A magical place to grow up and an exceptionally lovely place to live, Los Gatos has transformed from its agrarian roots to an upscale community at the southern tip of Silicon Valley. With its sublime Mediterranean climate and stunning natural setting, the town has progressed while still valiantly protecting its small town character and customs. The 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake hit Los Gatos hard, creating a devastating litany of 481 damaged homes and businesses, many of them historic. Los Gatos made the decision to rebuild and restore what had been lost, with picture-perfect results.
In 1878, Charles Erskine Scott Wood, builder of the Cats Estate, wrote Good citizens are the riches of a city. From its beginning, Los Gatos has suffered no shortage of hardworking, inventive, entrepreneurial, and gifted people. Early orchardists found the land unbelievably productive, but their crops were threatened with disease and pesky infestations of gophers. John Bean and Zephyr Macabee provided solutions. Louise Van Meter was an unconventional teacher who championed the new concept of kindergarten. Neta Snook Southern defied traditional female roles to become a pilot. She taught Amelia Earhart to fly before retiring to Los Gatos, where she raised prunes, apricots, and miniature horses. John Steinbeck wrote The Grapes of Wrath during one long, hot summer in town. Steve Wozniak settled in Los Gatos and donated computers to schools. The lives presented here have contributed to the sparkling legacy of the Gem City of the Foothills.