Los Gatos: 1887


The history of Los Gatos from its year of incorporation, seen through the lens of commerce, agriculture, family life and local heroes, and illustrated with objects from NUMU's permanent collection.

An economy built on agricultural ventures and logging advanced Los Gatos from a small railroad town to what it is today. With the first commercial business at Forbes Mill, the founding residents turned Los Gatos into an important town in the bay area. It earned attention from across the country, as people began to set their sights on Los Gatos for its temperate climate, which is perfect for fruit cultivation. 

By 1887, Los Gatos had a population of 1,500 and jumped to incorporate itself as a town. One hundred residents signed the petition, and the election to incorporate passed at 126 - 44 with Palmer Perkins elected as mayor. Residents of Los Gatos purchased luxury goods and clothing, as well as decorated their houses in the styles popular in the time period. Stories of their economic and commercial successes were passed on through the generations.