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Clotilde Merlo Park

As you turn the bend on Skyway into Stirling City, a sign depicting the history of the town appears directly in front of you. It's here you turn right on the P Line road, then left at the split on the R Line road to the entrance of Clotilde Merlo Park.

During the town's mill days this area was known as Dago Town and is today perhaps one of the most beautiful spots on the Ridge. The park was dedicated August 29, 1987 by Harry Angelo Merlo in memory of his mother, Clotilde Merlo. Harry, founding president of Louisiana-Pacific Corporation, was born in Stirling City in 1925.

Coltilde was a war widow who came from Italy in 1920 with her small son, Pete. She met and married Joseph Merlo, also widowed with two small children, Caroline and Amiel. They had 3 sons, John, Harry and Frank. She was the foremost teacher in her children's lives as well as running a boarding house for Joseph's co-workers from the nearby sawmill. After WWII, she moved to Berkeley with her three youngest sons where she worked to help them through the University. She died in 1962.

Harry's mother always appreciated the beauty of the land and being close to nature. At the park entrance is a statue "Return from the Garden," an artistic interpretation in bronze of Clotilde Merlo with her small son Harry.

The park's 20 acres contain a variety of trees, Ponderosa, Sugar Pine, Incense Cedar, White and Doug Fir, Black Oak, Quaking Aspen and Manzanita, where nature abounds in deer, squirrels, and birds. There are three large ponds where the flowing water is pumped back and recycled, individual and group picnic areas, nature trails, meadows, horseshoe pits, a bocce court, restrooms, outdoor wedding chapel, and homesite markers. Recent additions in 2006 include 25 bronze sculptures of children and a 25-foot waterfall.

Clotilde Merlo Park is a must see when visiting or passing through (ah, where are you going?) Stirling City. The park is open May through the first weekend in October from 10 am to 7 pm Thursday thru Sunday. Absolutely no smoking, no dogs. Please note the park is closed during scheduled weddings which usually take place on Saturdays and Sundays. If you're wanting to visit the park on a weekend it would be best to call ahead to verify.

Reservations required for groups or use of the Outdoor Wedding Chapel. Call (530) 873-1658 or write:

  • Clotilde Merlo Park
  • P. O. Box 132
  • Stirling City, CA 95978

Take a picture tour of the park. Click Here!

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