San Martin takes its name from St. Martin of Tours, the patron saint of early pioneer Martin Murphy, who built the first Catholic church in the area. The community has been considering incorporating into either a city or town since 2004, but no official action had been taken by the end of 2010.
San Martin is situated south of San Jose between Morgan Hill and Gilroy. The San Martin boundary line is roughly to the North Maple Ave, to the East Foothill and New Ave, to the South Masten Ave, and to the West Watsonville Road.
Like neighboring Morgan Hill and Gilroy, San Martin is a large producer of garlic, table mushrooms, and wine. It is also home to the volunteer-run Wings of History aviation museum, located next to San Martin Airport.