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The grant was bounded on the south by Mariano Castro's Rancho Pastoria de las Borregas grant across San Antonio Road.This later became the Robles Rancho, which constitutes about 80% of Palo Alto and Stanford University today.The area was under the control of the viceroy of Mexico and ultimately under the control of Spain.On November 29, 1777, Pueblo de San Jose de Guadalupe (now the city of San Jose a few miles to the south of what was to be Palo Alto) was established by order of the viceroy despite the displeasure of the local mission.It is named after a coast redwood tree called El Palo Alto.
Pena Court, Miranda Avenue, which was essentially Foothill Expwy, was the married name of Juana Briones and the name occurs in Courts and Avenues and other street names in Palo Alto and Mountain View in the quadrant where she owned vast areas between Stanford University, Grant Road in Mountain View and west of El Camino. In October 1863 the San Francisco to San Jose railroad had been built as far as Mayfield and service started between San Francisco and Mayfield (renamed the California Avenue Station in 1941); service all the way to San Jose started in January 1864.
Greer owned a home on the site that is now Town & Country Village on Embarcadero and El Camino Real. To the south of the Sotos, the brothers Secundino and Teodoro Robles in 1849 bought Rancho Rincon de San Francisquito from José Peña, the 1841 grantee.
The grant covered the area south of Rancho Rinconada del Arroyo de San Francisquito to more or less present day Mountain View.
Prior to the arrival of Europeans, the Ohlone lived on the San Francisco peninsula; in particular, the Puichon Ohlone lived in the Palo Alto area.
The area of modern Palo Alto was first recorded by the 1769 party of Gaspar de Portolà, a 63-man, 200-horse expedition from San Diego to Monterey.
He had a train stop created near his school on Mayfield's downtown street, Lincoln Street (now named California Avenue).