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Almaden Valley, San Jose, California facts for kids

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Almaden Valley
Neighborhood of San Jose
Historic home on south Almaden Avenue, built circa 1880
Historic home on south Almaden Avenue, built circa 1880
Country United States
State California
County Santa Clara
City San Jose

Almaden Valley (often called just Almaden) is an affluent upper-middle-class neighborhood of about 37,000 in the southeastern portion of San Jose, California, USA, roughly equivalent to the 95120 ZIP Code. The neighborhood is south east of the town of Los Gatos, west of the Santa Teresa neighborhood of San Jose and south of Coleman Rd. at the southern end of the Blossom Hill neighborhood of San Jose. It is named after the New Almaden Quicksilver Mines, which were named after the mercury mine in (old) Almadén, Spain, and produced mercury that was used to process ore during the Gold Rush. The informal borders are generally Coleman Rd. at the northern end, McKean Rd. at the southern end, where the valley becomes mostly rural, and the town of Los Gatos to the west. The valley is located between the Santa Teresa Hills and the Santa Cruz Mountains, with Mount Umunhum to the west dominating the local geography.

Like its Spanish namesake, California's Almaden had a number of quicksilver mines. The mercury was used during gold extraction in the California Gold Rush, but the mines were closed in 1975 and have been converted into Almaden Quicksilver County Park. Despite the closure of the mines, there still remains a high mercury content in the nearby soil, creeks and rivers, and signs are posted alongside them warning people not to eat the fish. Many of the names in Almaden retain their mercury mine themes. For example, there are streets called Silver Lode Lane and Silver Mine Drive (the latter of which was renamed). Also, many places in Almaden still use the name Quicksilver.

As part of the Silicon Valley, the main industry in the neighborhood is now high technology research and development; IBM Almaden Research Center is located there. The neighborhoods consist of primarily upper-middle-class families, with homes owned by local professionals, scientists, athletes, and Silicon Valley executives. According to a 2011 estimate, the median income for a household in Almaden was $148,801 and the median income for a family was $182,981. The cost of a home in the neighborhood is generally in the $1 million-plus range.


Jrb 20090614 guadalupe reservoir 002
Guadalupe reservoir at Almaden Quicksilver County Park, 2009

One of the key attractions of the Almaden Valley is the abundance of public recreational sites.

  • Almaden Lake Park
  • Almaden Reservoir
  • Almaden Quicksilver County Park
  • Calero Dam and Reservoir
  • Almaden Community Center and Library
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