A neighborhood of San Jose, California, in Santa Clara County, Willow Glen, has a long history. It lies in the heart of San Jose in the San Francisco Bay area of Northern California, right in the midst of Silicon Valley. Willow Glen's downtown area is situated on Lincoln Avenue between Willow Street and Minnesota Avenue. It is a trendy, popular neighborhood, drawing many local residents who like to walk through the area and stop in at some of the local shops, restaurants and bars. Lincoln Avenue was formerly called Willow Glen Road, but the community had it changed in 1865 after President Lincoln was assassinated to honor him. Willow Glen is three miles southwest of downtown San Jose, and is bordered by the Guadalupe River, Los Gatos Creek and Coe and Curtner avenues.
Willow Glen incorporated as a city in 1927, when it was fighting the railroad companies, who wanted to install a line that would run right through the community. After achieving their victory, the town unincorporated in 1936, when its residents voted to be annexed into San Jose. Willow Glen real estate includes both apartments and single-family homes, and many Willow Glen homes are architecturally pleasing in the Victorian and Spanish style, built in the 1920s and '30s. It once had a streetcar, at the turn of the 20th century, that took residents from Willow Glen to downtown San Jose. The area also was a farming community, producing large stocks of wheat, barley, potatoes, onions, beets and corn. The area had a multitude of willow trees, and thus, its name.
Today, Willow Glen is home to two of Silicon Valley's only independent bookstores left. It is also home to a number of independent businesses, including two pilates studios and a yoga studio, more than a dozen hair salons, several massage parlors and spas and the Treasure Chest Aquarium. There is a multitude of things to do, from cooking and arts classes and other activities, and from yoga class and book readings to sewing courses and wine tastings. Annually, the area holds a Founders Day celebration. The community's oldest home is the Roberto-Sunol Adobe, a ranch home originally owned by an American Indian from the Santa Clara Mission.
Though most anything residents could need can be found here, Willow Glen is just a short drive from San Jose and other major Northern California cities. Beaches can be reached in under and hour. San Jose has five hospitals at which residents can seek medical assistance. The large San José Unified School District serves the area, and there are also many private schools, including six Catholic schools and two Baptist high schools. Plenty of colleges serve the greater area, including the University of California, Berkeley; the University of California, Santa Cruz; San José State University; San Francisco State University; California State University, East Bay; Santa Clara University and Stanford University. There are a number of local and county parks, including the Raging Waters water park and the large Almaden Quicksilver County Park.
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