Sunnyvale, officially the City of Sunnyvale, is a city located in Santa Clara County, California. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 140,095.The city is one of the major cities that make up the Silicon Valley located in the San Francisco Bay Area. It is the seventh most populous city in the San Francisco Bay Area. Sunnyvale is bordered by portions of San Jose to the north, Moffett Federal Airfield to the northwest, Mountain View to the west, Los Altos to the southwest, Cupertino to the south, and Santa Clara to the east. It lies along the historic El Camino Real and Highway 101.
As part of the Silicon Valley, high-tech companies such as Juniper Networks, Fortinet, AMD, NetApp, Spansion, Yahoo!, AppliedMicro and Ariba are headquartered there. Sunnyvale is also home to several aerospace/defense companies; Lockheed Martin has a major facility in Sunnyvale, and Honeywell, Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems – Marine Systems (formerly Joshua Hendy Iron Works), Finisar, and Spirent also have offices in Sunnyvale. Sunnyvale was also the home to Onizuka Air Force Station, where its memorial building, was locally known as the Blue Cube. The base, named for the deceased Space Shuttle Challenger astronaut Ellison Onizuka, was an artificial satellite control facility of the United States armed forces until August 2010.
Sunnyvale is one of the few U.S. cities to have a single unified Department of Public Safety, where all personnel are trained as firefighters, police officers, and EMTs, so they can respond to an emergency in any of the three roles.
When the Spanish first arrived in the 1770s at the Santa Clara Valley, it was heavily populated by the Ohlone native Americans. In 1777, Mission Santa Clara was built by Ohlone who converted to Christianity.
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 Posolmi 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, which was shipped from New England, in Santa Clara County built. 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 1901, the residents of Murphy were informed they could not use the names Encinal or Murphy for their post office. They decided to use the name Sunnyvale for the name of their town.
Sunnyvale continued to grow and in 1904, dried fruit production began. Two years later, Libby, McNeill & Libby, a Chicago meat-packing company, decided to open its first fruit packing factory in Sunnyvale. Today, a water tower painted to resemble the first Libby’s fruit cocktail can label identifies the former site of the factory.
Also in 1906, the Joshua Hendy Iron Works relocated from San Francisco to Sunnyvale after the company’s building was destroyed by fire after the 1906 earthquake. The ironworks was the first non-agricultural industry in the town. The Joshua Hendy Iron Works switched from producing mining equipment to other products such as marine steam engines.
In 1912, the residents of Sunnyvale voted to incorporate, and Sunnyvale became an official city. Sunnyvale celebrated its one-hundredth anniversary, on August 25, 2012.