Joan Madden’s grandfather Pete Duzanica followed the Jelichs to Portola Valley from Croatia, arriving in 1904, Her mother, Ann Duzanica Estacaille, was born on Nathhorst in 1917, on property that remained in the family until a few years ago.
She and her husband moved to Brookside where Joan was born, already a third generation Portola Valley resident. In her mother’s day, the Croatian community were mainly workers on the estates as gardeners or housekeepers. Joan went to the 1894 schoolhouse, the one dismantled in 1950 to make way for Portola Valley School, itself now a part of history. She remembers running away from school to the Jurians’ house next door. She also remembers longtime and famous teacher Nathalie Cooper tying her to her chair or giving time-outs in a dark cloak room. And she remembers when the creek that contributed to the street’s name flooded their lower garden, a problem periodically faced by the neighborhood in days gone by.