Milpitas

Real Estate In Milpitas

Location

Milpitas is a city in Santa Clara County, California. It is a suburb of the major city of San Jose, California. It is located with San Jose to its south and Fremont to its north, at the eastern end of State Route 237 and generally between Interstates 680 and 880 which run roughly north/south through the city. With Alameda County bordering directly on the north, Milpitas sits in the extreme northeast section of the South Bay, bordering the East Bay and Fremont. Milpitas is also located within the Silicon Valley. The corporate headquarters of Maxtor, LSI Corporation, Flextronics, Adaptec, Intersil, Cisco Systems, JDSU and SanDisk sit within the industrial zones of Milpitas. The population was 66,790 at the 2010 census.

History

[dropcap]Milpitas was first inhabited by the Tamyen (also spelled Thomien, Tamien, Thamien, or Tamiayn), a linguistic subgroup of the Muwekma Ohlone people who had resided in the San Francisco Bay Area for thousands of years. The Ohlone Indians lived a traditional life based on everyday hunting and gathering. Some of the Ohlone lived in various villages within what is now modern-day Milpitas, including sites underneath what are now the Calvary Assembly of God Church and Higuera Adobe Park.4 Archaeological evidence gathered from Ohlone graves at the Elmwood Correctional Facility in 1993 revealed a rich trade with other tribes from Sacramento to Monterey.

During the Spanish expeditions of the late 18th century, several missions were founded in the San Francisco Bay Area. During the mission period, Milpitas served as a crossroads between Mission San José de Guadalupe in modern-day Fremont and Mission Santa Clara de Asis, in present Santa Clara. The land in modern-day Milpitas was divided between the 6,353-acre (25.71 km2) Rancho Rincon de Los Esteros granted to Ygnacio Alviso; the 47,738-acre (193.19 km2) Rancho Milpitas (Spanish for “little corn fields”) granted to José María Alviso; and the 26,581-acre (107.57 km2) Rancho Los Tularcitos granted to José Higuera. Jose Maria Alviso was the son of Francisco Xavier Alviso and Maria Bojorquez, both of whom arrived in San Francisco as children with the de Anza Expedition. (A son of Ygnacio Alviso was also named Jose Maria Alviso, this has led to some confusion by researchers.) Due to Jose Maria Alviso’s descendents’ difficulty securing his claims to the Rancho Milpitas property, much of his land was either swindled from the Alviso family or had to be quickly sold to American settlers.

Both landowners had built prominent adobe homes on their properties. Today, both adobes still exist and are the oldest structures in Milpitas. The seriously eroded walls of the Jose Higuera Adobe, now in Higuera Adobe Park, are encapsulated in a brick shell built c.1970 by Marian Weller, a descendant of pioneer Joseph Weller.

The Alviso Adobe can be seen mostly in its original form with one kitchen addition made by the Cuciz family c.1920. Prior to the city acquiring the Alviso Adobe it was the oldest continuously occupied adobe house in California dating from the Mexican period and is gradually being restored and undergoing seismic upgrades by the City of Milpitas. Alviso Adobe History Park is to be opened, after the restoration is completed, as an educational museum with historic items, trees, buildings, and documents.

In the 1850s, large numbers of Americans of English, German, and Irish descent arrived to farm the fertile lands of Milpitas. The Burnett, Rose, Dempsey, Jacklin, Trimble, Ayer, Parks, Wool, Weller, Minnis, and Evans are among the early settlers of Milpitas. 1 (Today many schools, streets, and parks have been named in honor of these families.) These early settlers farmed the land and set up many businesses on a section of what was then called Mission Road, which by the late 20th century became known as the “Midtown” district. Yet another influx of immigration came in the 1870s and 1880s as Portuguese sharecroppers from the Azores came to farm the Milpitas hillsides. Many of the Azoreans had such locally well-known surnames like Coelho, Covo, Mattos, Nunes, Spangler, Serpa, and Silva.

There is a local legend that during the late 19th century, when the U.S. Postal Service wanted to locate a Post Office in the town, there was some support for naming the town Penitencia, after the small Roman Catholic confessional building that served local Indians and ranchers and that stood near Penitencia Creek which ran along the Mission Road. Prominent land owner and civic leader, Joseph Weller, felt the Spanish word Penitencia might be confused with the English word “penitentiary.” Instead of choosing Penitencia, he suggested another popular name for the area, Milpitas, after the name of Alviso’s property, Rancho Milpitas.

For over a century, Milpitas served as a popular rest stop for travelers on the old Oakland–San Jose Highway. At the intersection of that road with the Milpitas-Alviso Road, Smith’s Corners, which still stands, was built in 1895 as a saloon that served beer and wine to thirsty travelers for a century before becoming a restaurant in 2001. Around this central core, grocery and dry goods stores, blacksmithys, service stations, and, in the 1920s, one of America’s earliest “fast food” chain restaurants, “The Fat Boy”, opened nearby. Another of Milpitas’ most popular restaurants was the “Kozy Kitchen” established in 1940 by the Carlo family in the former “Central Market” building. Kozy Kitchen was demolished soon after Jimmy Carlo sold the restaurant in 1999. Even in the early 1950s, Milpitas served a farming community of 800 people who walked a mere one or two blocks to work.

On January 26, 1954, faced with getting swallowed up by a rapidly expanding San Jose, Milpitas residents incorporated as a city that included the recently built Ford Auto Assembly plant. When San Jose attempted to annex Milpitas barely seven years later, the “Milpitas Minutemen” were quickly organized to oppose annexation and keep Milpitas independent. An overwhelming majority of Milpitas registered voters voted “No” to annexation in the 1961 election as a result of a vigorous anti-annexation campaign.

Following the election, the anti-annexation committee, who had compared themselves to the Revolutionary War Minutemen who fought the British on Lexington Green – a role filled in this case by the neighboring city of San Jose – adopted the image of Daniel Chester French’s Minuteman statue, that stands near the site of the Old North Bridge in Concord, MA, as part of the official city seal. In the 1960s, the city approved the construction of the Calaveras overpass. Formerly at a junction with the Union Pacific railroad, Calaveras Boulevard had a bridge passing over six sets of railroad tracks after the construction was completed. Though the result was that local residents could now drive over the train tracks without waiting for a slow freight to pass, it resulted in the loss of the historical residential area. Here houses owned by city leaders had to be purchased by the city at full market value and either moved or demolished.

Starting in 1955, with the construction of the Ford Motor Mustang/Mustang Shelby Assembly Plant, and accelerating in the 1960s and 1970s, extensive residential and retail development took place. Hayfields in Milpitas rapidly disappeared as industries and residential housing developments spread. Soon, the once rural town of Milpitas found itself a San Jose suburb. In only 30 years, the population jumped from about 20,500 in 1970 to 62,698 in 2000. Slightly less than half (47.3%) of Milpitas’ residents are foreign-born in contrast to a California state average of 26.2%. Much of its computer industries’ increased labor demand was met by workers from China, Taiwan, Vietnam, and the Philippines. As a result, the percentage of Asian American residents more than tripled from 12% of the population in 1980 to 37% in 1990 and 51% in 2000. The Ford Mustang/Mustang Shelby factory closed in 1984, being converted into a shopping mall, “The Great Mall of the Bay Area”, which opened in 1994.

In the early 21st century, Milpitas light rail transit system station was added, making it the northeasternmost light rail destination in the region. On January 26, 2004, the city celebrated its 50th anniversary of incorporation and issued the book Milpitas: Five Dynamic Decades to commemorate 50 years of Milpitas’ history as a busy, exciting crossroads community.

Milpitas Demographics

 Milpitas California U.S.
Median Household Income $101,359 $61,283 $51,660
Median Home Price $395,310 $342,040 $183,450
Cost Of Living- % of Nat Avg 151% 135% 100%
Unemployment 12% 12% 10%
Violent Crime Index- 1=lowest 5 6 4
DPY With Sun 261
DPY With Precipitation 58
Population 69,417
Milpitas Zillow Home Value Index

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