“Soil Before Silicon: Glimpses of our Agricultural Past” on January 24!
The Fruit Cocktail Club will take a lighthearted look at films of Saratoga and the Santa Clara Valley when it was known as The Valley of Hearts Delight. The presentation includes clips from the 20s, 40s, and 60s showcasing locally shot orchard footage. These will be woven with some clips from newsreel, documentary, and corporate films over the decades to show the general change from agriculture to technology.

Audience participation is encouraged so experiences of growing up, working, and living in the Santa Clara Valley are shared.

Potluck will be at 6:30 PM and the film at 7:30 PM on Wednesday, January 24. If you participate in the potluck bring food to share, your own utensils and cups. Coffee or hot water for tea will be provided. The film will be free for members, $5.00 donation asked for nonmembers. The meeting will be held at the Saratoga Foothill Club at 20399 Park Place in Saratoga, CA. Come prepared to reminisce.

Contest for Fourth and Fifth Grade Students in Saratoga!
For the second year, the Saratoga Historical Museum is offering a historical essay contest for all fourth and fifth grades in Saratoga including public, private and homeschool. The essay contest begins January 18 and ends February 15th.This year’s topic is “A Day in the Life of an Ohlone Child.”

Criteria for the 300 word essay can be downloaded below. Cash prizes will be awarded to the three winners per grade level: First place, $50; second place, $30 and third place, $20. Teachers will be notified on March 5th if their class has a winning essay. An awards party for all classes with winning essays will be held March 21 at 4 PM at the Saratoga library (13650 Saratoga Avenue).

Any questions, please e-mail linda@saratogahistory.com. George and Louise Cooper were lifetime PTA members and active in the community.

Downloads available: Cover Sheet, Criteria, General Instructions for Teachers, Overview.

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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  • 2018 Upcoming Events
  • Jan 18 Essay Contest for Fourth and Fifth Grade Students in Saratoga!
  • Jan 24 “Soil Before Silicon: Glimpses of our Agricultural Past”
  • May 19 Old Grandview Ranch Fundraiser Event

See Old Grandview Ranch!
You won't want to miss a unique opportunity to attend a spectacular event at Old Grandview Ranch, a magnificent French Norman Revival estate nestled in the foothills of Saratoga. Its three art galleries house one of the largest privately owned art collections in the West, and its 22-acre themed garden is beautifully ladscaped with sculptures by internationally renowned artists. More Information Here!

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

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