Santa Clara founded in 1777 and incorporated in 1852, is a city in Santa Clara County, California. The city is the site of the eighth of 21 California missions. The Mission and Mission Gardens are located on the grounds of Santa Clara University. Saint Clare is the patron saint of Santa Clara. Santa Clara is located in the center of Silicon Valley, and is home to the headquarters of Intel, Applied Materials, Sun Microsystems, NVIDIA, Agilent Technologies, and many other high-tech companies. It is home to both Mission College and Santa Clara University, the latter being the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of California. Santa Clara encompasses the 95050, 95051, and 95054 zip codes.
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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.
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Santa Clara Community Information
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. In 1821, the Mexicans achieved independence from
Spain, but the change of rulers created no changes in the way the missions operated. The Ohlone were still brought to the mission for compulsory baptism and conversion to Christianity. Records show that by December, 1828, there had been 8,279 baptisms, 2,376 marriages, and 6,408 deaths at Mission Santa Clara. In 1836, control of Mission Santa Clara was taken from the padres and turned over to civil commissioners who were supposed to oversee the "return of the land to the native population." This did not happen and squatters took over the church buildings and land. Disorder and decay set in and by 1839, there were only 300 Indians remaining in the vicinity of Mission Santa Clara. About this time, the Mexican governor began issuing land grants to various favored people.
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