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Historic Plaques

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The land that Stanford Redwood City now occupies has a rich history.

As a tribute to those who used this property prior to Stanford's arrival, a series of historic plaques are installed on campus to commemorate just some of the important uses this land has seen throughout history. You'll find the plaques along Community Court, just off Broadway Avenue between University and Discovery Halls.

Each plaque briefly covers a period of time—from when dinosaurs roamed to the present day. Here, you'll find the same content shared on the historic plaques.

2.6 million - 11,700 years ago

Fossilized bones were discovered on this site in 2017 during earthwork grading operations for the Stanford Redwood City campus.

Read more about the Pleistocene Period

5,000 years ago

The San Francisco Bay Area was settled by Native Americans before the end of the last Ice Age flooded the river valley (rúmmey waayi) that became San Francisco Bay (about 5,000 years ago).

Read more about the Native Americans

1850 - 1900

The discovery of gold at Sutter’s Fort in 1848 ushered in a period of rapid change in California as thousands of immigrants flooded into the state and the non-native population grew from 20,000 to 100,000 in one year.

Read more about Mezesville

1916 - 1939

Redwood City was an important center for early aviation and Stanford’s campus here is located on what was once an airfield.

Read about the Airfield period

1954 - 2005

Alexander M. Poniatoff (1892-1980), a Russian immigrant to the United States, and his colleagues saw enormous commercial potential in the German recording technology they encountered during World War II.

Read about the Ampex years