Fremont

Fremont is a suburban city in the southern part of the East Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area; it is the 4th largest city in the Bay Area by population. Fremont is in the southern part of Alameda County, California, between Union City to the north, Sunol and the hills to the east, Milpitas and Santa Clara County to the south, and the San Francisco Bay to the west. The city of Newark, near the edge of the Bay, is surrounded by the city of Fremont.

For other places with the same name, see Fremont (disambiguation).

Fremont industry is not particularly large relative to other parts of the Bay Area, but neither is it a bedroom community. Many people in Fremont work locally in the electronics and high-tech industry, while many others commute to Silicon Valley or San Francisco locations for work. Fremont, however, is growing again and attracting more and larger businesses; for example, Tesla Motors has taken over the former NUMMI factory owned by Toyota and General Motors.

The city is home to one of California’s original “Hollywoods”, the Niles district where many of Charlie Chaplin and other silent movie era stars established their careers. It is also home to one of California’s missions, and many other interesting destinations.

The City of Fremont is named after Civil War general John C. Fremont, who prior to the war in the mid-1840s had mapped a trail through Mission Pass to provide access for American settlers into the southeastern San Francisco Bay Area. John Fremont was one of California’s first senators and went on to be the first U.S. presidential candidate for the Republican Party.

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Mission Peak is visible throughout Fremont.

Unlike most sprawling suburbs, Fremont was planned and designed to be the way it is. In the 1950s, fearing that they would be annexed by the growing city of Hayward to the north, eight very small towns decided to unite to avoid annexation. Two towns (Alvarado and Decoto) closest to Hayward quickly incorporated into Union City. The six remaining towns got together and extensively planned how things would be. Space was allocated for industry and for homes. Space for roads large enough to support the massive traffic flows was set aside. One of the small towns (Newark) dropped out of the coalition because it was slated to become an industrial zone. The five remaining towns — Centerville, Niles, Irvington, Mission San Jose, and Warm Springs, from north to south — annexed all the surrounding land to form the City of Fremont in 1956.

The oldest of the small towns was Mission San José, named for a Spanish mission founded in 1797. When this Mission was founded it was named “La Mision del Gloriosisimo Patriarch San José” in honor of St. Joseph. It is sometimes incorrectly called the Mission San José de Guadalupe, after “El Pueblo de San José de Guadalupe” founded (1777) 20 miles south near the Guadalupe River, which became the present day city of San Jose.

Fremont has been multicultural since its inception, and is home to dozens of immigrant communities and a broad range of ethnicities. Today’s visitor is likely to hear half a dozen languages spoken even during a fleeting trip through the city. It is said that the largest population of Afghanis outside Afghanistan live in Fremont, and it also has a large and growing south Asian community as well.

Because of their entangled history and their present sprawl that makes them blend into one another, the three cities—Fremont, Newark, and Union City—are sometimes called the Tri-Cities.

Map of Fremont

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