Los Altos


In 1906, Paul Shoup, an executive of the Southern Pacific Railroad, and his colleagues formed the Altos Land Company. Shortly after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire, Southern Pacific Railroad purchased 140 acres of land between Palo Alto and Mountain View that was owned by Sarah Winchester. This is indeed the same Ms. Winchester who was the heiress of the Winchester Rifle fortune, as well as the woman behind the infamous Queen Anne-style Victorian mansion on South Winchester Boulevard in San Jose, now affectionately known as the Winchester Mystery House. 

With more land than needed for the railroads, Altos Land Company planned a new town to serve the Southern Pacific Railroad cutoff between Mayfield (now part of Palo Alto) and Los Gatos. They named it “Los Altos,” because the land was at the highest point on that cutoff. The intersection between Foothill Expressway and Main Street became the focus and center for Los Altos. Accurately advertised as “the loveliest place on the Peninsula,” by 1911 Los Altos had several offices and buildings on Main Street along with 50 homes. Many of our first residents were commuters who realized Shoup’s vision of taking the train to their jobs in San Francisco and returning to their elegantly rural homes with expansive lots.  

By 1949, many of the residents of Los Altos were pressing to incorporate the city, as threats of being annexed by neighboring Palo Alto and Mountain View were imminent. On December 1, 1952, Los Altos became the eleventh city in Santa Clara County. The majority of Los Altos, excluding Old Los Altos, was built in the post-World War II housing boom when apricot and almond orchards became housing developments. Since its incorporation, Los Altos emerged as the birthplace of notable tech giants such as Apple, where Steve Jobs and Steve “Woz” Wozniak harnessed their brilliance at Steve’s childhood home on Crist Drive.

In Los Altos, you get the perfect balance of suburban comforts and sylvan beauty, without compromising urban zeal. Thanks to the convenience to neighboring cities, moderate weather, and beautiful scenery, it is no wonder that Los Altos has become so highly sought-after! 

For a neighborhood-specific analysis, or further information, call a DeLeon specialist today!

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