city, San Mateo county, western California, U.S. It lies on the western shore of San Francisco Bay. The area, originally inhabited by Ohlone Indians, was called El Palo Alto by Spanish explorers in the mid-18th century. It became part of the Rancho de las Pulgas, a Mexican land grant established in 1800. The city was founded in 1854 by Dennis J. Oliver and D.C. McGlynn, two Irishmen who named the city for Menlough, County Galway, Ireland. Menlo Park began as a village for railroad and estate workers. Brief incorporation (1874-76) included Fair Oaks (later Atherton) and Ravenswood (later East Palo Alto). During World War I, the population of the city increased, as Camp Fremont (for U.S. Army engineers) occupied most of the downtown area and trained some 40,000 soldiers. During World War II, Dibble General Hospital (1943-46) was built to provide services for injured soldiers from the Pacific theatre. After World War II, Menlo Park developed as a residential community with an office-building boom, highlighted by the Stanford Research Institute (1946; now SRI International). Menlo College (1927) lies in the nearby town of Atherton. It is also a publishing centre. Inc. 1927. Pop. (1990) 28,040; (2000) 30,785.
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