Doug Graham and I are researching a book about Mayfield for the Palo Alto Historical Association, with a June 2014 deadline, so customers, please be patient. We worked together years ago to apply for and plan a celebration for the state historic plaque for Sarah Wallis in Barron Park. After she moved from her home there, she participated actively in making Mayfield a vital community well before Palo Alto originated. She founded a women’s group there, and was president of a woman suffrage association about 40 years before Californian men voted yes, women may have the vote.

Mayfield's Main Street looking northwest from Sheridan Street, 1886

Mayfield's Main Street looking northwest from Sheridan Street, 1886

Present California Avenue, then named Lincoln, became the main business street of Mayfield, but community character owed much to charming homes, tree- lined streets, and friendliness. Schools, an outstanding achievement there, predated them in Palo Alto. Juana Briones’ two daughters moved from the ranch to Mayfield so their children could attend school, and Jane Stanford originated and financed a kindergarten there when such a preschool was still an experiment.

The train depot fostered prosperity. Mayfield was for a time the end of the line from San Francisco, for people, all kinds of produce, and mail. Sarah Wallis prominently promoted the depot location where it now remains at California Avenue instead of at what is now the corner of Churchill and Alma, where construction had begun.

Doug and I are not experts yet. When Club member Gloria Hom mentioned in her talk at our lunch program in February that her ancestors had originated a cannery in the building now occupied by Fry’s, I knew her information would be vital about Mayfield. We will meet with her. —Jeanne McDonnell

 

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