Officially incorporated as a city in 1952, Campbell, which according to the 2010 census had a population of 39,349, has a rich recorded history that dates back to shortly before California became a state in 1850. Four years before, in 1846, Benjamin Campbell, whose father, William, is known for having surveyed the cities of San Jose and Santa Clara and opening a sawmill near Saratoga, established a hay and grain farm on 160 acres of land he bought, one-third of which was once part of the 1839 Alta California Rancho Rinconada de Los Gatos land grant. The Campbell property later became the focus of the city of Campbell’s historical downtown
Benjamin Campbell’s decision to sell a one-acre parcel of his land to the railroad in 1878 had a profound impact on the development and economy of Campbell. Within nine years of the land sale, the first subdivision -- at the present-day Water Tower Plaza -- was recorded west of the railroad that by then ran through the community. As a result of the existing and growing agricultural and industrial infrastructure that included drying grounds and canneries, Campbell became an important rail hub, particularly for the shipment of fruit. During this period, three major canneries in Campbell were shipping high-quality fruit to as far away as England. By the turn of the 19th century, Campbell had its own bank, a board of trade and was home to many schools and churches.
Growth picked up in the post-World War II era, especially as neighboring San Jose, which is within 5 miles of Campbell, rapidly grew to eventually become California’s third most populous city. As a result of the demand for land to develop for housing, many of the old fruit orchards in Campbell were replaced by residential subdivisions that became part of the southern Santa Clara Valley’s topographical mosaic. By the 1980s, most of Campbell’s housing stock had been built, and in the 1990s the city’s economy was much different from the old cannery-based economy, especially with the technology sector booming and spilling over from San Jose and other parts of Silicon Valley.
Campbell played an important role in American constitutional law when, on June 9, 1980, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision in the landmark Pruneyard Shopping Center v. Robins case. The case stemmed from a free speech dispute with a local high school, and in the case, the high court ruled that, under the California Constitution, individuals may peacefully exercise their right to free speech in those parts of private shopping centers that were regularly open to the public, subject to reasonable restrictions. The high court also ruled that, under the U.S. Constitution, states are permitted to grant their citizens rights more expansive than those granted by the U.S. Constitution, as long as those rights do not infringe any rights emanating from the U.S. Constitution.
Directions to our San Jose area office from downtown Campbell are as follows: Head north on south First Street toward east Campbell Avenue. Take the first right onto east Campbell Avenue. Turn left onto south Bascom Avenue. Make a U-turn and the destination will be on the right at 1999 S. Bascom Avenue, Suite 700.
Directions to our San Francisco office from Campbell are as follows: Via Interstate 280 north and then State Route 85 north, take U.S. Highway 101 north to San Francisco, and stay toward the right onto Interstate 80 east toward the Bay Bridge. Take the Fourth Street exit and bear left onto Bryant Street. Turn left onto Third Street and then turn right onto Mission Street. Turn left onto Anthony Street and then turn right onto Jessie Street. The office is at 96 Jessie St. on the left side of the street.