Mountain View is a city in Santa Clara County, in the San Francisco Bay Area of California. It is named for its views of the Santa Cruz Mountains. From its origins as a stagecoach stop, it grew to a model suburb with a pedestrian-friendly downtown, free wi-fi, and a population of 74,066. The city borders on Moffett Federal Airfield and the San Francisco Bay.
Situated in Silicon Valley, Mountain View is home to many high technology companies. In 1956, Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory, the first company to develop silicon semiconductor devices in what came to be known as Silicon Valley, was established in the city by William Shockley. Today, many of the largest technology companies in the world are headquartered in the city, including Google, Mozilla Foundation, Symantec, Symphony Teleca and Intuit. The original Byte Shop, computer store was opened at 1063, El Camino Real, Mt. View by Paul Terrell and the first 50 Apple I Computer were delivered and sold from that location. The city's tax base helps support public education. Local transportation networks integrate the city closely with the neighboring cities of Palo Alto, Los Altos, and Sunnyvale.
The Mexican land grant of Rancho Pastoria de las Borregas was given in 1842 by Alta California Governor Juan Alvarado to Francisco Estrada. This grant was later passed on to Mariano Castro, who sold half of the land to Martin Murphy, Jr. Eventually, the former land grant became the cities of Mountain View and Sunnyvale.
Mountain View had its beginnings in the late 19th century as a stagecoach stop on the route between San Francisco and San Jose, including the Butterfield Overland Mail. Incorporated on November 7, 1902, the town's early growth was due to agriculture, which remained the primary industry into the middle of the 20th century. After World War II, the population grew significantly with the development of the aerospace and electronics industries. Between 1950 and 1960, the population grew from 6,563 to 30,889, an increase of 370.7%.
Today, high technology is the foundation of the local economy, and there exist few remnants of the city's agricultural past. In 1990, Kevin Duggan began his position as city manager. He built a relationship with Google, Inc., and issued a long-term lease to that and other technology companies. As of 2014, those leases generate over $5 million per year in city revenue. Duggan reinstituted a special tax district for the Shoreline area, which was a landfill and pig farm in 1990. That money allowed the city to create a large park and golf course on the site. The Castro Street downtown area also benefitted from a special tax district.