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Palo Alto California, United States: Overview

by Rob V.

Palo Alto California Overview, Palo Alto California United States

Facts About Palo Alto California, United States

The city of Palo Alto is located 14 miles north of San Jose and 35 miles south of San Francisco with a population of about 66,649 residents. It is a part of the San Francisco Metropolitan Bay Area and the Silicon Valley and can be found in the Santa Clara County.

Palo Alto is more than a 100 years old and is named after the coastal redwood tree which is found along the San Francisquito Creek which was a settlement for Spanish explorers. The city is recognized as a leader in the cutting-edge technological development and a business hub. It is a full-service municipality that provides services like gas, electricity and water at competitive rates.

Attractions in Palo Alto! 

Among the top attractions for visitors to this town are the campus of Stanford University, the garage where Hewlett-Packard was founded, various museums, different estates and gardens, amusement parks and the Palo Alto Art Center,

Palo Alto is known as the “birthplace of the Silicon Valley” for developing a 31-mile dark fiber ring for quick internet access. The city is also acknowledged as a hub for students, staff and visitors of Stanford University.

History of Palo Alto:

Palo Alto was first inhabited by the Ohlone. In 1769, Don Gaspar de Portola’s expedition camped in the region. They were later followed by Spanish and Mexican Settlers and soon a majority of the lands were owned by the Soto/Greer family and Juana Briones which later became part of the city today.

In 1853, James Otterson built a roadhouse on the road between San Francisco and San Jose, which later grew into a community named Mayfield. This then developed into a small farm town neighboring the sawmills and harvesting regions in the west. Those who worked at the mills would travel down to Mayfield to visit the saloons and generate profit for the residents. In 1863, the railroad passed through Mayfield, traveling from San Francisco to San Jose, inviting the wealthy, like Leland Stanford, to build their stock farms and estates along the tracks and the southern bank of San Francisquito Creek.

In 1884, Leland Stanford Junior died of typhoid fever and his parents, Leland and Jane Stanford announced their dream to establish a university in their child's memory. Leland Stanford Junior University opened to 465 students in 1891. The university promised free tuition for poor but ambitious students and became the alma mater for US President Herbert Hoover.

In order to restrict students’ access to alcohol, the Stanfords' sought to shut down the saloons and brewery in Mayfield, which was dismissed. Later, Timothy Hopkins purchased and developed the new town of University Park. This was soon renamed as Palo Alto.

Stanford University and Palo Alto continued to grow in the coming years and, in 1925, Mayfield was annexed to become a part of Palo Alto. The business derived from Stanford University students and professors kept the town thriving even through the Depression years. The town grew at a tremendous rate in the 15 years following World War II. By 1960, the town’s population amounted to 55,000.

It was when William Hewlett and David Packard, who lived and worked in the town from 1938 to 1940, founded their first successful HP computer products that Palo Alto’s name was cemented in history as a leader in science and technology, the nucleus for the Silicon Valley and the first region in the world to be regarded for its high-technology. This was followed by other ventures in the region including modern radio communications, television and the electronics age, the Fairchild Semiconductor, Varian Medical Systems and Google, rooting Palo Alto’s name in the historical pages of technology.

Did you know? 

You can perfom a Background Check for California Residents 

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