Santa Clara is a city near San Jose, in California’s Silicon Valley. Many tech companies are headquartered here. The Intel Museum has exhibits about technological milestones, like the making of the silicon chip. California’s Great America amusement park is known for its thrill rides. San Francisco’s professional football team, the 49ers, play at Levi’s Stadium. Local artwork is featured at the Triton Museum of Art.
The first European to visit the valley was José Francisco Ortega in 1769. He found the area inhabited by Native Americans, whom the Spanish called the Costanos, “coast people”, later known as the Ohlone. The Spanish began to colonize California with 21 missions and the Mission Santa Clara de Asis was founded in 1777.
In 1846, the American flag was raised over Monterey and symbolized the transfer of the sovereignty of the California Republic over to the United States. In 1851, Santa Clara College was established on the grounds of the original Mission. In 1852, Santa Clara was incorporated as a town; it became state-chartered by 1862.
For the next century the economy centered on agriculture since orchards and vegetables were thriving in the fertile soil. By the beginning of the 20th century, the population had reached 5,000 and stayed about the same for many years.
In 1905, the first public high-altitude flights by humans were made over Santa Clara in gliders designed by John J. Montgomery. The semiconductor industry, which sprouted around 1960, changed the city and surrounding Valley of Heart’s Delight; little of its agricultural past remains.
Santa Clara’s first medical hospital was built in 1963. This structure, on Kiely Boulevard, was replaced in 2007 with the new Kaiser Permanente medical center located on Lawrence Expressway at Homestead Road.
Santa Clara was also home to a major mental health facility, Agnews State Hospital. According to the National Park Service, more than 100 persons were killed at this site in the 1906 earthquake. The site is the former home to Sun Microsystems and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Downtown Santa Clara: the 1963 City Council voted to knock down the 8 block grid of downtown area next to Santa Clara University bordered by Lafayette, Benton, Monroe, and Homestead (previously named Liberty in 1963) to receive federal funding from Urban Renewal in USA. In 2018 there is a parking lot and Franklin Mall on Washington St (2 blocks) with the one state historical building is, Santa Clara Post Office, apartment building, county courthouse, and strip mall.
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