Aboriculture Bicentennial Plaque is in view.
named San Francisquito Creek Watershed (a few steps from this marker); Portola Journey's End (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); History of Tower Well (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Hostess House War and Veterans Memorial (approx. 0.4 miles away); Hostess House (approx. 0.4 miles away); Electronics Research Laboratory (approx. 0.8 miles away); Menlo Park Railroad Station (approx. 0.9 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Menlo Park.
 
Regarding El Palo Alto. See "Nearby Marker" Portola Journey's End for additional information.
 
Categories. ExplorationLandmarks
 
1787 - 1987 image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, March 28, 2011
3. 1787 - 1987
The National
Arborist Association
and
The International Society
of Arboriculture
jointly recognise this
bicentennial tree in this
bicentennial year as
having lived here at the
time of the signing of
our constitution
The "El Palo Alto" image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, May 7, 1977
4. The "El Palo Alto"
This 1977 view of El Palo Alto shows the deteriation caused by age and train smoke from the trains running past the tree.
El Palo Alto image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, March 28, 2011
5. El Palo Alto
This current view of El Palo Alto demonstrates how growth has returned following the rejuvenation efforts and the converting of wood or coal burning to diesel power by the trains running past the tree.
Photo Insert from Nearby Interpretive Panel image. Click for full size.
6. Photo Insert from Nearby Interpretive Panel
El Palo Alto (c.1900) shortly after its second trunk fell. Sparse foliage was the result of air pollution from train smoke. The insert shows healthy growth following rejuvenation efforts in the 1990s.
El Palo Alto image. Click for full size.
Courtesy of the San Jose Public Library-California Room, circa 1875
7. El Palo Alto
A view of the tree with its two trunks.
El Palo Alto Marker Dedication image. Click for full size.
Courtesy of the Native Sons of the Golden West, November 7, 1926
8. El Palo Alto Marker Dedication
Note that the placement of the marker is more vertical than it is today, indicating that the large boulder has been moved from its original placement. Monsignor Joseph M. Gleason is speaking at the dedication surrounded by local dignitaries and members of the Native Sons of the Golden West.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California. This page has been viewed 779 times since then and 31 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.   4. submitted on .   5, 6. submitted on , by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.   7, 8. submitted on , by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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