Harker’s library director and resident history buff Sue Smith had a very pleasant surprise over the summer: a visit from the grandson of Frank Cramer, the founder of Manzanita Hall, the school that eventually became The Harker School. Tom Lasley and his wife, Jayne, live in Southern California, but made a trip up to the Bay Area to show their own grandchildren some of their family’s old haunts.
Smith and Office of Communication staffer Catherine Snider showed the Lasley family around the campus on a peaceful Saturday afternoon, being sure to stop at the history wall in the main building and the current Manzanita Hall, named, of course, in homage to Cramer’s original institution. It was Manzanita Hall that became Palo Alto Military Academy, which in turn merged with Miss Harker’s School for Girls to become Harker Academy and later The Harker School.
Details of Cramer’s life have been hard to come by, so Smith and Lasley had a very pleasant hour catching each other up on photos, old documents and stories. “I feel like we’ve filled in some big gaps in our knowledge of our school’s founder,” said Smith, “and we’ve made plans to continue to share documents and information. It was such a wonderful surprise to meet Frank Cramer’s descendant!”