Portola Valley is an incorporated town in San Mateo County that was founded in 1964. Its wonderful rolling hills, large parcels, and magnificent views make the town both remote and intimate at the same time. Its first mayor was Bill Lane. PV is located on the San Francisco Peninsula along the eastern slope of the Santa Cruz Mountains, west of Interstate 280, with its southwest boundary along Skyline Boulevard. It borders San Mateo County neighbors Menlo Park and Woodside to the north and east, and its Santa Clara neighbors, Palo Alto and Los Altos Hills, to the south and east. Portola Valley's real estate options can generally be divided into seven subdivisions: Central, The Ranch, Corte Madera, Los Trancos/Vista Verde, Woodside Highlands, Westridge, and Blue Oaks, plus its unincorporated subdivision of Ladera. Alpine and Portola are the two main roads in town, and their intersection forms a small shopping nexus.
Portola Valley has proven to be the wealthiest town in America per the American Community Survey and by the U.S. Census Bureau, based on per-capita income for communities larger than 4,000 residents. PV’s 2010 US Census Bureau population of 4,353 residents have more currently risen to an estimated 4,600. Home prices when it comes to homes for sale in Portola Valley are among the highest in the nation.
Portola Valley was named for Spanish explorer Gaspar de Portola’, who led the first party of Europeans to explore the San Francisco Peninsula in 1769. The already present Native American Ohlone (specifically the groups known as Olpen or Guemelento), was subsequently moved to Mission Dolores and Mission Santa Clara de Asis. The area’s written history dates back to 1833 when a square league of land was given to Domingo Peralta and Maximo Martinez by Governor Jose’ Figueroa to form Rancho Canada del Corte de Madera. In those days it was used for cattle grazing and lumbering.
In 1886 the name Portola-Crespi Valley was bestowed on the area from the then community of Crystal Springs (now under Crystal Springs Reservoir) to the then community of Searsville (now in the area of present-day Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve). Crespi is derived from Juan Crespi’, a Franciscan friar who of was among the leaders of the Portola expedition.
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