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Lincoln Avenue at night.

Willow Glen is a neighborhood of San Jose, California, in Santa Clara County. Geographically speaking, the Willow Glen neighborhood is centered around Lincoln Avenue, which was re-named from its previous name of "Willow Glen Road" in 1865 shortly after President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated.[1]

By 1863 the small unincorporated community needed its first school. 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. [2] The railroad was instead re-routed to its current route through a then-unincorporated area now known as North Willow Glen,[3] 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 cesspool or septic system. Because the area was marshy before being drained for Willow Glen,[4] 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, Willow Glen's residents took a vote to be annexed to San Jose and be linked to San Jose's sewage system. This occurred in 1936 by a vote of 978 to 871.[1]

Today Willow Glen's historic downtown on Lincoln Avenue between Willow Street and Minnesota Avenue is a well-known "walkable" downtown community, with a variety of restaurants and shops.[5] Willow Glen is located in zip code 95125 and part of 95124. [6]


  1. ^ a b Willow Glen History,
  2. ^ Willow Glen residents think of their community, rather than their history, on Founders Day 1998,
  3. ^ [1],
  4. ^ The History of San Jose's Willow Glen District,
  5. ^ Downtown Willow Glen Business Directory,
  6. ^ [2]

External links

Coordinates: 37°18′31″N 121°53′23″W / 37.30861°N 121.88972°W / 37.30861; -121.88972



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