Morgan Hill, California

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Morgan Hill, California
City of Morgan Hill
Clockwise: the Diablo Range hills, the historic Stratford School building, Votaw Building, El Toro Mountain, Downtown shops, Anderson Lake
Clockwise: the Diablo Range hills, the historic Stratford School building, Votaw Building, El Toro Mountain, Downtown shops, Anderson Lake
Flag of Morgan Hill, California
Location in Santa Clara County and the state of California
Location in Santa Clara County and the state of California
Morgan Hill, California is located in the US
Morgan Hill, California
Morgan Hill, California
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 37°07′50″N 121°39′16″W / 37.13056°N 121.65444°W / 37.13056; -121.65444Coordinates: 37°07′50″N 121°39′16″W / 37.13056°N 121.65444°W / 37.13056; -121.65444
Country United States
State California
County Santa Clara
IncorporatedNovember 10, 1906[1]
 • MayorSteve Tate[2]
 • City managerChristina Turner[3]
 • Total12.76 sq mi (33.05 km2)
 • Land12.76 sq mi (33.05 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
Elevation[5]350 ft (107 m)
Population (2010)[6]
 • Total37,882
 • Estimate (2017)[7]45,037
 • Density3,459.61/sq mi (1,335.81/km2)
Time zoneUTC-8 (Pacific)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-7 (PDT)
ZIP codes95037-95038
Area code(s)408/669
FIPS code06-49278
GNIS feature ID1659174

Morgan Hill is a city in Santa Clara County, California, at the southern tip of Silicon Valley, in the San Francisco Bay Area. Morgan Hill is primarily an affluent residential community for Silicon Valley, as well as the seat of several high-tech companies, including Anritsu, Flex, Velodyne LiDAR, and TenCate. Morgan Hill is a prominent dining, entertainment, and recreational destination in Silicon Valley, owing to its Michelin-star chefs,[8] luxury hospitality,[9] wineries, nature parks, and the numerous noteworthy events the city hosts, such as the Tour of California.[10][11][12][13] According to Forbes, Morgan Hill is one of the most expensive places to live in the United States.[14][15] Business Insider ranked Morgan Hill as the 17th most expensive housing market in the United States, owing to its concentration of wealth and restrictive growth policies.[16][17]


Hiram Morgan Hill (c. 1880's)
Diana Helen Murphy (c. 1880's)
City founders Hiram Morgan Hill, a Missouri entrepreneur, and Diana Murphy, a Californio heiress

Prior to the arrival of Spanish colonists, the area of the Santa Clara Valley had been inhabited by the Ohlone people for more than 6,000 years. In the area of what is now Morgan Hill, the Matalan tribe lived in a hunter-gatherer society.[18]

Before the area was colonized as part of the Alta California province of the Viceroyalty of New Spain, the 1772 Spanish expedition, led by Pedro Fages and Father Juan Crespí, camped in what is now Morgan Hill, alongside Llagas Creek. The location of their camp subsequently became a popular campsite for Spanish soldiers on their way from New Spain to Alta California. With the founding of Mission Santa Clara de Asís, in 1777, the lands of present-day Morgan Hill were granted to the Roman Catholic Church.[18]

Following Mexico's independence from Spain, land was redistributed to Mexican citizens across California and the land encompassing modern-day Morgan Hill was granted to Juan Maria Hernandez, in 1835.[18] In 1845, Martin Murphy, Sr., an Irish-born Mexican citizen, acquired the area and named it Rancho Ojo del Agua de la Coche.[19]

In 1850, Martin Murphy Sr.'s youngest son, Daniel Murphy, married Maria Fisher, heiress of the neighboring 19,000-acre (7,700 ha) Rancho Laguna Seca, thus combining the two estates. In 1853, Martin Murphy, Sr.'s father, Bernard Murphy, died leaving the majority of the estate to Martin Murphy, Sr., but a substantial portion to a Martin Murphy, Sr.'s mother, Catherine, who then married James Dunne. By 1870, the Murphy family had acquired around 70,000 acres (28,000 ha) of the Morgan Hill area.[18] In the history of Morgan Hill, the Murphy, Dunne, and Hill families are of the most prominent significance.

Downtown's historic Votaw Building was built in 1905.

In 1882, Daniel and Maria Murphy's daughter, Diana Murphy, fell in love with Missouri businessman Hiram Morgan Hill. They married in secret, on account of his being a Quaker and her being from a prominent Roman Catholic family. When Daniel Murphy died, Diana and Hiram Morgan Hill inherited the 4,500 acres (1,800 ha) surrounding the original Murphy estate, near Murphy's Peak (now known as El Toro). In 1884, the Hills built their weekend estate, as the family primarily lived in San Francisco, dubbed Villa Mira Monte (Spanish for Mountain-View Estate).[20]

By 1886, the family chose to live primarily at the Ojo del Agua rancho, as they jointly inherited 22,000 acres (8,900 ha) around the estate. However, the move was temporary, as scandal caused by the marital complications of Hiram Morgan Hill's prominent socialite sister, Sarah Althea Hill, and her husband, Senator William Sharon, made the Hills a source of social ridicule, thus causing them to start spending the majority of their time between San Francisco and Washington, D.C., thus leaving their rancho untouched for long periods of time.[18]

In 1892, Hiram Morgan Hill contracted land developer C. H. Phillips to divide and liquidate the Rancho Ojo del Agua de la Coche, only retaining the Villa Mira Monte estate and the surrounding 200 acres (81 ha), which the Hill family would hold until 1916. By 1898, a significant community had built around what was then known as Morgan Hill's Ranch, and a Southern Pacific Railroad station was built in the Huntington area. Rather than ask to stop at Huntington station, passengers would ask to stop at "Morgan Hill's Ranch", which eventually shortened to "Morgan Hill".[18]

On November 10, 1906, the planned community, a result of the divisions of C. H. Phillips, was incorporated as the Town of Morgan Hill. Hiram Morgan and Diana Hill's only child, Diana Murphy Hill, married the French nobleman, Baron Hadouin de Reinach-Werth, and thus Baron Hadouin started to help manage Hiram Morgan Hill's properties between California and Nevada. However, the baron was called back to France to serve in the military and never returned. In 1913, Hiram Morgan Hill died at his Elko estate in Nevada, thus leaving his properties to his daughter. Diana Murphy Hill later remarried, in 1916, to Sir George Rhodes, thus causing the Murphy heiress of the Morgan Hill estate to relocate to the United Kingdom, taking her and Hiram Morgan Hill's daughter, Diana Murphy Hill, thus finally selling off the Villa Mira Monte and ending the Hill family presence in the community named after them.[18]

In 1959, Morgan Hill annexed Madrone, turning the former township into a Morgan Hill's northernmost district, bordering San Jose and Coyote Valley.


Morgan Hill is approximately 39 km (24 mi) south of downtown San Jose, 21 km (13 mi) north of Gilroy, and 24 km (15 mi) inland from the Pacific coast. Lying in a roughly 6 km-wide (4-mi-wide) southern extension of the Santa Clara Valley, it is bounded by the Santa Cruz Mountains to the west and the Diablo Range to the east. At the valley floor, Morgan Hill lies at an elevation of about 107 m (350 ft) above MSL.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city encompasses an area of 12.9 square miles (33 km2), all land. Although there are no natural lakes or ponds within the city limits, there are several flood-control and water storage reservoirs in the adjacent hills which are operated by the Santa Clara Valley Water District, with recreational activities such as boating, etc., administered by the Santa Clara County Department of Parks and Recreation.[21]

Morgan Hill is located within the seismically active San Francisco Bay region. The significant earthquakes in the region are generally associated with crustal movements along well-defined, active fault zones. The nearest known active faults are the San Andreas Fault, approximately 19 km (12 mi) southwest, and the Calaveras Fault, approximately 1.6 km (0.99 mi) northeast. Both faults have produced major earthquakes in the past, and have estimated maximum credible Richter magnitudes of 8.3 and 7.3 respectively. The 1984 Morgan Hill earthquake registered at a 6.2 magnitude.

Morgan Hill is home to numerous lakes, including Anderson Lake (left), Uvas Reservoir (center), and Chesbro Reservoir (right).

Within Morgan Hill's area are a number of lakes and reservoirs, including Anderson Lake (eastern Morgan Hill), Uvas Reservoir (west), Chesbro Reservoir (west), and Coyote Lake (south).

The Sargent-Berrocal Fault, a potentially active fault, lies 16 km (9.9 mi) away from the sites and has an estimated maximum credible Richter magnitude of 7.4. The Coyote Creek Fault is located in Morgan Hill and is classified as potentially active as well. In addition, several unnamed faults traverse the western slopes of the upland areas. Geomorphic evidence suggests that these faults were active during recent geologic time. However, these fault-related geomorphic features are not as fresh as those of the active Calaveras Fault and are considered to be somewhat older.[22]

Given its Mediterranean climate, Morgan Hill is well known for its vineyards and wine-growing, as a part of the Santa Clara Valley designated AVA.

Morgan Hill is one of very few sources for a type of semi-precious gemstone marketed under the name "Morgan Hill poppy jasper".[23] According to geologists, this local variety of orbicular jasper formed through a combination of volcanic and seismic activity on the slopes of El Toro. Known extant deposits of the mineral are located on private lands, not accessible to the public. A local business, El Toro Brewing Company, has a collection of poppy jasper on display at their rural Morgan Hill brewery and on a large bar top inlaid with the stone at their brewpub in downtown Morgan Hill. Examples are also on display at the Morgan Hill Museum and at the Morgan Hill Community and Cultural Center.[24] The local Poppy Jasper Film Festival is also named after the mineral.[25]

The highlight of local geography is El Toro. According to a local legend of the early 1900s, author Bret Harte named the hill when he climbed it and discovered two bulls fighting near the summit (they subsequently chased him back down). The official name shown on the U.S. Geological Survey's maps is simply "El Toro", although locals may refer to the hill as "Murphy's Peak". Visitors, not aware of the origin of the town's name, often mistakenly assume that El Toro is "Morgan" Hill. It is USGS Feature ID# 223063 in the Geographic Names Information System (GNIS), maintained by the United States Board on Geographic Names. Elevation at the summit is about 435 m (1427 ft).[26] The iconic hill overshadowing the town to the west has been incorporated into the city's seal and official logo. Madrone is a former township which constitutes Morgan Hill's northwestern district.


Due to the moderating influence of the Pacific Ocean, Morgan Hill enjoys a mild, Mediterranean climate. Temperatures range from an average midsummer maximum of 32.3°C (90.2°F) to an average midwinter low of 0.9 °C (33.6 °F). Average annual precipitation is 480 mm (18.9 in), and the summer months are typically dry. Snowfall is rare, about once every 20 years, and is light and short-lived when it occurs. Summer months are characterized by coastal fog which arrives from the ocean around 10 p.m. and dissipates the next morning by 10 a.m. Winter months have many sunny and partly cloudy days, with frequent breaks between rainstorms. The local terrain is inconducive to tornadoes, severe windstorms and thunderstorms. The local climate supports chaparral and grassland biomes, with stands of live oak at higher elevations.



The historic United Methodist Church on Monterey Street
Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 201745,037[7]18.9%
U.S. Decennial Census[27]

The 2000 U.S. Census[6] reported there were 33,556 people, 10,846 households, and 8,633 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,875.4 people per square mile (1,110.2/km2). There were 11,091 housing units at an average density of 950.3/sq mi (366.9/km2). The ethnic makeup of the city was 72.40% White, 1.71% African American, 1.08% Native American, 6.02% Asian, 0.23% Pacific Islander, 13.43% from other races, and 5.13% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 27.50% of the population.

There were 10,846 households out of which 44.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 63.2% were married couples living together, 11.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 20.4% were non-families. 15.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.05 and the average family size was 3.38.

In the city, the population was spread out with 30.5% under the age of 18, 7.6% from 18 to 24, 31.7% from 25 to 44, 22.7% from 45 to 64, and 7.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 98.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.9 males.

According to a 2007 estimate, the median income for a household in the city was $99,243, and the median income for a family was $108,611.[28] Males had a median income of $61,999 versus $42,003 for females. The per capita income for the city was $33,047. About 3.3% of families and 4.7% of the population were below the poverty threshold, including 5.4% of those under age 18 and 4.9% of those age 65 or over.

Substantial expansion of the population of Morgan Hill occurred from the late 1980s onward. This population expansion was enabled by the removal of a growth constraint in the form of sewage treatment capacity.[29]


The 2010 U.S. Census[30] reported that Morgan Hill had a population of 37,882. The population density was 2,940.8 people per square mile (1,135.4/km²). The ethnic makeup of Morgan Hill was 24,713 (65.2%) White, 746 (2.0%) African American, 335 (0.9%) Native American, 3,852 (10.2%) Asian, 125 (0.3%) Pacific Islander, 5,779 (15.3%) from other races, and 2,332 (6.2%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 12,863 persons (34.0%).

The Census reported that 37,496 people (99.0% of the population) lived in households, 164 (0.4%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 222 (0.6%) were institutionalized.

There were 12,326 households, out of which 5,538 (44.9%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 7,581 (61.5%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 1,469 (11.9%) had a female householder with no husband present, 646 (5.2%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 660 (5.4%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 89 (0.7%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 1,998 households (16.2%) were made up of individuals and 757 (6.1%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.04. There were 9,696 families (78.7% of all households); the average family size was 3.39.

The population was spread out with 10,838 people (28.6%) under the age of 18, 2,909 people (7.7%) aged 18 to 24, 10,000 people (26.4%) aged 25 to 44, 10,537 people (27.8%) aged 45 to 64, and 3,598 people (9.5%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36.8 years. For every 100 females, there were 97.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.5 males.

There were 12,859 housing units at an average density of 998.2 per square mile (385.4/km²), of which 8,793 (71.3%) were owner-occupied, and 3,533 (28.7%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 1.7%; the rental vacancy rate was 2.6%. 26,148 people (69.0% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 11,348 people (30.0%) lived in rental housing units.


Morgan Hill is a major wine tourism destination and home to numerous wineries, as part of the Santa Clara Valley AVA.
Downtown Morgan Hill on Monterey Rd. (top and center) and Third Street Plaza (bottom)

Morgan Hill's economy can be defined by its place within Silicon Valley, which characterizes the economy into two main categories: its status as an upscale leisure and residential community for Silicon Valley, which drives Morgan Hill's real estate, recreation, hospitality, and entertainment industries, and its participation in the high-technology industries of Silicon Valley, which drive Morgan Hill's technology companies, start-ups, and research & development firms.

Morgan Hill, along with Saratoga, San Martin, and Gilroy make up the Santa Clara Valley AVA, a protected American Viticultural Area designation for wineries and vineyards within the historic Santa Clara Valley. Along with producing wine, wineries in Morgan Hill are noted for their popularity in wine tourism.

Numerous companies of other industries are based in Morgan Hill as well, such as the Gryphon Financial Group (finance), Specialized Bicycle Components, (major global manufacturer of high performance bicycles), and the Paramit Corporation (high tech medical device manufacturer).

Morgan Hill is served by the weekly Morgan Hill Times, founded in 1894 and published by New SV Media.[31] The biweekly Morgan Hill Life,[32] lifestyle publication, founded in 2013, is published by Morgan Hill Life, LLC.


Notable high tech companies that are headquartered or have their American headquarters in Morgan Hill include Anritsu (Japanese telecommunications company), Flextronics (the world's 2nd largest electronics-manufacturing service provider), Velodyne (sensor and laser developer), TenCate Advanced Composites (Dutch advanced composite materials manufacturer), and the Paramit Corporation (high tech medical device manufacturer).

High tech companies that have research & development or manufacturing facilities in Morgan Hill include the Harris Corporation (information & defense contractor), Infineon Technologies (semiconductor & chip manufacturer), and NxEdge Inc. (semiconductor & business solutions company).

Top employers[edit]

According to the City's 2016 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[33] the top employers in the city are:

No. Employer No. of Employees
1 Morgan Hill Unified School District 730
2 Anritsu 529
3 Specialized Bicycle Components 400
4 Flextronics 357
5 Paramit 310
6 Lusamerica Foods 240
7 Safeway 240
8 Mission Bell Manufacturing 193
9 Del Monaco Foods 161
10 Young's Market 159
11 The Home Depot 147
12 TenCate Advanced Composites 141
13 Walmart 140

Parks and recreation[edit]

Morgan Hill is a major cycling destination, known for hosting the Tour of California, for being home to Specialized Bicycle Co., and for its bicycle culture.


Morgan Hill's government is composed of the Morgan Hill City Council, its legislative branch; the Mayor of Morgan Hill, its semi-executive branch; and the departments of Morgan Hill City Hall. The current Mayor of Morgan Hill is Steve Tate, who has served as such since 2006.[41] The current Morgan Hill City Manager is Christina Turner.

In the California State Legislature, Morgan Hill is represented through the 17th Senate District, represented by Democrat Bill Monning, and in the 30th Assembly District, represented by Democrat Anna Caballero.

Federally, Morgan Hill is in California's 19th congressional district, represented by Democrat Zoe Lofgren.[42]


The historic Morgan Hill School Building, designed by famed California architect W. H. Weeks

Primary and secondary schools[edit]

The Morgan Hill Unified School District serves the community.

Morgan Hill's public high schools are:

Alongside its traditional elementary schools, MHUSD operates 4 specialized public elementary academies:

  • Paradise Valley Engineering Academy
  • P.A. Walsh STEAM Academy
  • Jackson Academy of Maths & Music
  • El Toro Health Science Academy

In addition, it is also the home of Oakwood School and Stratford School, private non-sectarian schools.

Higher education[edit]

Morgan Hill's location in southern Silicon Valley makes it very accessible to the numerous, world-known universities and institutions located throughout the Silicon Valley/South Bay Area region, such as Stanford University, University of California, Berkeley, Santa Clara University, Saint Mary's College of California, and San Jose State University.

Morgan Hill also hosts a campus of Gavilan College.


Villa Mira Monte was built in 1884 by Hiram Morgan Hill and today houses the Morgan Hill Museum & Historical Society.


Small general-aviation aircraft are served by the uncontrolled San Martin Airport (E16), located at San Martin, about 6 km (3.7 mi) south of Morgan Hill. Commercial flights are served by San Jose International Airport, about 39 km (24 mi) away in San Jose.

Public transportation[edit]

Public libraries[edit]

Santa Clara County Library District operates the Morgan Hill Library.[47]

Notable people[edit]

Marina Klimova, Soviet Olympian
Jared Allen, former Vikings player




Sister cities[edit]

Morgan Hill has five sister cities, as designated by Sister Cities International:



  1. ^ "California Cities by Incorporation Date". California Association of Local Agency Formation Commissions. Archived from the original (Word) on November 3, 2014. Retrieved August 25, 2014.
  2. ^ "City Council". City of Morgan Hill, CA. Retrieved November 9, 2014.
  3. ^ City manager biography
  4. ^ "2016 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Jun 28, 2017.
  5. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Morgan Hill
  6. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  7. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved July 8, 2018.
  8. ^ "Morgan Hill Times - Gourmet Greatness".
  9. ^ Silicon Valley Business Journal - Frank Léal's Boutique Downtown Morgan Hill Hotel is Ready to Go
  10. ^ "Tour of California - City of Morgan Hill, CA - Official Website".
  11. ^ Silicon Valley Business Journal - Morgan Hill Businesses Team Up to Lure SV Staycation Crowds
  12. ^ "Is Morgan Hill the Next Sonoma or Healdsburg? - GlobeSt".
  13. ^ Silicon Valley Business Journal - Defining the Balanced Lifestyle in Silicon Valley
  14. ^ "Most Expensive ZIP Codes -- County is Santa Clara sorted by Rank -".
  15. ^ Levy, Francesca. "America's Most Expensive ZIP Codes".
  16. ^ "The 20 Most Expensive Housing Markets In America".
  17. ^ Forstner, Scott (November 20, 2014). "Morgan Hill among most expensive housing markets in nation". Morgan Hill Times. Retrieved 3 August 2016.
  18. ^ a b c d e f g Circa: Historic Property Development (October 2006). "Historic Context Statement for the City of Morgan Hill". Retrieved August 2, 2014.
  19. ^ "History - City of Morgan Hill, CA - Official Website".
  20. ^ Morgan Hill Historical Society - Villa Mira Monte Archived 2013-10-14 at the Wayback Machine.
  21. ^ Morgan Hill does not have water rights to the nearby reservoirs; the city's water supply consists of a number of deep wells and aboveground steel storage tanks. Streams in the vicinity are small and seasonal, unable to supply the city's water needs.
  22. ^ Jackson Meadows Expanded Initial Study, Earth Metrics Inc., San Mateo, Calif., prepared for the city of Morgan Hill, October 16, 1989
  23. ^ Sinkankas, John (1959). Gemstones of North America. 1. Princeton, New Jersey: Van Nostrand. p. 307.
  24. ^ Morgan Hill Museum Archived 2007-06-02 at the Wayback Machine.
  25. ^ "Poppy Jasper International Film Festival". Poppy Jasper International Film Festival.
  26. ^
  27. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  28. ^ "Morgan Hill city, California — Fact Sheet — American FactFinder — U.S. Census Bureau".
  29. ^ Environmental Impact Report for the Long Term Wastewater Management Plan, Cities of Gilroy and Morgan Hill, Earth Metrics, Inc. 1986, prepared for cities of Gilroy and Morgan Hill and State of California Environmental Clearinghouse
  30. ^ "2010 Census Interactive Population Search: CA - Morgan Hill city". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved July 12, 2014.
  31. ^ Morgan Hill Times
  32. ^ Morgan Hill Life
  33. ^ "City of Morgan Hill CAFR".
  34. ^ Anderson Lake County Park
  35. ^ Coyote Creek Parkway
  36. ^ "Morgan Hill Off-Leash Dog Park".
  37. ^ "Centennial Recreation Center - City of Morgan Hill, CA - Official Website".
  38. ^ "Community & Cultural Center - City of Morgan Hill, CA - Official Website".
  39. ^ "Aquatics - City of Morgan Hill, CA - Official Website".
  40. ^ " - Morgan Hill Outdoor Sports Center".
  41. ^ "City of Morgan Hill, CA - Official Website".
  42. ^ "California's 19th Congressional District - Representatives & District Map". Civic Impulse, LLC. Retrieved March 12, 2013.
  43. ^ "21 Bay Area Schools in the Top 100 High Schools in CA".
  44. ^ "Gilroy and Morgan Hill Service" (PDF). Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. Archived from the original (PDF) on April 10, 2008. Retrieved February 17, 2008.
  45. ^ "Caltrain timetable effective April 2, 2007". Caltrain. Retrieved February 17, 2008.
  46. ^ "Line 55 Monterey - San Jose Express". Monterey-Salinas Transit. Retrieved February 17, 2008.
  47. ^ "Welcome to the Morgan Hill Library Archived 2010-04-03 at the Wayback Machine.." Santa Clara County Library District. Retrieved March 27, 2010.
  48. ^ "Morgan Hill Times - World Famous Bird Singer Charles Kellogg hailed from Morgan Hill".
  49. ^ "İzmir Escort - Escort İzmir Vip Bayanlar". İzmir Escort - Escort İzmir Vip Bayanlar.

External links[edit]