San Jose, California

San Jose is a city that has seen a large amount of transformation from being an agriculture based city to one of the main centers in the Silicon Valley today. San Jose was the first capital city of California and is located about 50 miles south of San Francisco on the southern end of the San Francisco Bay.

The diversity in the city and the peaceful coexistence of African Americans, Caucasians and Asians is proof of the series of changes the city has gone through, but all this is in the past as the global city forges ahead with its dominance over the Silicon Valley activities.

However, there is much more to the city than technology and computers. San Jose possesses a unique culture and lifestyle, and there are many places available for leisure activities. Golfing, adventure, trekking, wine tasting, spas, shopping, theme parks, farmer's markets, and other outdoor activities are some of the things available.

Museums, libraries and sports stadiums can be found everywhere thanks to the large number of universities and schools in addition to young IT professionals that work and reside here.

San Jose is a city that has come through many stages and stands tall as one of the most important cities in the Silicon Valley. The city has a lot to offer everyone irrespective of whether they are looking for some fun, some adventure, work, growth or a career.

San Jose History

Before the city of San Jose was founded, the place was inhabited by various groups of Ohlone Native Americans. It was in 1770 that the first European settlers came to the area with the Presidio of Monterey and Mission San Carlos Borromeo de Carmelo. Juan Bautista de Anza led an expedition from New Spain or Mexico, as we know it today, and established a couple of missions, a presidio and a town. It is interesting to note that De Anza actually returned to Mexico City even before the settlements were created. There are various streets, roads and monuments in the area that have been named after him.

Mission San Jose was founded in 1777 and the city was conceptualized as a farming community to provide food for the soldiers occupying San Francisco and Monterey. It was called the El Pueblo de San José de Guadalupe or the Town of Saint Joseph of Guadalupe and over the years the Mexican Rancho Land Grants were confirmed.

It was during the time of the Bear Flag Revolt that Captain Thomas Fallon captured the pueblo without any bloodshed. The American flag was obtained and put up on July 14th as California agreed to be a state of United States after the Mexican American War.

The largest mercury mines were found in the area south of the city of San Jose during the Gold Rush. This red powder was used by the Native American to decorate the chapel at Mission Santa Clara. To this date, the local newspaper is called the Mercury News.

San Jose was the first city to be incorporated in the state of California in March, 1850, and the first and second sessions of the state legislature were held in the city. However, there were not any suitable buildings for the state government to use at the time, which was perhaps why San Jose did not become the permanent capital.

Notable events in the city include the construction of the San Jose Electric Light Tower that replaced the gas streetlights in 1861, the building of the Winchester Mystery House that was built to confuse the spirits that were said to haunt the Winchester family, experimental radio broadcasts in downtown San Jose in 1921 and the kidnapping and murder of Brooke Hart that resulted in mob violence in the city. There was also racial tension in San Jose during the World War II when a large part of the Japanese community was relocated to detention camps.

The transition from being an agricultural society to a technology based one is noteworthy. For 2 centuries the city's economy was based on agriculture and a fair number of roads and streets have been named based on the produce that was common such as prunes, grapes and apricots. The first farming of broccoli that was done commercially in the United States took place in San Jose. The technology turn for the city took place once IBM established their west coast headquarters in the city, and since then San Jose has become part of what's known as Silicon Valley.

About San Jose, California

The third largest city in California and the tenth largest in the United States, San Jose is the county seat of the Santa Clara County. It is located in the San Francisco Bay Area in the southern part. Founded in 1777 as El Pueblo de San José de Guadalupe, San Jose was the first town of the Spanish colony in Nueva California. This later became Alta California.

The city was created to become a farming community for the Spanish soldiers that has establishments in San Francisco and Monterey. It is interesting to note that San Jose was the first capital of the state of California when it was created. Interestingly, the official name of the city remains City of San Jose.

The city covers a total area 180 square miles of which less than 2 percent is water. It lies between the San Andreas Fault and the Calaveras Fault and is considered to be an earthquake prone area. Other faults near the city include the Monte Vista Fault and the Hayward Fault.

The Guadalupe River that emanates from the Santa Cruz Mountains runs past the city. The climate of the city has been classified as Subtropical Mediterranean Climate. It has more than 300 days of sunshine and the annual average temperature is 73 degrees Fahrenheit.

With a population of more than 900,000, the city has a varied cultural makeup that includes whites, African Americans, Asians, Hispanics, and Native Americans too. Being part of the Silicon Valley, the city derives maximum revenue and growth from industries that are related to high technology. These include hi tech engineering, computers, microprocessors and software. Given the concentration of such companies in the city, it is also referred to as the capital of Silicon Valley at times. Companies such as IBM, Cisco Systems, eBay, Hitachi and Kaiser Permanente are present and headquartered in the city.

One of the landmarks in the city is the San Jose Center of Performing Arts that doubles up as a multi-purpose center for all kinds of performances. The Children's Discovery Museum, tech Museum of innovation, the San Jose Repertory Theater and the New City Hall are only a few of the buildings that mark the city.

Home to several colleges and universities, San Jose is a center of learning. The San Jose State University and the California State University are only two of the many that can be found here. The library system of the city is also unique. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library combines the city's libraries along with the San Jose State University library.

There are a lot of recreational activities in and around San Jose. Adventure lovers can choose from a variety of trails that are available. Families with kids can choose to go to the many parks and enjoy rides and waterslides. The Flea market in San Jose is also extremely popular among the residents.

About Santa Clara County, California

With a population of about 1,781,642, the urban part of the Santa Clara County is called Silicon Valley. The county covers an area of more than 1300 square miles and is considered to be the most populated area in the Bay Area region. There are 15 cities and towns that have been incorporated in the county of Santa Clara. Some of these include San Jose, Campbell, Los Altos, Monte Sereno, Palo Alto, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale and Gilroy. There are other unincorporated communities as well.

The adjacent counties include the San Benito County, the Santa Cruz County, the San Mateo County, the Alameda County, the Stanislaus County and the Merced County. This county was one of the first that was named and created in California, almost at the same time as the creation of statehood for California. The county was named after Mission Santa Clara and Saint Clare of Assisi in Italy.

The county includes part of the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refuge. This is a nationally protected area and forms a great asset to the county allowing for a lot of recreational opportunities. The extensive park system that the county has includes the Grant Ranch Park, the Sanborn Park, the Vasona Park, the Almaden Quicksilver County Park and the Henry W. Coe State Park.

The bicycle network that the county has established is interesting. The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority has established a bicycle network throughout the county. This helps encourage the use of bicycles, which reduces air polution and promotes good health.

Santa Clara County  also has a Sister County Commission that helps create better understanding and build bridges with different countries. The three sister counties that Santa Clara has include Province of Florence in Italy, the Moscow Area in Russia and the Hsinchu County in Taiwan.