Mountain View earned its name for its scenic vantage point between the Santa Cruz and Diablo ranges. Founded as a stagecoach stop along the El Camino Real in 1852, Mountain View became a diverse and bountiful agricultural community in the “Valley of Heart’s Delight.” During the depths of the Depression, Bay Area citizens raised almost half a million dollars to purchase land north of town that was offered to the navy. The gamble paid off with the opening of Moffett Naval Air Station in 1933, inaugurating Mountain View’s turn toward commercial and residential development. It was in an old apricot storage barn on San Antonio Road that William Shockley founded the first silicon manufacturing company in 1956, making it the true birthplace of the “Silicon Valley.”
Author Bio: Author Nicholas Perry, a graduate student in city planning at the University of California, Berkeley, is a fourth-generation Mountain View resident and author of several in-depth historical articles for the Mountain View Voice and Palo Alto Weekly. He has drawn from the extensive photographic archives of the Mountain View Historical Association and the Mountain View Library to create this visual journey through time, bringing us from the sun-striped orchards of long ago to the prosperous technological powerhouse of today.
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