Menlo Park is an affluent town at the eastern edge of San Mateo County, in the San Francisco Bay Area of California, in the United States. It is bordered by San Francisco Bay on the north and east; East Palo Alto, Palo Alto, and Stanford to the south; Atherton, North Fair Oaks, and Redwood City to the west. Menlo Park is one of the most educated cities in the state of California and the United States, with nearly 70% of its residents having earned an advanced degree. Menlo Park had 32,026 inhabitants according to the 2010 United States Census.In addition, Menlo Park was ranked in the top 15 US cities in CNN’s “Best Places for the Rich and Single” to live.
In the nineteenth century two Irish immigrants, Dennis J. Oliver and his brother-in-law D. C. McGlynn, purchased a 1,700-acre 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 Menlo 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.
Menlo Park is also famous as a US Financial Center for Venture Capital. Like the Wall Street of Venture Capital, Menlo Park contains a high density of Venture Capital firms that are situated along Sand Hill Road, the main thoroughfare that connects I-280 and El Camino Real.
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. Geron, Robert Half International, Exponent, Sunset and SRI International are among the companies based in Menlo Park. Facebook moved its headquarters to the former campus of Sun Microsystems in Menlo Park in Dec 2011.