Like its Spanish namesake, California’s Almaden had a number of quicksilver mines. The mercury was used during gold extraction in the California Gold Rush, but the mines were closed in 1975 and have been converted into Almaden Quicksilver County Park. Despite the closure of the mines, there still remains a high mercury content in the nearby soil, creeks and rivers, and signs are posted alongside them warning people not to eat the fish. Many of the names in Almaden retain their mercury mine themes. For example, there are streets called Silver Lode Lane and Silver Mine Drive (the latter of which was renamed). Also, many places in Almaden still use the name Quicksilver.
As part of the Silicon Valley, the main industry in the neighborhood is now high technology research and development; IBM Almaden Research Center is located there. The neighborhoods consist of primarily upper-middle-class families, with homes owned by local professionals, scientists, athletes, and Silicon Valley executives.