A Walk Through Stanford History
New book combines hiking routes with campus descriptions.
By Diana Aguilera
If you like exploring nature and are curious about Stanford history, author Tom DeMund, ’57, has a book for you. Walking the Farm is an interpretive guide to 18 strolls on Stanford’s campus, along with 20 hikes in the Foothills and near the Bay.
The themed walks around campus feature Stanford’s iconic architecture, sculptural works and scenic spots. In one instance, DeMund, who produced the book in concert with the Bill Lane Center for the American West, takes readers on a historical journey, describing how the campus changed before and after the 1906 earthquake. The three-mile loop begins at the Cantor Arts Center, passes through the Main Quad and then circles back north to the Angel of Grief. Along the way, hikers see the Old Chemistry building, now restored but lacking the chimneys dislodged by the earthquake; Memorial Church, which was damaged so extensively that it required a 10-year renovation; and the spot where the Gymnasium, one of Jane Stanford’s proudest creations, stood before the earthquake destroyed it, as if it had been “trodden upon in the middle by a giant.” The Gymnasium’s location is now home to Bing Concert Hall.
The hikes range in distance from 1 mile to more than 20. Each route is marked with a separate map, which DeMund encourages readers to tear out and take along. •