Great Value for Sunnyvale Landlords
When the Spanish first arrived in the 1770s at the Santa Clara Valley, it was heavily populated by the Ohlone Native Americans. However early on with the arrival of the Spaniards, smallpox, measles and other new diseases greatly reduced the Ohlone population. In 1777, Mission Santa Clara was founded by Franciscan missionary Padre Junipero Serra and was originally located in San Jose (near what is now the San Jose International Airport runway).
In 1842, Rancho Pastoria de las Borregas was granted to Francisco Estrada and his wife Inez Castro. Portions of the land given in this grant later developed into the cities of Mountain View and Sunnyvale. Two years later, in 1844, another land grant was provided to Lupe Yñigo, one of the few Native Americans to hold land grants. His land grant was first called Rancho Posolmi, named in honor of a village of the Ohlone that once stood in the area. Rancho Posolmi was later known as Rancho Ynigo.
Martin Murphy Jr. came to California with his father as part of the Stephens-Townsend-Murphy Party in 1844. In 1850, Martin Murphy Jr. bought a piece of Rancho Pastoria de las Borregas for $12,500. Murphy established a wheat farm and ranch named Bay View. Murphy had the first wood frame house in Santa Clara County; it was shipped from New England. The house was demolished in 1961 but was reconstructed in 2008 as the Sunnyvale Heritage Park Museum. When he died in 1884, his land was divided among his heirs.
In 1860, The San Francisco and San Jose Rail Road was allowed to lay tracks on Bay View and established Murphy Station. Lawrence Station was later established on the southern edge of Bay View.
In the 1870s, small fruit orchards replaced many large wheat farms, because wheat farming turned uneconomical due to county and property tax laws, imports and soil degradation. In 1871, Dr. James M. Dawson and his wife Eloise (née Jones) established the first fruit cannery in the county. Fruit agriculture for canning soon became a major industry in the county. The invention of the refrigerated rail car further increased the viability of an economy based upon fruit. The fruit orchards became so prevalent that in 1886, the San Jose Board of Trade called Santa Clara County the "Garden of the World".