Saturday, April 14, 2012

Leland Stanford, Jr. University

The museum at Stanford is free! It doesn't open until 11:00 a.m. so we entertained ourselves by viewing all of the Rodin bronzes outside in the sculpture garden.

Stanford was named for the son of Leland and Jane (is it Jane?) Stanford. Leland Stanford was once governor of California as well as a senator. He was there for the opening AND closing ceremonies of the Central Pacific's quest to make a transcontinental railroad. He was one of the Big Four, whose names K could rattle off for you effortlessly. Their boy was named Leland DeWitt Stanford at birth, but later changed his name to Leland Stanford, Jr. He was their only child. He died tragically as a young teen after contracting typhoid in Europe.

K tells me that the Stanfords wanted to donate some money to Harvard University. However, some snooty soul back East said, "You don't have any money." Leland Stanford said, "I don't?" So he made a university in honor of his late son and we all know how spendy it is to get an education there! We enjoyed our time on "The Farm" in Palo Alto!

Here are a couple of shots of Rodin's "The Thinker."

And I couldn't resist...just one more thinker:

Housed at this museum are the gold and silver spikes used at the Last Spike ceremony at Promontory, Utah on May 10, 1869. The shovel used in the opening ceremony is also on display along with the silver spike maul which was used in the May 10th ceremony to drive the last spike in. K and I can now say we have seen ALL of the ceremonial spikes except for the one that nobody has seen which they think was destroyed in the great San Francisco earthquake and fires in 1906. We can die happy now.

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