Sunnyvale has been a place for forward thinking and innovation since its founding in 1861, when Irish immigrant Martin Murphy Jr. allowed a new railroad to pass through his land. By linking San Jose s farms to San Francisco s docks, he did more than help overcome the muddy misery of travel on the El Camino Real. The whistle stop first known as Encinal quickly grew into a center for agriculture, followed by defense, novel suburban development, and high technology. Sunnyvale is a place where names like Del Monte, Hendy, Lockheed, Atari, and Yahoo have each carried their day. Yet the city s relentless drive forward has made a sense of identity elusive. The downtown core has been rebuilt numerous times without much success, and examples abound of historic structures torn down for something new. But lately, the town has gotten its groove back. The restored city center now draws a crowd, and, thanks to a 50-year effort, the rebuilt Murphy house shimmers in the sun once again."
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