Palo Alto is located in the northern part of the state of California and a city in Santa Clara County, which sits in the southern part of San Francisco. In the north part of San Jose, it is situated on the San Francisco Bay's western shore. In 1769 Gaspar de Portola led an expedition, said to have camped near the El Palo Alto, which refers to "the tall redwood tree," which now becomes a city landmark, along the San Francisco Creek. The area where the present-day Palo Alto sits was first developed in 1891 as a "dry" village for Stanford University, as liquor sales were prohibited within one mile of the campus area. The city's economic growth was stimulated by the establishment of the university and by the urban growth along the western bay shore area. Palo Alto was then developed to become a research-oriented light industry that now includes electronics and aerospace communications.
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