Alviso was first settled in the 1700s and was named for Ignacio Alviso, the son of Corporal Domingo Alviso, one of the members of the de Anza expedition. Originally, Alviso served as a boating and shipping port, the primary transportation link for the City of San Jose.
From 1849 to 1864, Alviso was the freight depot for San Jose. Steamers made daily runs between Alviso and San Francisco. The usage declined with the growth in railroad transportation between San Francisco and San Jose.
In 1850 lots sold for $600. The city was incorporated in 1852 and was consolidated with the City of San Jose in 1968. The city's final census in 1960 recorded a population of 1174. The United States Postal Service still recognizes Alviso as the place name for mail.
Alviso Grammar School opened in 1855 and continued until 1899 when it burned down. A new school was completed in 1900 on the same site located on Liberty Street and operated until 1956.
George Mayne Elementary School was named for the rancher who donated the land and helped fund the school, replaced it.
Today shipping and industry have left Alviso leaving it mostly as a small residential neighborhood. The technology sector has expanded into the community.