Morgan Hill

Real Estate In Morgan Hill

Location

Morgan Hill is a city located in the southern part of Santa Clara County, California, United States. Founded on November 10, 1906, the city was named after Hiram Morgan Hill, a San Franciscan who built a country retreat home there in 1884. Originally a community of ranchers, farmers and orchardists, the city has evolved into a bedroom community for the high-tech industries in Silicon Valley. As of the United States 2010 Census, the city had a population of 37,882. The silhouette of El Toro, a distinctive hill overshadowing the town to the west, has been incorporated into the city’s seal and official logo.

Morgan Hill is approximately 39 km (24 mi) south of downtown San Jose, 21 km (13 mi) north of Gilroy, and 24 km (15 mi) inland from the Pacific coast. Lying in a roughly 6 km-wide (4-mi-wide) southern extension of the Santa Clara Valley, it is bounded by the Santa Cruz Mountains to the west and the Diablo Range to the east. At the valley floor, Morgan Hill lies at an elevation of about 107 m (350 ft) above MSL.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city encompasses an area of 12.9 square miles (33 km2), all land. Although there are no natural lakes or ponds within the city limits, there are several flood-control and water storage reservoirs in the adjacent hills which are operated by the Santa Clara Valley Water District, with recreational activities such as boating, etc., administered by the Santa Clara County Department of Parks and Recreation.

Morgan Hill is located within the seismically active San Francisco Bay region. The significant earthquakes in the region are generally associated with crustal movements along well-defined, active fault zones. The nearest known active faults are the San Andreas Fault, approximately 19 km (12 mi) southwest, and the Calaveras Fault, approximately 1.6 km (0.99 mi) northeast. Both faults have produced major earthquakes in the past, and have estimated maximum credible Richter magnitudes of 8.3 and 7.3 respectively. The Sargent-Berrocal Fault, a potentially active fault, lies 16 km (9.9 mi) away from the sites and has an estimated maximum credible Richter magnitude of 7.4. The Coyote Creek Fault is located in Morgan Hill and is classified as potentially active as well. In addition, several unnamed faults traverse the western slopes of the upland areas. Geomorphic evidence suggests that these faults were active during recent geologic time. However, these fault-related geomorphic features are not as fresh as those of the active Calaveras Fault and are considered to be somewhat older.

Morgan Hill is the only known site where one can find the semi-precious stone poppy jasper, a variety of orbicular jasper. Geologists conjecture that the deposits of poppy jasper were formed through a unique local combination of volcanic and seismic activity on the slopes of El Toro. A local business, El Toro Brewing Co., has a collection of poppy jasper on display at their rural Morgan Hill brewery and on a large bar top inlaid with the stone at their brewpub in downtown Morgan Hill. Examples are also on display at the Morgan Hill Museum and at the Morgan Hill Community and Cultural Center. Poppy Jasper is also the name of a local non-profit film festival.

History

Prior to the arrival of Spanish expeditions en route from Mexico, peaceful tribes of Native Americans had inhabited the lush Santa Clara Valley for more than 6,000 years. Under Spanish and Mexican jurisdictions, instituted in 1778, a vast region that includes present day Morgan Hill was one of the most substantial Spanish land grants for nearly three quarters of a century.

In 1845, Martin Murphy, Sr. acquired 9,000 acres known as the Rancho Ojo de Agua de la Coche. Murphy had been a leader of the first party of pioneers to cross the Sierra Nevada range at Truckee Pass, later to become the route for the Southern Pacific Railroad. The Murphy family made its home in the valley below El Toro Mountain. By 1870 Martin’s seven sons and daughters had managed to acquire more than 70,000 acres.
 In 1851, the youngest son, Daniel, married Maria Fisher, heiress to the neighboring 19,000 acre Rancho Laguna Seca. In 1882, Diana, their precocious daughter, secretly married Hiram Morgan Hill. When Daniel Murphy died, Diana inherited 4,500 acres of their original rancho in the shadow of El Toro. 
Diana and Hiram Morgan Hill built their estate, the Villa Mira Monte, between the railroad and Monterey Road in 1884. When the first Southern Pacific station was built in 1898, the railroad referred to this area as Huntington. Many visitors would request the train stop at “Morgan Hill’s Ranch,” changing the name to Morgan Hill.

By 1896, the growing community had a population of 250, with a post office, depot, two hotels, a restaurant, and several churches and shops. There was much controversy over the incorporation of the city. The Times printed many editorials supporting the issue, while those opposed were fearful of higher taxes. Nevertheless, the “yes” vote won by a margin of 65-36 and Morgan Hill became incorporated November 10, 1906.

By 1909 the population rose to 1,000.

The first school was built in 1894, but was soon outgrown and in 1907 a new elementary school and high school were constructed. Then in 1924 architect William H. Weeks designed and built a new grammar school, selling the old Morgan Hill Grammar School Building to the Morgan Hill Grange Association.

By the 1920s, the City was known for its agricultural products including prunes, apricots, peaches, pears, apples, walnuts, and almonds. The region boasted prosperous vineyards until Prohibition demanded that production temporarily cease. Around the 1950s, Morgan Hill experienced an economic transformation from an agricultural center to a suburban residential community.

Growth began to accelerate rapidly in the 1970s as Silicon Valley developed and workers were attracted to Morgan Hill’s small-town atmosphere, sense of community and reasonable housing prices. On November 3, 1973 the Morgan Hill Civic Center and library were proudly dedicated to the community of 7,000. By 1980 the population increased to approximately 18,000 residents. The 2000 census confirmed that 33,000 citizens called Morgan Hill their home.

Morgan Hill is located in southern Santa Clara Valley, approximately 12 miles south of San Jose, 10 miles north of Gilroy, and 15 miles inland from the Pacific Coast. The Valley is approximately 4 miles wide and is surrounded by the Santa Cruz mountain range to the west, and the Diablo mountain range to the east. Parks and open spaces abound, making Morgan Hill one of the last communities in the region with a charming, small town atmosphere.

Morgan Hill Demographics

 Morgan Hill California U.S.
Median Household Income $96,734 $61,283 $51,660
Median Home Price $463,120 $342,040 $183,450
Cost Of Living- % of Nat Avg 163% 135% 100%
Unemployment 15% 12% 10%
Violent Crime Index- 1=lowest 4 6 4
DPY With Sun 255
DPY With Precipitation 50
Population 38,402
Morgan Hill Zillow Home Value Index

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