Speaking of Palo Alto . . .


Palo Alto is a city rich in history and activity. Let’s look at some trivia points many people may not know about this wonderful community.

  • Palo Alto was named for the coastal redwood tree known in Spanish as “El Palo Alto.”
  • Palo means “stick” or “tree,” and Alto means “tall.” The translation is “tall tree.”
  • The tree for which the city was named can still be seen across from Menlo Park on the east bank of San Francisquito Creek.
  • Palo Alto is a charter city, meaning it is governed by its own charter document rather than by laws set forth by regional, state or national entities.
  • The city was established by Leland Stanford, who also founded the university bearing his name.
  • Palo Alto was incorporated on April 23, 1894 and employs the council-manager form of government.
  • Many high-tech companies are headquartered here. These include Hewlett-Packard, Ford Research and Innovation Center, VMware, Skype, Palantir Technologies and Tesla Motors.
  • Palo Alto is known for having one of the most educated resident profiles in the United States. City-Data.com ranked it #1 in the U.S. in 2013 with 26.3% of residents holding master’s or doctorate degrees.
  • It is one of the first cities in Santa Clara County to provide advanced life support paramedic-level ambulance services. The Palo Alto Fire Department is the only county department that regularly transports patients to medical facilities.
  • The Professorville neighborhood was home to some of Stanford University’s first faculty members. Now a registered national historic district, it is bordered by Addison, Kingsley and Lincoln avenues.
  • The vacuum tube and electronic oscillator were invented in Palo Alto in 1911 by Lee de Forest.
  • At 367 Addison Avenue is the garage in which Hewlett-Packard was launched. The tech giant recently restored the garage and its companion house.
  • The Palo Alto Chinese School is the oldest school of its kind in the San Francisco Bay Area. It was founded in 1963.
  • Palo Alto’s 25.8 square miles includes 1.9 square miles of water.
  • The highest temperature ever recorded in Palo Alto was 107 degrees on June 15, 1961. The record-low temperature 15 degrees happened on November 17, 2003.
  • The United States Census in 2010 set Palo Alto’s population at 64,403, with a population density of 2,497.5 people per square mile.

In addition to being a city full of interesting history and trivia, Palo Alto is also a community of lovely homes and pleasant lifestyles. Check it out for yourself some time, and learn why more and more people are eager to call Palo Alto home.