City of Sunnyvale

sunnyvale murphy archThe City of Sunnyvale is located in Santa Clara County, California and is one of the major cities that make up the Silicon Valley. Located in the San Francisco Bay Area, it is the 7th most populated city in that area, with a population of over 140,000.  Sunnyvale is located South of San Jose, east of Mountain View, north of Cupertino and west of Santa Clara.

As part of the Silicon Valley, the City of Sunnyvale is home to many high-tech companies including Maxim Integrated Products, Juniper Networks, Fortinet, Palm Inc., AMD, NetApp and Yahoo!. Home of several aerospace/defense and the Onizuka Air Force Station (aka the Blue Cube) which was the primary artificial satellite control facility of the United States armed forces until August 2010.

Sunnyvale is one of a hand full of US cities that have a unified Department of Public Safety, where all firefighters, police officers and EMTs are cross-trained so that they can respond to an emergency in any of the three roles.

The Spanish arrived in the 1770s when the area was heavily populated by the Ohlone native Americans. Mission Santa Clara was built by the Ohlone (who had converted to Christianity) in 1777.

In 1842, Rancho Pastoria de las Borregas was granted to Francisco Estrada and his wife Inez Castro. Parts of this land grant later became the cities of Mountain Vie and Sunnyvale. In 1844, another land grant was provided to Lupe Ynigo, at first known as Rancho Posolmi and later known as Rancho Ynigo.

Then in 1850 Martin Murphy Jr bought a piece of Rancho Pastoria de las Borregas and established a wheat farm and ranch which he named Bay View. Murphy built the first Santa Clara County wood framed home which was demo’d in 1961, and reconstructed in 2008 at the Sunnyvale Heritage Park Museum.

The San Francisco and San Jose Rail Road laid tracks on the Bay View property and established Murphy Station in 1860, and later Lawrence Station was established on the south edge of Bay View.

During the 1870s wheat farming was no longer feasible due to the county taxes, imports and poor soil. So fruit orchards replaced wheat farms. Fruit agriculture and canning soon became a major industry in Santa Clara County, so much so that the area became known at the ‘Garden of the World’.

Walter Everett Crossman started selling real estate in 1897 when he bought 200 acres which he called ‘Beautiful Murphy’. Then in the 1900s Walter Crossman, now a real estate developer described the Murphy area as the ‘City of Destiny’. That same year, the Encina School was the first school to open in Murphy.

Then in 1901, the residents of Murphy were told that they could not use the names Murphy or Encinal for their post office, so they named the town of Murphy – Sunnyvale.

Sunnyvale continued to grow, venturing into dried fruit production and in 1906 the Joshua Hendy Iron Works (the areas first non-agricultural industry) relocated from San Francisco to Sunnyvale after the 1906 earthquake.

In 1912, the residents of Sunnyvale voted to incorporate, and Sunnyvale became an official city.

Fremont High School, opened in 1923, served as a military base before the school opened and through World War II. In 1930 Congress established an airbase in Sunnyvale naming it Moffett Naval Air Station, and today it is known at Moffett Field. Planes flying to and from Moffett Field, which opened in 1933, commonly stopped at the Fremont High School military base for fuel top-offs.

In 1939, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA, the forerunner of NASA) began research at Ames Laboratory.

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.

Sunnyvale celebrated its one-hundredth anniversary, on August 25, 2012.

The City of Sunnyvale enjoys a Mediterranean climate with warm (and dry) summers and mild winters. During the summer the average daytime temperatures are in the high 70s, and during the winter average daytime lows rarely go below the 50s.

The City of Sunnyvale’s top 10 employers are; Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Yahoo!, NetApp, Juniper Networks, West Valley Engineering, Maxim Integrated ProductsNorthrop Grumman Marine SystemsPalmApplied Materials, and Synopsys.

There are almost 70 award winning Realtors serving the Sunnyvale area out of the local Century 21 M&M and Associates office. Feel free to drop by the office at 474 E El Camino Real, Sunnyvale, CA 94087, or call (408) 249-5100 to speak with a real estate agent about all of your real estate needs.

*Information Courtesy of


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