Long-time Portola Valley residents, Sheldon Breiner, Virginia Bacon & Town Historian Nancy Lund, have helped document the town’s history, people and places. Sheldon wrote a personal essay on the joys of wandering in Portola Valley. Part history, part geography, and part photologue, Sheldon’s Peripatetic in Portola Valley celebrates life in the Valley. You are also invited to view over 300 of Sheldon’s digital images of Portola Valley at his off-site slideshow. Virginia & Nancy have created a wonderful account of Portola Valley’s historical events and founding citizens on their blog, Portola Valley Past and Present.
Surrounded by wooded hills, this pristine and picturesque town of 4500 residents is located just west of Stanford University in a green and gold valley astride the world-famous San Andreas Fault. Portola Valley values its environmental and historic heritage, its excellent public schools and its economical Town government supported by a multitude of volunteers. An extensive trail system, scenic roads, open space and natural views contribute to one’s feeling of being in the country, as do architectural guidelines that stress “blending in.” Commercial activity is encouraged to the extent that it primarily meets needs of residents of the community. These factors have enabled the town to retain a rural ambiance reminiscent of earlier days.