In 1769, Jose Francisco Ortega, scouting for the Portola-Serra party, became the first European to visit the fertile valley that later became known as the Santa Clara Valley. The area was inhabited by Indians who were named Los Costanos (the coast people) by the Spanish, and later were called the Ohlone. Spain began colonizing California by establishing a string of 21 churches, called missions, that eventually stretched 600 miles along the California Coast from San Diego to Sonoma. The Franciscan padres (priests) selected the fertile valley discovered by Ortega to establish the eighth mission, Mission Santa Clara, named for Saint Clare. The mission was founded January 12, 1777.
Few remnants of Santa Clara's agricultural past remain as it today sits in the heart of what is known world-wide as Silicon Valley. By harvesting the fruits of high technology, the Mission City has become a prosperous and progressive city with much to offer residents, businesses, and visitors alike.
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Updated: 20th August, 2019 1:27 AM.