Location of Atherton in San Mateo County, California. Its population california zip code map pdf 7,159 as of 2013.
The entire area was called Menlo Park. There were several attempts to incorporate Fair Oaks, one in 1874 and another in 1911. In 1923, Menlo Park wished to incorporate its lands to include the Fair Oaks lands. During a meeting of the representatives of the two communities, it became clear to the Fair Oaks property owners that in order to maintain their community as a strictly residential area, they would have to incorporate separately. Both groups rushed to Sacramento but the Fair Oaks committee arrived first. It was at that time they realized that they could not keep the name Fair Oaks, as it was already the name of a town near Sacramento. Atherton was incorporated on September 12, 1923.
Atherton, a native of Massachusetts, had spent several years in Chile and Hawaii as a trader in tallow, hides and merchandise. His home, “Valparaíso Park”, was built several years later. It was simple in design and ample for his family of seven children. Because of the development of the railroad, other San Franciscans traveled south and established summer homes. The dirt roads were usually impassable in the winter, so the families were only in residence from May through September.