Exhibit Reception on Sept. 20
A reception will be held September 20 from 1:00 to 4:00 PM Sunday, September 20 to highlight the exhibit, “Center Stage: Theater Groups in Saratoga.” The exhibit is at the Saratoga History Museum and is free and open to the public. The reception will include classical guitar music by John Snyder and light refreshments.

Saratoga Historical Foundation President Annette Stransky says, “the exhibit highlights 100 years of Saratoga culture and artistry beginning in 1915. There are many people who believe that theater is important not only for entertainment, but also to build culture. Some feel that theater is an art that when participating allows them to escape from every day life. It is a form for learning. It is a very collaborative art form because it can combine singing, dancing, and other skills. So many talents go into theatrical productions—including directing, stage construction, lighting, costumes, makeup, and more. It is an interesting art.”

Attendees will recognize many of the theater groups highlighted in the exhibit—which starts with Villa Montalvo in 1915 and goes to present day theater groups. Famed former Saratogans including actress Olivia deHavilland, Joan Fontaine, Lance Guest, and Steven Spielberg are included in the exhibit.

The Saratoga History Museum is located at 20450 Saratoga-Los Gatos Road in Saratoga. It is open from 1-4 PM Friday through Sunday. The new exhibit will run until November 15.

Enjoy the Free Mid-Autumn Festival at the Saratoga History Museum
The Mid-Autumn Festival will take place on September 27 from 1:30-4 PM at the Saratoga History Museum. The free event will include a special exhibit, lecture, live entertainment, arts and crafts, and more.The event is sponsored by the Organization of Chinese American Women, Silicon Valley Chapter.

The Mid-Autumn Moon Festival celebrates a tradition dating back thousands of years in many Asian countries honoring a good harvest, youth, families, and community. The Mid-Autumn Moon Festival is often compared to America's Thanksgiving tradition, and is a time honored Asian holiday that marks the end of the summer harvest.

The Mid-Autumn Festival will open to the beat of the Chinese drums by the Tamkang University Drum Team at 2:30 PM. Hong Tai will play the GuZheng, a Chinese zither. Chinese calligraphy will be demonstrated by the Huafeng Chinese Calligraphy Association and Lanting Calligraphy Club. Of special interest will be the sugar painting, an old Chinese art form by Let’s Paint using sugar to form animal shapes. Other activities include music and story telling. Many arts and crafts opportunities for children will also be available including making paper lanterns. The Saratoga Library will have a table promoting services and programs.

Chinese and the Iron Road: Building the Transcontinental Railroad Exhibit and Lecture Andrea Yee, a descendent of one of the railroad workers will give a presentation at 1:30 about her grandfather’s experience in working on the railroad. He was one of 10,000 Chinese who helped complete the railroad. The Chinese and the Iron Road: Building the Transcontinental is an exhibit providing an historical overview of the Chinese railroad workers who were instrumental in building the United States’ first Transcontinental Railroad. It was produced by the Chinese Historical Society of America Museum and the Chinese Railroad Workers in North America Project at Stanford University. The exhibit will be at the Saratoga History Museum for one month and is sponsored by the Sereno Group Real Estate in Saratoga.

History of the Festival Celebrated for more than 1,000 years in Asia, the Mid-Autumn or Moon Festival marks a time to reflect upon the bounty of the summer harvest, the fullness of the moon, and the myth of the moon Goddess, Chang O (or Chang E). There are several legends about the moon goddess involving immortality, a jade rabbit, and the moon. Come to the festival and find out more!

The Saratoga History Museum is located at 20450 Saratoga-Los Gatos Road in Saratoga. The museum is open from 1-4 Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Museum admission is free.

Fund-Raiser October 18 at Hakone Gardens

The Saratoga Historical Foundation is holding a fund-raiser at Hakone Gardens on Sunday, October 18 from 4:30-6:30 PM. The event is open to the public. A special treat will be docent-led tours of the Gardens.

Catered appetizers, wine, music, a silent auction are among the fun that will take place. Bring your camera to take a photo of historic Hakone Gardens. All funds will go towards funding the new blacksmith exhibit at the museum.

The silent auction will have a host of items to choose from including gift cards for your favorite restaurants, special wine, home décor, jewelry, plants and more.

The cost is $45 for Saratoga Historical Foundation members; $50 for nonmembers. Tickets can be purchased by sending a check to Saratoga Historical Foundation, PO Box 172 at Saratoga, CA 95701. Question, call 408-867-4311, e-mail info@saratogahistory.com

New Exhibit Opens: Center Stage—The History of Saratoga Theater
A new exhibit opens July 10 at the Saratoga History Museum--- “Center Stage—The History of Saratoga Theater.” The exhibit will run until November 18.

Starting with Villa Montalvo and Senator Phelan, the exhibit highlights the various theater groups from 1912 to the present. The exhibit includes Theatre of the Glade and Dorothea Johnston; the careers of Lilian Fontaine locally and Joan Fontaine and Olivia deHavilland and other local Saratogans who went on to star in film and Broadway.

Some theater groups began in a church such as Saratoga Federated Drama Group then segued into Saratoga Drama Group and then into South Bay Musical Theater. Some were homegrown such as VITA and Theater on the Ground. All demonstrate the growth of interest in theater.

A reception will be held September 20 at the Museum to celebrate this exciting new exhibit.

The South Skyline Story—New Book
The Saratoga History Museum gift shop has added a new book: The South Skyline Story by Janet Schwind and the Skyline Historical Society. The South Skyline region runs along Skyline Boulevard and includes parts of three counties: San Mateo, Santa Cruz and Santa Clara. The 232 page book includes historic photos, maps and stories of residents from the Ohlone Indians through the present day. According to author Janet Schwind, “Upon opening the book you will follow the paths of the native Ohlone peoples; experience the rugged life in the logging camps, mills and ranches. Learn how the crude trails, dusty ranch and private roads of the ridge properties through four different counties were connected by the building of the boulevard, in spite of the daunting impediments of politics and financial difficulties.

Moving at a lively pace the book covers the various activities of timber harvesting, the search for oil, recreation, and agriculture, followed later by the development of communes, communities and organizations. It will provide great insight into the history of the area we call “home”.

The Saratoga Historical Foundation Museum
The Saratoga Historical Foundation Museum located at Saratoga Historical Park: 20450 Saratoga-Los Gatos Road, Saratoga, CA
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  • 2015 Upcoming Events
  • Sept 20 Reception from 1-4pm at the Museum - free
  • Sept 27 Mid-Autumn Festival from 1-4pm at the Museum - free
  • Oct 18 Fund-raiser at Hakone Gardens 4:30-6:30pm
  • Oct 25 India Festival from 1-4pm at the Museum - free
  • Nov 27 Open House at the Museum - free. New Exhibit: Holiday Traditions

Tell Us About Your Saratoga!
The Saratoga Historical Foundation collects memories and information about Saratoga places, people and more. Please complete the form HERE and help us add to our records! Thank you.

Seeking Furniture Donation
The Saratoga Historical Park has a beautiful 1860’s historical home that needs the following items: Dry sink, hutch, wardrobe/armoire, small dining room table, men’s shaving station. Since the house is used for educational purposes, the furniture should be authentic and not reproductions and from the era 1860-1880. If you have any of this furniture, please call 408-867-4311 or email info@saratogahistory.com. All donations are tax deductible.

Some Free Things To Do!
Get in touch with local history by taking our historic landmark walking tour, bicycling the historic house tour, and walking around our historic garden with a self-guided tour.

Get out your camera and your walking shoes! The Saratoga Historical Foundation offers docent-led walking tours or you can download the tour and take a self-guided one. The docent-led tours last about 60 minutes with lots of easy walking. Meet your fellow “time travellers” and get some exercise at the same time. Make an appointment today by calling 408-867-4311 and take advantage of this opportunity to learn more about the history of your community.

Forget about driving and bicycle our historic house tour. See over 30 heritage homes on this self-guided bicycle tour. Want just a little exercise? Walk the historic garden in the Saratoga Historical Park—a copy of the self-guided tour is available outside near the Museum door or by downloading. The plants look different with each season so there is reason to return again and again. Find out how Native American children used ferns.

The walking tour, historic house bicycle tour, and the garden tour maps can be downloaded from this site.

Speaker Available
If you are in need of a speaker on history and local Saratoga history—contact Saratoga Historical Foundation Historian Ray Cosyn. Cosyn has developed the following presentations—most 30-40 minutes in length with quality slides using historic images:

  • Saratoga: A Lumber Town, traces the history of Saratoga from the Ohlone’s to the present historic village. The excitement of the once rollicking lumber town to the battle for incorporation is of interest to every Saratogan.
  • The Interurban Railway, yearn for the days of a trip by rail to San Jose or Palo Alto on the sleek Interurban Railway? The mass transit train, carrying packages and people, once quietly traveled the Santa Clara Valley.
  • Prohibition—sit back and enjoy hearing about the driest town in the valley – a period of time that lasted over 40 years. Interesting stories about the effect of Prohibition on the local wineries (including Paul Masson) will make you smile.
  • Lincoln’s Funeral Train- miracles and sadness traveled with the death of Present Abraham Lincoln as his funeral train made it’s last journey.
  • Flying Tigers – find out more about these intrepid Americans who fought an air war prior to WWII for freedom in China.
The presentations are appropriate for groups of all ages. Cosyn has given presentations to those interested in the Civil War, railroads, winemakers, high schools, as well as local history and other organizations. If you are interested in having Cosyn speak before your organization, you can contact him HERE. More information on lectures HERE.

Plans for a New Blacksmith Exhibit
The recorded sounds of a blacksmith forge might ring in the hills as the Saratoga Historical Foundation raises funds to convert an existing outside area into an interactive blacksmith exhibit. The blacksmith exhibit ties into the nearby 1850’s McWilliams House because the owner, James McWilliams was Saratoga’s second blacksmith.

The blacksmith exhibit will house tools and items normally worked on by a blacksmith. Some interactivity and possibly sound effects will be available. Also planned is a nonfunctional outhouse—as part of the turn of the century theme of all the structures in the Saratoga Historical Park. All the structures—McWilliams House, one-room schoolhouse, museum, and soon the blacksmith exhibit are used to teach pioneer living as well as Saratoga’s rich history.

If you would like to contribute to this exhibit ($5000 contribution and higher will be part of a plaque on the outside of the exhibit), please send your contribution to: Blacksmith Exhibit, c/o Saratoga Historical Foundation, PO Box 172, Saratoga, CA 95071. Your donation is tax deductible.

Give Back to the Community
If you are looking for a way to give back to the community—support the Saratoga History Museum with a donation. We are presently raising funds for a new blacksmith exhibit and your donation can help.The current tax law requires all charitable gifts to be made by December 31 to qualify for a deduction in 2014. Even items postmarked after December 31 must be attributed to 2014, regardless of the date on the check inside. The operation of the all-volunteer museum is dependent on membership fees, donations, grants and fundraisers—please support us. Make your check to SHF Blacksmith Exhibit, PO Box 172, Saratoga, CA 95071.

Community Service
Saratoga High School students looking to fulfill community service requirements can contact Linda Hagelin at the Saratoga History Museum. Please e-mail HERE with the date you can work. The museum is open Friday-Saturday and Sunday from 1-4PM.

Saratoga Historical Foundation  ·  20450 Saratoga-Los Gatos Road, Saratoga, CA 95070-5935  ·  #408.867.4311
© Saratoga Historical Foundation 2014