An umbrella of cover beneath the towering Heritage Oak tree at Los Altos Hills Town Hall proved an appropriate setting for the “Old-Timers Gathering” Oct. 20. Residents living in the community for 35 years or longer served as guests of honor.
More than 70 people mingled with neighbors, perused old photos and shared memories. The atmosphere was jovial as guests exchanged stories of Los Altos Hills’ rural past while circled around the tree – a symbol of the town’s enduring legacy amid a changing landscape.
Although new residents may be attracted to Los Altos Hills for its bucolic atmosphere, established residents of the area remember days when open space meant more than a large home on a 1-acre lot.
Christine and Shirley Abraham, second-generation Los Altos Hills residents, recalled their childhood memories of trekking from Palo Alto to “The Lot”– a name given to the spacious landscape of Los Altos Hills – where they built forts in mustard fields and wandered past walnut farms.
Other attendees highlighted longstanding holiday traditions in their neighborhoods and pointed to the increasing diversity of the community over the years.
Los Altos Hills History Committee member Diane Brauch noted that the committee was surprised to learn that the last gathering of this type occurred in 1978.
“People seemed to really enjoy it,” Brauch said after October’s event, adding that she hopes it won’t be another 35 years before the History Committee schedules another “Old-Timers Gathering.”
In the interim, members of the History Committee will continue to gather oral histories from residents and document the origins of local street names.
For more information on Los Altos Hills’ history, visit losaltoshills.ca.gov/about-lah/town-history.