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Menlo Park City School District

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Woodside Estate

  • Mr. I. C. Woods another of the well known settlers in the southern part of the county, came to California from New Bedford, Massachusetts. His home, which he called "Woodside," was at Menlo Park surrounded by an estate of eighty acres or more, where now stands St. Patrick's Seminary. At that time this was part of the Pulgas Grant.

    "Woodside" was the scene of many delightful entertainments and week-end parties, almost dividing honors in this respect with Belmont, the country seat of Wm. C. Ralston. During these occasions, visitors were numerous and were lavishly entertained. The guests went down the Bay on a steamer from San Francisco and landed at Ravenswood on the bayshore. They were then driven in carriages to the Woods' home.

    "Woodside" was so far superior to any residences established at that early date—1852-53—that it continued to attract much attenion up to the time of its decay and final destruction by fire, ten or twelve years ago.

    The initial movement towards making Menlo Park a favorite location for the country seats of wealthy gentlemen was begun by Mr. Woods. Unfortunately his residence there was abruptly ended by the tragic failure of the Adams and Company Bank in which he had been a partner. At this time "Woodside" passed into the hands of his brother-in-law, Mr. R. Emmett Doyle.

    Source: Alexander, Philip W. History of San Mateo County : from the earliest times, with a description of its resources and advantages, and the biographies of its representative men.  Burlingame, Calif.: Press of Burlingame Pub. Co., 1916, 247 pgs.

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