Atherton is an incorporated town in San Mateo County, California. Atherton lies two miles southeast of Redwood City, and 18 miles northwest of San Jose. It is a city is known for its wealth; in 1990 and 2019, Atherton was ranked as having the highest per capita income among U.S. towns with a population between 2,500 and 9,999, and it is ranked as the most expensive ZIP Code in the United States.
Atherton is a small, rural, and residential community, with no industrial land-use base. Native live oaks, white oaks, bays, redwoods, cedars, pines, and other ornamental trees cover the six square miles of town.
In 1866, Atherton was known as Fair Oaks and was a flag stop on the California Coast for the Southern Pacific Railroad between San Francisco and San Jose for the convenience of the owners of large estates living north of Menlo Park. The entire area used to be called Menlo Park. It was part of the Rancho De Las Pulgas, which is now southern San Mateo County.
There are a number of active community organizations throughout Atherton. Some include the Atherton Heritage Association, the Atherton Arts Committee, the Atherton Tree Committee, the Friends of the Atherton Community Library, the Holbrook-Palmer Park Foundation, the Atherton Dames, the Police Task Force, and the Atherton Civic Interest League.
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