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St. Clare of Assisi
Santa Clara County is a county located at the southern end of the San Francisco Bay Area in the U.S. state of California. As of 2010 it had a population of 1,781,642. The county seat is San Jose. The highly urbanized Santa Clara Valley within Santa Clara County is also known as Silicon Valley. Santa Clara is the most populous county in the Bay Area region, and one of the most affluent counties in the United States.
Santa Clara County was one of the original counties of California, formed in 1850 at the time of statehood. The original inhabitants included the Ohlone, residing on Coyote Creek and Calaveras Creek. Part of the county's territory was given to Alameda County in 1853.
In 1882, Santa Clara County tried to levy taxes upon property of the Southern Pacific Railroad within county boundaries. The result was the U.S. Supreme Court case of Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad, 118 U.S. 394 (1886), in which the Court extended Due Process rights to artificial legal entities.
Once promoted as the "Valley of the Heart's Delight", after two centuries of an agricultural economy started by the Spanish missionaries, the focus has shifted to technology. This trend is not new. Hewlett Packard was founded in 1939, and IBM selected San Jose as its West Coast headquarters in 1943. Varian Associates, Fairchild Semiconductor, and other early innovators, were located in the county by the late 1940s and 1950s. The U.S. Navy had a large presence in the area and began giving large contracts to Silicon Valley electronics companies. The term "Silicon Valley" was coined in 1971. The trend accelerated in the 1980s and 1990s, as agriculture has been nearly eliminated from the northern part of the county. Today, Santa Clara County is the headquarters for such companies as AMD, Apple, Cisco Systems, eBay, Facebook, Google, Hewlett Packard, Intel, Sun Microsystems, Yahoo, and many others. The valley is currently home to approximately 6500 high technology companies. Most of Silicon Valley's (Santa Clara Valley) high tech companies are located within the county, with some adjoining tech regions in San Mateo, Alameda, and Santa Cruz counties also being considered Silicon Valley.
According to the 2000 census, the county has a total area of 1,304.01 square miles (3,377.4 km2), of which 1,290.69 square miles (3,342.9 km2) (or 98.98%) is land and 13.32 square miles (34.5 km2) (or 1.02%) is water.
Cities, towns, and neighborhoods
Incorporated cities and towns
There are 15 incorporated cities and towns in the county:
- San Jose, which includes all or portions of the former cities/communities of:
- Los Altos
- Los Altos Hills
- Los Gatos
- Monte Sereno
- Morgan Hill
- Mountain View
- Palo Alto
- Santa Clara
- Alum Rock
- Cambrian Park
- East Foothills
- Lexington Hills
- Loyola also known as Loyola Corners
- San Martin
Other unincorporated communities
- Bell Station, also known as Bell's Station and Hollenbeck's Station.
- Casa Loma, also known as Loma Chiquita, part of Llagas-Uvas CDP
- Chemeketa Park, part of Lexington Hills CDP
- Coyote, also known as Burnett c. 1860–1882
- Madrone, now part of Morgan Hill
- Redwood Estates, part of Lexington Hills CDP
- San Antonio, also known as Deforest c. 1892–1924
- Sveadal, part of Llagas-Uvas CDP
- Almaden Township: Present-day Almaden Valley, Cambrian Park and portions of Campbell and Los Gatos.
- Alviso Township: Present-day Alviso.
- Burnett Township: Present-day Coyote, Santa Teresa and Morgan Hill.
- Fremont Township: Present-day Palo Alto, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and part of Cupertino.
- Gilroy Township: Present-day Gilroy and San Martin.
- Milpitas Township: Present-day Milpitas.
- Redwood Township: Present-day Los Gatos, Monte Sereno, Saratoga, Redwood Estates and portions of Cupertino and Campbell.
- San Jose Township: Most of present-day San Jose.
- Santa Clara Township: Present-day Santa Clara and portions of San Jose, Cupertino and Campbell.