Sunday, January 6, 2008

El Palo Alto

Why is Palo Alto called the “birthplace of Silicon Valley”? 

Let's return back to the 1700s. Yes, there are many opinions, and with a quick “google” this is the Spanish definition of Palo Alto which means “ stick” and “high".

Where is this "high stick"?

One of our oldest residents is an easy walking distance north of downtown Palo Alto and east of the railroad tracks (and not very far east), El Camino (the King’s Highway), and Stanford Shopping Center.   The famous, El Palo Alto Redwood, located in El Palo Alto Park, corner of Alma and Palo Alto Way, on the banks of San Francisquito Creek. 

The tree is California Historical Landmark #2. 

It is recognized as the campsite of the Portola expedition in 1769 and used as a sighting tree when plotting out the El Camino.  There is a picture at California Historical Landmark.

This Sequoia sempervirens, Coastal Redwood is 90 inches in diameter, 110 feet in height (compared to 134.6 feet in 1951) and has a crown spread of 40 feet. Yes, this tree as of 2002 is 1,061 years old and considered healthier today than 100 years ago!

The stories this tree may tell.

I actually went on this magical, fairy tale walk and it is an easy walking trail to visit our oldest citizen. Our oldest resident, imagine the stories it may be able to tell through these years?

It is so close to the newest valley innovations and a definite item to add to your list to discover – right in our own backyard!

Remember, El Palo Alto, is over-seeing our activities while we dine, shop and live in the downtown Palo Alto.  At this height, it might even see us all the way to the capital of Silicon Valley, San Jose. 

Share your El Palo Alto story with us now in the comments! 

It is a fun walk to go see!  The Fun Tour Guru

Find more information of this tree at Palo Alto History Organization website.  

El Palo Alto is older than this house!

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