About This Place
The Town of Los Gatos is an incorporated town in Santa Clara County, California, United States. The population was 29,413 at the 2010 census. It is located in the San Francisco Bay Area at the southwest corner of San Jose in the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Homes are mostly upscale, varying from century-old one million-dollar cottages in the downtown area to 10–20 million-dollar large custom homes in the surrounding hills. The town is noted for its small, pedestrian-friendly downtown, with many boutique shops, upscale restaurants, and thriving arts community. It is also a preferred destination for antique shopping.
The name Los Gatos is Spanish, meaning the cats. The name derives from the 1839 Alta California land-grant that encompassed the area, which was called La Rinconada de Los Gatos, ("Cat's Corner"), where "the cats" refers to the cougars that are indigenous to the foothills in which the town is located. The name has been anglicized to /lɔːs ɡætəs/ (lawss-gat-əs), although one also hears pronunciations truer to the original Spanish, /loʊsɡɑːtoʊs/ (lohss-gah-tohss).
The town's founding dates to the mid-1850s with the building of a flour operation, Forbes Mill, by James Alexander Forbes along Los Gatos Creek. The mill's two-story stone storage annex has been preserved as a museum just off of Main Street.