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California CountiesThe U.S. state of California is divided into fifty-eight counties. On January 4, 1850, the California constitutional committee recommended the formation of 18 counties. They were Benicia, Butte, Fremont, Los Angeles, Mariposa, Monterey, Mount Diablo, Oro, Redding, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Jose, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Sonoma, and Sutter. On April 22, the Counties of Branciforte, Calaveras, Coloma, Colusi, Marin, Mendocino, Napa, Trinity, and Yuba were added. Benicia was renamed Solano, Coloma to El Dorado, Fremont to Yola, Mt. Diablo to Contra Costa, San Jose to Santa Clara, Oro to Tuolumne, and Redding to Shasta. One of the first state legislative acts regarding Counties was to rename Branciforte County to Santa Cruz, Colusi to Colusa, and Yola to Yolo.
The last California county to have been established is Imperial County in 1907.
Santa Clara County, California
Santa Clara County History, Geography, and Demographics
Etymology - Origin of County Name
The county is named after Mission Santa Clara, which was established in 1777, and named for Saint Clara of Assisi, Italy. The name Clara means "clear" or "bright."
County QuickFacts: Census Bureau Quick Facts
Santa Clara County was one of the original counties of California, formed in 1850 at the time of statehood. The
original inhabitants included the Ohlone, residing on Coyote Creek and Calaveras Creek. Part of the county's territory
was given to Alameda County in 1853.
Known at one time as the "Valley of Heart's Delight," Santa Clara Valley once overflowed with
abundant agricultural riches. Before the cultivation of this beautiful valley, the land itself provided
richly for its original Native American inhabitants, the Ohlone.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,304 square miles (3,377 km²),
of which, 1,291 square miles (3,343 km²) of it is land and 13 square miles (34 km²) of it (1.02%) is
Cities and Towns:
Enter County Resources and Information Here
The history of our nation was a prolonged struggle to define the relative roles and powers of our governments: federal, state, and local. And the names given the counties, our most locally based jurisdictions, reflects the "characteristic features of this country!"