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Alviso is a small community in San Josemarker, Santa Clara County, Californiamarker. It is located approximately 1.5 miles (2.4 km) south of Drawbridgemarker, at the north end of San José where it meets the southern end of the San Francisco Baymarker and borders the nearby city of Milpitasmarker

The Guadalupe Rivermarker and Coyote Creek both end at Alviso, emptying into the Bay through Alviso Slough and Mud Slough. In 1983, Alviso was victim to severe flooding caused by El Niño.


Alviso was first settled in the 1700s. The community was named for Ignacio Alviso, the son of Corporal Domingo Alviso, one of the original members of the de Anza expedition. Corporal Alviso lived but a short time after reaching San Francisco and was buried March 11, 1777 Alviso's descendants were granted the Rancho Rincon de Los Esterosmarker holding.

The city of Alviso was incorporated on March 4, 1852, as the boating and shipping port of San José and the transportation hub for the Santa Clara Valley to the San Francisco Bay. Steamboats traveled regularly between San Francisco and Alviso. That usage declined with the growth in railroad transportation between San Franciscomarker and San José. In 1864 Alviso was bypassed by the San Francisco-San Jose Railroad, (later part of the Southern Pacific Railroad). However in the 1880's Alviso was a stop on the Newark line of Southern Pacific Railroad between San José and Oaklandmarker.

Alviso was the home to a series of several successful business ventures. Alviso Mills, founded in 1853, at its peak produced up to 300 barrels of flour a day. As wheat production in the San Joaquín Valley grew, production in the Santa Clara Valley waned and the Alviso Mills closed in 1885. In 1906, Sai Yin Chew opened the Bayside Canning Company there, and at its peak was the 3rd largest cannery in the United States. During The Depression Alviso was known for its dance halls and gambling establishments. In the 1960's and 1970's a small independent boat building community developed there.

The cty ceased to exist when it was consolidated with the City of San Jose on March 12, 1968, following a 189 to 180 vote in favor of consolidation. The city's final census was in 1960 when it recorded a population of 1,174. The United States Postal Service still recognizes "Alviso" as the placename for mail sent to the Post Office in the area. Mail is not delivered in Alviso, but must be picked up at the post office.

After the 1970s, Alviso was treated like a socioeconomic backwater of the prospering Silicon Valleymarker and struggled to restore its former vitality. The floods of the early 1980s were devastating to Alviso, especially because Alviso is below sea level and is on marshland. Water was as much as 10 feet (3 m) deep in some locations. A number of homes and businesses were destroyed. Some of the picturesque character of the town was lost.

Today, shipping and industry have left Alviso, leaving it mostly as a small residential neighborhood. Digital video recorder company TiVo is based in the community as well as Foundry Networks. Many salt evaporation ponds formerly owned by Cargill in the neighborhood are being converted to wetlands as part of the Don Edwards San Francisco Bay National Wildlife Refugemarker.

Alviso in 1981 Alviso in 2007


The Bureau of the Census provides demographic information for the 95002 Zip Code Tabulation Area, which includes the former City of Alviso. (See map of the 95002 Zip Code Tabulation Area.) As of the census of 2000, there were 2,128 people, 506 households, and 400 families residing in the CDP. There were 514 housing units. The racial makeup of the CDP was 40.8% White, 0.6% African American, 1.1% Native American, 2.7% Asian, 50.5% from other races, and 4.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 75.4% of the population.


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