This is the working website for Two Menlos, an emerging organization consisting of volunteers in the Menlo Park area supporting the Friendship Agreement between Menlo Park, CA, and Galway City, Ireland. Two Menlos is currently organized as a standing committee of the Menlo Park Historical Association (MPHA).

The co-chairs of Two Menlos are Jym Clendenin, Fran Dehn and Jim Lewis.

The Friendship Agreement [Document 1130] was signed by the Mayors of Menlo Park and Galway City in Menlo Park on October 17, 2013.

As of June 6, 2013, the official name of this project is TWO MENLOS. However, please note that the project home page is still https://sites.google.com/site/twomenlosisters/.

Want to be involved or even just be kept informed? Join the MenloSisters email list. See Email List page (left side vertical column) for details.

To contact us, send email to menlosisters@gmail.com .

Historical Relationship of the Two Menlos. In the early 1850s, two Irishmen, Dennis J. Oliver and Daniel C. McGlynn, purchased 650 acres (about 1 square mile) bordering County Road, now El Camino Real to raise cattle for the San Francisco market. They built (or perhaps the property already had) a large barn-like structure. Alongside County Road they erected a large wooden gate with tall arches on which the name of their estate was printed in foot-high letters: "MENLO PARK" since the ranch reminded Oliver of the area around the village of Menlo near Galway town where he grew up. Menlo village had originally been called Mionloch (meaning "small lake" in Gaelic), but by the 19th century had been anglicized to Menlough, usually shortened to Menlo. For interesting historic details, see the Dennis Oliver page on the MPHA website. When the San Francisco and San Jose Railroad came through in 1863, it was decided to put a station were the work camp for building the railroad bridge over the San Francisquito Creek had been located. This station needed a designation. During a discussion about the choice of a name, a railroad official is said to have looked over at the gate and decided that "MENLO PARK" would be appropriate, and so the name was officially adopted for the station. A village grew up around the Menlo Park station. Its population growth accelerated after the founding of Stanford University next door in 1891. In 1927 the village incorporated under the laws of the state of California as a city, adopting the name Menlo Park, but unfortunately the Oliver-McGlynn gate was destroyed by a reckless driver in 1922.

There are 2 Menlough villages in Galway County. Oliver and McGlynn were from the Menlough that is now within Galway City. To distinguish the two villages, the one in Galway City is usually referred to as "Menlo." Menlo consists only of houses, no commercial enterprises. There is an area within Menlo known as Menlo Park. Adjacent to Menlo are the ruins of Menlo Castle.

Background. The friendship effort is the result of a visit to Menlo Park October 16, 2012, by Gerry Hanley, a resident of Galway, Ireland, and at one time of the village of Menlo. Menlo is now a strictly residential area completely absorbed by Galway. Mr. Hanley was one of a group of local citizens who hosted the visit in Galway in 1988 of the former Mayor of Menlo Park, the late Peg Gunn. For his October visit, Mr. Hanley connected with the Menlo Park Historical Association, who then hosted his visit. The visit is described in Barbara Wood’s article in the October 24,2012, issue of The Almanac . On June 4, 2013, Menlo Park Mayor Peter Ohtaki signed a letter to Cllr. Terry O'Flaherty, Mayor of Galway City, suggesting the formation of an informal friendship agreement between Menlo Park, CA, and Galway City, Ireland.[Document 0030] Galway has 12 formal Sister Cities with 5 in the U.S. (Seattle, Chicago, St. Lewis, Cambridge and Milwaukee).

Initial Organizing Meeting. After preliminary efforts to gather information as well as contact potential supporters, an initial organizing meeting was held on Monday, March 25, 2013, in the Chamber of Commerce Conference Room, located in the historic Menlo Park Railroad Depot. View the report of the initial meeting [Document 0010].

Menlo Park City Council Approves Proclamation Concept. At its regular meeting on Tuesday, August 27, 2013, following a presentation by Fran Dehn [Document 1110], the Menlo Park City Council voted UNANAMOUSLY to approve the concept of a Friendship Agreement Proclamation.  Once the exact language was worked out, it was  sent to the Galway Mayor. The Galway City Council will review and make any changes they wish, for the Menlo Park City Council to then consider prior to potential signing ceremonies in October, 2013.

Historic Signing of Friendship Agreement. Once both city councils had approved the wording of the friendship proclamation,  Councillor Padraig Conneely (Mayor of Galway City) [see Documents page], acccompanied by Ciaran Hayes (Director of Services for Transport and Infrastructure, Recreation and Amenity, Galway City), Cathrine Conroy (representative of National University of Ireland Galway (NUIG)) and Gerry Hanley (resident of Menlo village), traveled to Menlo Park for the official signing of the agreement. On Thursday, October 17, 2013, at the Stanford Park Hotel following Mayor Ohtaki's State of the City address, the two mayors signed the Friendship Agreement [Document 1130]. Go to the In the News page to find links to numerous news articles reporting on the signing ceremony.

On Saturday following the signing ceremony, Mayor Conneely participated in the 150th Anniversary Celebration of the railroad coming to Menlo Park (a Caltrain sponsored event) and later in the evening an NUIG alumni reception at the Circus Club.

Mayor Ohtaki Visits Galway City. Responding to Mayor Conneely's invitation for a reciprocal visit, Mayor Ohtaki spent the 2013 Thanksgiving weekend in Galway City. Again go to the In the News page to find links to numerous news articles reporting on this visit.

Last updated: 11 June 2014