“Holiday Fun” Exhibit & Reception Opens November 24
A new holiday exhibit and reception will be held Friday November 24 at the Saratoga History Museum. Stop by and see the exhibit, listen to live music, and enjoy light refreshments from 5-8 PM. The museum, historic 1850s McWilliams house and the one-room schoolhouse will be decorated for the holidays.

The new exhibit, “Holiday Fun” has a range of over 18 collections from local residents Mutoscopes, Chinese wine cups, Godzillas, marbles with the history included. One person formerly from Pennsylvania collects ground hogs. Of course celebrating Ground Hog Day on February 2 originated in Pennsylvania back in 1887. Punxsutawney Phil appears at Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania every year and predicts if we’ll have an early spring or not.

Often a collection is the result of a family heirloom—such as some interesting holiday drink glasses. The display includes the glasses and the family recipes used for the holidays. Or some beautiful chess sets from different countries. The owner was inspired at the age of 10 to take up chess when he was seriously ill. At the age of 10 he became a chess champion and began collecting chess sets. Vintage Native American Kachina dolls, from the 1950's, often referred to as Route 66 Kachinas are also on display. These wooden dolls were created specifically for the tourist trade by Hopi artisans in the Southwest as early as the 1940s. The owner of the dolls collected them while travelling along Route 66.

The exhibit, “Holiday Fun” will run from November 24 through the end of January. The exhibit features approximately 14 collections.

A special free reception will be held Friday, November 24 with live music and light refreshments. The Marshall Lane Choir will walk over after the tree lighting at 5:30 and sing holiday carols outside of the museum. The Skillet Likkers will sing from 6-8 PM. Chairs will be available for enjoying the music.

Bring an unwrapped toy for the annual toy drive. The toy drive will end December 15 and is being held in conjunction with Sacred Heart church.

The museum gift shop has a wide selection of local history books to give as a gift or consider giving the gift of membership. A special doll sale and antique items will provide some unique gifts for you or your friends. The museum is open from 1 to 4 PM Friday and Sunday and 10 to 4 PM on Saturday. The museum is located at 20450 Saratoga-Los Gatos Road with free parking. For more information call 408-867-4311.

Blossom Festival March 24
Mark your calendars for the 2018 Blossom Festival this March.

Music of the 30's - 40's, antique cars, vintage motors, children's crafts, and craftspeople will soon bring back memories of yesteryear. The Blossom Festival will bring a day of family fun on March 24 from 10am-4pm in the Saratoga Heritage Orchard and Civic Center area. Produced the the Saratoga Historical Foundation, the free event is reminiscent of the original Blossom Festival that debuted in 1900 and was popular for over 40 years.

More info here.

New Books in Museum Gift Shop—Just in Time for the Holidays
A new local history book— “The Peopling of Silicon Valley 1940 to the Present Day: An Oral History” by popular author Tim Stanley has been added to the Saratoga History Museum’s gift shop. Just printed, the book covers the five major migrations to the Santa Clara Valley since World War II: the GI’s, Lockheed, the chip makers, minicomputer manufacturers, and software and web developers. The story is told in the words of the people that moved here. A great gift!

Other books include: “Gulchin’ Out” by Vince S. Garrod, Saratoga pioneer; “The Tie That Bound Us, the Women of John Brown’s Family” by Bonnie Laughlin-Schultz; “California Apricots-The Lost Orchards of Silicon Valley,” by Robin Chapman; and “The Mineral Springs of Santa Clara County,” by Ian L. Sanders. The gift of membership is a great gift for anyone local or far away.

The gift includes the newsletter which is issued six times a year as well as information on local history lectures and exhibits. The Saratoga History Museum (20450 Saratoga-Los Gatos Road) is open from 1 PM to 4 PM Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

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.

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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  • 2017 Upcoming Events
  • Nov 18 Peck Bench Dedication at 10am, Blaney Plaza
  • Nov 24 “Holiday Fun” Exhibit & Reception Opens with music and refreshments 5-8pm

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.

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.

Support the Saratoga Historical Foundation with AmazonSmile

The Saratoga Historical Foundation is now on the AmazonSmile list. Visit www.amazonsmile.com when you want to purchase an item and select the Saratoga Historical Foundation, by doing so, .5% of your purchase will be donated to the Saratoga Historical Foundation. No extra cost to you-- it is part of a program initiated by Amazon to give back to the community.

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