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Willow Glen, San Jose

(4.2/5 based on 100+ reviews on the web)
Willow Glen is a neighborhood of San Jose, California, in Santa Clara County. The neighborhood has walkable tree-lined streets, diverse architecture, specialty shops, and independent businesses. The historic downtown on Lincoln Avenue between Willow Street and Minnesota Avenue is a well-known downtown community, with a variety of restaurants and shops.HistoryThe neighborhood began in the mid-1800s as an unincorporated community adjacent to San Jose, California. By the 1860s the small unincorporated community needed its first school, and Willow Glen Elementary School was founded in 1863. Willow Glen continued as an unincorporated community until the 1920s, when the City of San Jose ordered the Southern Pacific Railroad to re-route the Southern Pacific Railroad trunk line which at that time was going down Fourth Street. The Southern Pacific then proposed to re-route down Lincoln Avenue. In order to forestall that attempt, Willow Glen was incorporated as a city in 1927. The railroad was instead re-routed to its current route through a then-unincorporated area now known as North Willow Glen, where its principal user is now Caltrain.Being a city, however, required thinking about issues such as sewage. Willow Glen had no sewer system – individual homes had their own cesspools or septic systems. Because the area was marshy before being drained for Willow Glen, the high water table resulted in raw sewage often spilling above-ground from flooded cesspools. Rather than build their own very expensive sewage treatment system, in 1936 Willow Glen's residents opted to be annexed to San Jose and be linked to San Jose's sewage system, the measure passing by a vote of 978 to 871.
To visit Willow Glen on your trip to San Jose, use our San Jose tourist route planner.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Willow Glen has it all.....charm galore, great restaurants, fun shops and the people are all very welcoming. It's an excellent plac to take a stroll, stop for a coffee or a meal. The people watcching ...  more »
  • We went to downtown Willow Glenn and afterwards drove the various neighborhood streets to see the Christmas decorations. Each street does a theme such as Christmas trees, Candy Canes, etc. Its always ...  more »
  • This is a wonderful place to spend the day! Great food and lots of choices in that arena and Susie's cakes was so tasty! They have shopping and make your pottery and candle store too. Well worth the v...  more »