The Los Altos City Council last week honored Margaret Thompson as the city’s 2014 Historic Preservation Award recipient.
Mayor Megan Satterlee presented Thompson – known for the annual Historical Essay Contest that bears her name – with a proclamation that acknowledged her “contributions to historic preservation of our city.”
The Los Altos Historical Commission in April voted unanimously in favor of giving Thompson the award, established in 2012. Denise Welsh – a current member of the city’s Historical Commission – originally nominated Thompson, calling her “truly one of the town’s great treasures.”
Thompson, a historical commissioner from 1982 to 1989, is the third Los Altos resident to receive the award. Los Altos historian Don McDonald (2012) and Marion Grimm (2013) were previous recipients.
Thompson said she was pleased that the city honored her work in promoting and preserving Los Altos’ history for younger generations of residents.
“I feel very humbled to be mentioned in the same category as Don McDonald and Marion Grimm,” said Thompson, a Los Altos resident since 1950.
In her nomination letter, Welsh noted that in 1977, Thompson joined the auxiliary group that launched the city’s history museum. She also highlighted Thompson’s “innovative effort to enlighten the youth” of Los Altos about the city’s history through her annual essay contest for third- through sixth-graders.
Thompson said she hopes the contest, now 30 years old, continues to inspire elementary school students to learn more about Los Altos’ past.
“I sure hope so. … I’ve heard so many great stories throughout the years,” she said with a chuckle. “I’m just so pleased. The contest is 30 years old now, so that’s quite something.”
– Diego Abeloos