About Sunnyvale, California
Sunnyvale is a city located in Santa Clara County, California. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 140,095.
The city is one of the major cities that make up Silicon Valley. It is the seventh most populous city in the San Francisco Bay Area. Sunnyvale is bordered by portions of San Jose to the north, Moffett Federal Airfield to the northwest, Mountain View to the west, Los Altos to the southwest, Cupertino to the south, and Santa Clara to the east. It lies along the historic El Camino Real and Highway 101.
As part of California's high-tech area known as Silicon Valley, companies such as Juniper Networks, Fortinet, Advanced Micro Devices, NetApp, Spansion, Yahoo!, AppliedMicro and Ariba are headquartered there. Sunnyvale is also home to several aerospace/defense companies; Lockheed Martin has a major facility in Sunnyvale, and Honeywell, Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems - Marine Systems (formerly Joshua Hendy Iron Works), Finisar, and Spirent also have offices in Sunnyvale. Sunnyvale was also the home to Onizuka Air Force Station, often referred to as "the Blue Cube" due to the color and shape of its windowless main building. The facility, previously known as Sunnyvale Air Force Station, was named for the deceased Space Shuttle Challenger astronaut Ellison Onizuka. It served as an artificial satellite control facility of the United States armed forces until August 2010 and has since been decommissioned and demolished.
When the Spanish first arrived in the 1770s at the Santa Clara Valley, it was heavily populated by the Ohlone Native Americans. In 1777, Mission Santa Clara was built by Ohlone who converted to Christianity.
In 1842, Rancho Pastoria de las Borregas was granted to Francisco Estrada and his wife Inez Castro. Portions of the land given in this grant later developed into the cities of Mountain View and Sunnyvale. Two years later, in 1844, another land grant was provided to Lupe Yñigo, one of the few Native Americans to hold land grants. His land grant was first called Rancho Posolmi, named in honor of Posolmi village of the Ohlone that once stood in the area. Rancho Posolmi was later known as Rancho Ynigo.
Martin Murphy Jr. came to California with his father as part of the Stephens-Townsend-Murphy Party in 1844. In 1850, Martin Murphy Jr. bought a piece of Rancho Pastoria de las Borregas for $12,500. Murphy established a wheat farm and ranch named Bay View. Murphy had the first wood frame house, which was shipped from New England, in Santa Clara County built. The house was demolished in 1961 but was reconstructed in 2008 as the Sunnyvale Heritage Park Museum. When he died in 1884, his land was divided among his heirs.
In 1860, The San Francisco and San Jose Rail Road was allowed to lay tracks on Bay View and established Murphy Station. Lawrence Station was later established on the southern edge of Bay View.
In the 1870s, county property tax laws, imports and soil degradation caused wheat farming to become uneconomical in Santa Clara County. Small fruit orchards replaced the large wheat farms. In 1871, James and Eloise Dawson established the first fruit cannery in Santa Clara County. Fruit agriculture and canning soon became a major industry in the county. The invention of the refrigerated rail car further increased the viability of an economy based upon fruit. The fruit orchards became so prevalent that in 1886, the San Jose Board of Trade called Santa Clara County the "Garden of the World".
During World War II, the war economy began a change from the fruit industry to the high-tech industry in Santa Clara County. The Joshua Hendy Iron Works built marine steam engines, naval guns and rocket launchers to aid in the war effort. As the defense industry grew, a shortage of workers in the farm industry was created. Immigrants from Mexico came to Sunnyvale to fill this void of workers.
Following the war, the fruit orchards and sweetcorn farms were cleared to build homes, factories and offices. In 1956, the aircraft manufacturer Lockheed moved its headquarters to Sunnyvale. Since then, numerous high-tech companies have established offices and headquarters in Sunnyvale, including Advanced Micro Devices and Yahoo. The first prototype of Pong, one of the first arcade videogames, was installed in Sunnyvale in August 1972, in a bar named Andy Capp's Tavern, now Rooster T. Feathers. In 1970, the Census Bureau reported Sunnyvale's population as 94.6% white and 3.7% Asian.
By 2002, the few remaining orchards were demolished and replaced with homes and shops. However, there are still city-owned orchards, such as the Heritage Orchard next to the Sunnyvale Community Center.
In 1979, an indoor mall called Sunnyvale Town Center opened in what used to be a traditional downtown shopping district. After years of successful operation, the mall started to decline in the 1990s. After numerous changes in plans and ownership, the mall was demolished in 2007, and a new downtown shopping district is being constructed in its place.
Sunnyvale celebrated its one-hundredth anniversary on August 25, 2012.