1769-11-01: José Francisco Ortega: First European to See Santa Clara Valley

November 1, 1769: Sergeant José Francisco Ortega, pathfinder of the Don Gaspar de Portola Expedition sent by Don José de Galvez to take possession and fortify the ports of San Diego and Monterey, was the first European to see the Santa Clara Valley. He gave Santa Clara the name “Llano de los Robles (Plain of the Oaks)” Ortega was also the first European to see the San Francisco Bay.

Historias – The Spanish Heritage of Santa Clara Valley. California History Center, De Anza College, 1976. p. 6

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