About Los Gatos
Living in Los Gatos
In the mid-1850s, Los Gatos was founded when James Alexander Forbes built Forbes Mill, a flour mill, by what was known as Jones’s Creek, now Los Gatos Creek. The mill’s stone annex, a two-story structure, remains today. Initially named after the mill in the 1860s, the area’s name was later changed to Los Gatos, reflecting the Spanish land grant’s influence.
Los Gatos’ early days saw the establishment of the milling operation that spurred the town’s growth, evolving from a hub for the logging industry to a prosperous agricultural town by the early 20th century. Known for its apricot, grape, and prune orchards, Los Gatos also became a cultural and artistic haven, attracting notable figures across various fields. The transition to a suburban area for San Jose began in the 1950s, with the town’s architecture and community planning reflecting a blend of historical preservation and modern living.
Many Victorian-era homes and commercial structures have been preserved and restored in downtown Los Gatos. Among the notable landmarks are the Forbes Mill annex, built in 1880 and a former history museum; Los Gatos High School, established in the 1920s; and the Old Town Shopping Center, which used to be the University Avenue School, founded in 1882 with its present buildings dating back to 1923.
Today, Los Gatos offers a high quality of life with its scenic landscapes, historic downtown, vibrant cultural scene, and strong community spirit. The Los Gatos Creek Trail – a walking, jogging, and biking trail– runs alongside much of the creek from Lexington Dam through Vasona Park and Campbell to Meridian Avenue in San Jose.
The city’s temperate climate mirrors that of San Jose, although it is slightly warmer and generally experiences more rain. Los Gatos averages an incredible 330 sunny days per year, making it an attractive place to live within the Silicon Valley area.
For more information about Los Gatos, California, visit the city’s official website.
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