Monta Loma, Mountain View

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Monta Loma

Oakwood, Fairview, Mardell Manor
Monta Loma is located in Mountain View, California
Monta Loma
Monta Loma
Monta Loma is located in San Francisco Bay Area
Monta Loma
Monta Loma
Coordinates: 37°24′34.7″N 122°05′57″W / 37.409639°N 122.09917°W / 37.409639; -122.09917

Monta Loma is a neighborhood in Mountain View, California in the San Francisco Bay Area. Located between the bounds of San Antonio Road, Middlefield Road, Rengstorff Avenue and Central Expressway.[1]

This was the location of an Ohlone village and the Castro Indian Mound, one the largest shell mounds in the San Francisco Bay Area. After World War II, there was a housing boom, and this neighborhood's current housing was formed.


Ohlone village and Castro Indian Mound[edit]

The first inhabits were the Ohlone Native Americans and the land from the current corner of Central Expressway and San Antonio Road was the Castro Indian Mound, also known as Indian Hill, Castro Shell Mound, and Secondino Robles.[2] The mound measured measured at 400 feet long, by 300 feet wide, and 10 feet high.[2]

In 1893, Stanford University professors began to "investigate" the shell mound to better understand local Ohlone Native American customs.[2] They discovered this was not only a place to dump cooking refuse but also a Native American burial ground.[3] The Castro Indian Mound showed evidence of cremation and it's thought these cremations were only held for the social elite.[3][4] The archeologists found a wide variety of items in the mound, including many oyster shells, fishing spears, pestles, jewelry, arrowheads, and among others.[5] Radio carbon dating puts the origin of the Castro Mound around 1460 ± 100 B.C.[6]

In 1947, the mound was leveled and demolished to sell it as topsoil for gardening.[7]

In 1989, Stanford University surrendered the collected artifacts and remains from the Castro Shell Mound to their descendants, this includes the remains of 550 Ohlone people.[8]

Post-World War II[edit]

The homes were built during the post-World War II housing boom, mostly California-style mid-century modern homes by Joseph Eichler, John Calder Mackay, and Mardell Building Company.[1] Originally the neighborhood was named by each developer as they created sections, named "Oakwood" by Eichler,[9] as well as "Fairview" by Eichler[10] and "Mardell Manor" by Mardell Building Company.

From 1959 until 1967, a young Steve Jobs and his family lived on Diablo Avenue in Monta Loma and he attended the local elementary school.[11][12]

The neighborhood has one of the best preserved tracts of Mackay homes.[9]

Monta Loma Neighborhood Association[edit]

The Monta Loma Neighborhood Association (MLNA) was founded in 1977 and originally served as a "beautification committee".[1][13] The MLNA hosts several annual neighborhood events, and serves to encourage dialog between the Mountain View city government and the neighbors.[1][13][14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Schrenk, Kathy. "Monta Loma". Retrieved 2020-01-23.
  2. ^ a b c Cady, Theron G. (1948). "Tales of the San Francisco Peninsula". Peninsula Life Magazine, C-T Publishers. Retrieved 2017-04-15.
  3. ^ a b Wright, Benjamin (2018-05-27). "The Indian Mounds Memorial Rock of Palo Alto". cymbalinesite. Retrieved 2020-01-23. Cremation was also practiced to some extent on the Peninsula for evidence of such disposal has been found in the Castro mound.
  4. ^ Margolin, Malcolm (1978). The Ohlone Way: Indian Life in the San Francisco-Monterey Bay Area. Berkeley, California: HeyDay Books. p. 147. ISBN 0930588010.
  5. ^ Smith, Cheryl (Summer 2004). "Our Neighborhood's First Inhabitants". Monta Loma newsletter. Retrieved 2020-01-22.
  6. ^ Bickel, Polly McW (1978-07-01). "Changing Sea Levels Along the California Coast: Anthropological Implications". The Journal of California Anthropology. 5 (1).
  7. ^ Gullard, Pamela; Lund, Nancy (1989). History of Palo Alto, the Early Years. San Francisco, California: Scottwall Associates. pp. 4–5. ISBN 9780942087031.
  8. ^ Gross, Jane (1989-06-24). "Stanford Agrees to Return Ancient Bones to Indians". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-01-23.
  9. ^ a b "Mackay Homes Still Appeal to MCM Fans". Retrieved 2020-01-23.
  10. ^ Jones, Archie Quincy; Emmons, Frederick Earl (1957). Builders' Homes for Better Living. Reinhold Publishing Corporation. p. 22. ASIN B000EOEJPY.
  11. ^ DeBolt, Daniel (2011). "Steve Jobs called Mountain View home as a child". Mountain View Voice. Retrieved 2020-01-23.
  12. ^ "Jobs' Likeler No Eichler, For the record: Steve Jobs wasn't raised in an Eichler—but partner Steve Wozniak was". Eichler Network. Retrieved 2020-01-23.
  13. ^ a b The Mountain View 1992 General Plan: City of Mountain View, California. Mountain View, California: City of Mountain View. 1993. p. 101.
  14. ^ "Real Estate: Monta Loma". Palo Alto Online. January 26, 2009.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]