The center of Silicon Valley and one of the largest cities in California, San José is also one of the oldest cities in in the state, founded in 1777 as the Pueblo de San José de Guadalupe. Yet in the face of the tech boom, many of the physical reminders of the city’s early history have faded away, with the exception of the Luis Maria Peralta Adobe, the oldest standing house in San José .
The Peralta Adobe House was built in 1797 by Jose Manuel Gonzalez, an Apache settler who accompanied the Juan Bautista de Anza expedition to the area as they explored what would become California. Gonzalez, who became one of the first mayors of the Pubelo he helped found, built his adobe home near the market square. In 1804, after Gonzalez passed away, Luis Maria Peralta, a wealthy landowner and soldier, purchased and lived in the property.
Son of one of de Anza’s corporals, Luis Maria Peralta held the position of comisionado of San José, the highest military or civilian office in the fledgling city. He held this position until Mexico’s independence from Spain in 1822 and lived in San Jose until his death in 1851.
The Luis Maria Peralta Adobe was purchased by the city of San José in 1966, and was restored with the addition of a surrounding park. Today, the adobe is the center of the San Pedro Square Market, with the surrounding park used as a sitting area for nearby shops and restaurants.