A Bit Of History – Redwood Grove

Posted on August 18, 2011 by  
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While the City of Los Altos was incorporated in 1952, it’s history goes back much father.  Out of all the park in Los Altos, one of the most tranquil is Redwood Grove.  There is a back story for each gem treasured by the community.

Recently, an article was written by L.A. Chung, editor for Los Altos Patch, about this truly special place. Below, is an slightly edited version.  Enjoy …

In the beginning, Redwood Grove was not a redwood grove at all.

It was, as Berkeley resident Katherine Buss tells it, a spot “with a creek and one redwood tree,” a small house shaded by live oak trees, on about six acres.

How it became a redwood grove is a story Buss likes to share. It’s one of many stories about the special place her grandmother, Emma Wright Halsey, cultivated.

Buss is making a point to go, because the meeting is one where Redwood Grove’s future as a park is being shaped, one with a historic house that is deteriorating.

“I ran across an article online saying they were considering whether to restore or demolish it, and I thought, ‘Maybe they don’t know about the history of the occupants,'” Buss said.

Emma Wright Halsey purposefully planted the coastal redwood grove, Buss said, sapling by sapling, brought in by the truckload from her grandparent’s original property in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Redwood Grove is the place where her mother, Eugenia Halsey Buss, and uncle, Theodore Vail Halsey Jr., grew up with so many happy memories. And it is the place where her mother took family members from time to time, after the city of Los Altos made it a public park.

After the city purchased the property and it was used for summer day camps, her mother periodically took Buss and other relatives to revisit the rooms where they lived and where Emma Halsey had tended her rhododendrons and water lilies. Her mother told story after story of the old days.



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