Palo Alto History: Palo Alto means “Tall Tree.” The city claimed the name from its landmark, the 250+ year-old coastal redwood tree, El Palo Alto, which still grows by the railroad trestle near the intersection of El Camino Real and Alma street.

Palo Alto was a sleepy backwater university town in 1938 when Stanford grads David Packard and William Hewlett teamed up in a drafty garage (at 367 Addison Avenue) and launched a multibillion-dollar global company. In so doing, they gave birth to the notion that anyone with a good idea and access to a garage can change history.