Almaden was once a world famous quicksilver mining community in the early 1850s. This National Historic Landmark district was California’s first mining operation which started in 1845, right before the Gold Rush in 1849. After a Mexican settler, Antonio Sunol discovered ore deposits, identified as quicksilver, many people began to flock over during the Gold Rush because of the demand for mercury. As a result, the name Almaden comes from the famous Almaden mercury-producing mines in Spain.
The mines that consisted of the mercury which was used during gold extraction in the Gold Rush are now closed and converted into Almaden Quicksilver County Park. Almaden has become an affluent upper-middle class neighborhood. As part of the Silicon Valley, the main industry of course is high technology research and development such as IBM Almaden Research Center.
As for schools, a majority of Almaden is covered by the San Jose Unified School District. High schools in the area include Leland High School with an API score of 890, Pioneer High School, Leigh High School and Los Gatos High School. Middle schools in the area include Bret Harte, a prized school with APIs over 900, Dartmouth and Fisher all scoring at least 900. Every public elementary school for Almaden students has excellent API scores, all over 900. For those of you who are finding a public school district for your children, Almaden is a great area to live.