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Don Gaspar de Portolá: Looking for Monterey and Finding San Francisco Instead

The Accidental Discovery of San Francisco Bay | Mobile Ranger

Stashed in: San Francisco!, Palo Alto

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I did not realize Palo Alto was named after a tree!

The march continued on for several days until reaching what is now the city of Palo Alto. They set up camp at San Francisquito Creek beneath a tall redwood tree, now known as El Palo Alto (tall stick in Spanish). This redwood (estimated to be over 1,000 years old) is the oldest living California Historical Landmark and still stands today with a plaque at its base, commemorating the first Europeans who (albeit unknowingly) set foot on the shores of the San Francisco Bay. The city of Palo Alto was named after this tree and Stanford University chose to use the tree as the center of their seal.

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