“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Stanford in Santa Clara County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)

The Gordon Hampton Oak

The Gordon Hampton Oak Marker image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, November 20, 2015
1. The Gordon Hampton Oak Marker
Inscription.  Posted as a sentry on the dark, damp night of November 17-18 1931, Gordon Hampton, '35, a frosh of only six weeks on the "Farm," stood under the adjacent oak tree to sound the alarm of any Cal attempt to torch prematurely the tower of RR ties before the "Big Game" bonfire at present day Frost Amphitheater. About 3 a.m. he sensed a barely audible "shush." He looked at his unresponsive co-sentry. Realizing the humiliating consequences of a false alarm, Hampton blew mightily on his police whistle, thus signaling to the nearby powerhouse to blast its steam whistle to arouse a slumbering campus. The warning was right, Cal attacked instantly. They had failed to muzzle him. All hell broke loose as Encina Hall frosh spilled out, engaging the enemy in fierce combat, with their bare hands pulling fire brands off the pyre, and thereby successfully defending the bonfire and saving the day (night).
Erected 1997.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Historic Trees marker series.
Location. 37° 25.881′ N, 122° 
The Gordon Hampton Oak and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Andrew Ruppenstein, November 20, 2015
2. The Gordon Hampton Oak and Marker
The marker (or at least a bit of its monument) is visible here between the oak and the bench.
9.864′ W. Marker is in Stanford, California, in Santa Clara County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Galvez Street and Campus Drive East. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 326 Galvez Street, Stanford CA 94305, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (approx. ¼ mile away); The Gates of Hell (approx. 0.4 miles away); Motion Picture Research Commemoration (approx. 0.4 miles away); Electronics Research Laboratory (approx. 0.8 miles away); Hostess House (approx. 0.8 miles away); The Hostess House War and Veterans Memorial (approx. 0.8 miles away); Lou Henry Hoover House (approx. 0.9 miles away); Birthplace of “Silicon Valley” (approx. one mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Stanford.
More about this marker. The marker is mounted flush to a low monument that is difficult to see from any distance.
Also see . . .  Give ’em the Axe! ( "For decades, Stanford rallied for Big Game with an enormous pregame bonfire. Before the 1912 rally, Stanford’s Gordon Hampton was charged with guarding the pyre. High up in a large oak tree on what is now the southwest corner of Galvez Street at Campus Drive East, near today’s Arrillaga Center for Sports and Recreation, he spied Cal partisans bent on mischief and sounded the alarm. A plaque below the tree explains how Hampton “saved the day.” In 1992, environmental and safety concerns consigned the gigantic
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pyres in Lagunita’s dry lakebed to the bonfire of history. Recently, Stanford’s Axe Committee resurrected the bonfire rallies using a safer bonfire torch. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of Stanford fans each year pass by the Gordon Hampton Oak, symbol of Cardinal vigilance, en route from central campus to Stanford Stadium."

(Note the "1912" date provided above is incorrect.) (Submitted on December 16, 2019.) 
Additional keywords. football
Categories. Notable EventsSports


More. Search the internet for The Gordon Hampton Oak.
Credits. This page was last revised on December 16, 2019. This page originally submitted on December 16, 2019, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California. This page has been viewed 39 times since then and 7 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on December 16, 2019, by Andrew Ruppenstein of Sacramento, California.
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