Mountain View is a city located in Santa Clara County, California, United States, named for its views of the Santa Cruz Mountains.From its origins as a stagecoach stop, it grew to a large suburb with a pedestrian-friendly downtown and a population of 74,066.The city borders Palo Alto and the San Francisco Bay to the north, Los Altos to the south, and Moffett Federal Airfield and Sunnyvale to the east.
Situated in the southern end of the Peninsula in the San Francisco Bay Area, in the northwest corner of Santa Clara county, Mountain View is home to many high technology companies. In 1956, Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory, the first company to develop silicon semiconductor devices in what came to be known as Silicon Valley, was established in the city by William Shockley. Today, many of the largest technology companies in the world are headquartered in the city, including Google, Mozilla Foundation, Symantec, and Intuit. The original Byte Shop computer store was opened at 1063 El Camino Real, Mountain View, by Paul Terrell, and the first 50 Apple I computers were sold from that location. The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority integrates the city with the neighboring cities of Palo Alto, Los Altos, and Sunnyvale.
The Mexican land grant of Rancho Pastoria de las Borregas was given in 1842 by Alta California Governor Juan Alvarado to Francisco Estrada. This grant was later passed on to Mariano Castro, who sold half of the land to Martin Murphy, Jr. Eventually, the former land grant became the cities of Mountain View and Sunnyvale.
The area, which is on the southwest shore of San Francisco Bay, was settled in 1852 as a stagecoach station. By the early 1900s, it was a shipping point for fruit and grain, as well as a center of religious book publishing.
It was first known as the major center of Fremont Twp. before the first California 1852 census, for Santa Clara County. [Fremont township is bounded on the north by San Mateo county and a portion of the bay of San Francisco; on the east by Alviso and Santa Clara townships; on the south by Redwood township, and on the west by San Mateo county.] Which meant that it was a predecessor to Mayfield and Palo Alto. Mountain View Station, officially named in 1864, had its beginnings earlier as a stagecoach stop on the route between San Francisco and San Jose, including the Butterfield Overland Mail. Incorporated on November 7, 1902. Phyllis Ave. & El Camino Real of today, was closer to what was once the original town center and its then San Jose Road. The early pioneers were commonly buried at the old cemetery between Mercy & Church, off Castro Street, now the present city Library and park, aka Pioneer Park. Reverend Henry Merrill Henderson, born in Maryland, age 35, arrived in Spring of 1852, with his family to meet with relatives Ricketts and many others from Missouri and Kentucky. He was the first Baptist minister in town and soon was going by horse to Half-Moon Bay, and McCartersville (Saratoga) for services. His next-door neighbor arrived later that year, Seligman Weilheimer and brother Samuel from Dossenheim, Baden, Germany, who built at that property, the first big general merchandise store in 1856. The Fremont twp. population was about 560 by 1860, less Mayfield Post office section, which began north of present San Antonio Road. The town’s early growth was due to agriculture, William Bubb later being a town figure, buying 80 acres to farm in October 1851, where he died in 1864. His heirs expanded and intermarried in the area. Agriculture remained the primary industry into the middle of the 20th century. The U.S. Navy’s adjacent 1000 acre Moffett Field Complex began after 1931 and brought many economic opportunities . After World War II, the population grew significantly with the development of the aerospace and electronics industries. Between 1950 and 1960, the population grew from 6,563 to 30,889, an increase of 370.7%.
Between 1929 and 1994, the city was the home of the Moffett Field Naval Air Station. In 1940, the city became the home of the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (now the NASA Ames Research Center), influencing the city’s development of its aerospace and electronics industries.
Today, high technology is the foundation of the local economy, and there exist few remnants of the city’s agricultural past. In 1990, Kevin Duggan began his position as city manager. He built a relationship with Google, Inc., and issued a long-term lease to that and other technology companies. As of 2014, those leases generate over $5 million per year in city revenue. Duggan reinstituted a special tax district for the Shoreline area, which was a landfill and pig farm in 1990. That money allowed the city to create a large park and golf course on the site. The Castro Street downtown area also benefited from a special tax district.
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