Reception for New Exhibit on July 13
The Saratoga History Museum presents the traveling exhibit, “Pioneering the Valley: The Chinese American Legacy in Santa Clara Valley.” The exhibit and reception for the opening takes place July 13 at 2:00 PM at 20450 Saratoga-Los Gatos Road. The free exhibit will run from July 13 through October 26. The exhibit provides the history of the Chinese American Community in the Santa Clara Valley from the 19th century to today with highlights of community achievements. Partnering with the exhibit will be local information on Saratoga people and history.

The reception will feature Mayor Emily Lo; Historian Connie Young Yu; Brenda Wong, president of Chinese Historical Cultural Project; zither music by Hong Tai; and the Tamkang drum team. The Tamkang drum team are part of the Tamkang University Alumni Association and combine the art of Chinese dance, Kung-Fu, Tai Chi with the art of drumming. Light refreshments will be served.

Estate Sale Fundraiser
Donate to a Good Cause! The Saratoga Historical Foundation is seeking donations of high end items to sell at an estate sale. The fund raiser for the Foundation is scheduled for August 23 from 9-3 PM at the Saratoga History Museum (20450 Saratoga-Los Gatos Road).

Call or drop off if you have collectibles, toys, art work, jewelry, vintage items (pre 1960), holiday decorations, antiques, Shabby chic items, ladies accessories (such as scarves, hats, belts, hand bags), houseware goods, garden accessories, small furniture, or plants.. You can drop off items during the Museum’s normal hours: Friday, Saturday or Sunday from 1-4 PM or up until July 20th. Or you can call Bob Himel (408)-867-9727 or email to arrange a pick up time.

Items that are not wanted include bedding, large pieces of furniture, clothing, shoes, books, appliances, exercise equipment, electronics items or luggage.

This is a perfect time of the year to clean out the garage or closet. Your donation will go towards funding a new, outdoor blacksmith exhibit planned for the museum or to support the education program. A receipt for tax purposes will be provided.

2014 Membership and Volunteer Drive
Stop by the Saratoga History Museum on June 28 and July 26 between 1-3pm and learn about the benefits of volunteering or joining the Saratoga Historical Foundation. Light refreshments will be served. "Members are the lifeblood of any museum," says SHF Membership Director Ann Waltonsmith. "Annual membership dues, which start at $30 for individuals, provide us with a major source of unrestricted revenue, which means we can use those funds to cover our day-to-day needs, not just special projects or exhibitions." In exchange for their support, SHF members receive special rates to events and programs, 8-page newsletter on local history six times a year and a discount in the museum’s gift shop, and more. "Perhaps most important," Waltonsmith adds, "SHF members know they are part of a large and growing community of people who appreciate and support preserving Saratoga’s rich history.

According to Docent Director Michael Whalen, "Volunteers help us produce a wide range of events and services concerning Saratoga’s history. Stop by and see the number of ways you can volunteer and give back to the community." Young and old are welcome with a variety of services to fit a range of skills. Be sure to stop by and find out how you can help—if even for an hour or two each month.

Everyone is invited to become a member of the museum and to volunteer. An annual membership drive takes place each year, but memberships are welcome at any time. This support enables the museum to continue preserving our local heritage and serve as a valuable educational resource.

The Saratoga Historical Foundation is an all-volunteer organization. The group manages the Saratoga History Museum and keeps the museum open three days a week; education docents teach pioneer living; and a host of services are provided to the community including docent-led walking tours. Stop by and see how you can help.

School Daze—A New Exhibit—Traces Saratoga’s Roots
Memories of country school days can be enjoyed at the Saratoga History Museum opening February 15- end of June. Visitors will enjoy the photos and artifacts that marked Saratoga’s beginnings going back as far as 1850.

Memorabilia includes photos, desk and globe, lunch boxes and yearbooks. The exhibit traces some of the changes in today’s curriculum and includes all the current Saratoga schools. Visitors are invited to share their memories of school days, too.

Four New Books in Museum Gift Shop
Four new local history books have been added to the Saratoga History Museum’s gift shop: “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 shop contains a variety of children’s and adult books covering local history in addition to these titles.

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.

New Donation Policy
The Saratoga History Museum is changing its policy regarding donations that are dropped off at the museum.

According to Archival and Collections Director Katie Alexander, "Due to space limitations and a renewed focus on our mission statement to collect items that are significant to Saratoga, we will be accepting donations by appointment only."

Items left at the museum as a donation may not be accepted and may be disposed of by the collection committee. If you have a donation, please call the museum at 408-867-4311 and someone will get back to you or you can e-mail

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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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.

Some Free Things To Do!
Get in touch with local history by: 1) taking our historic landmark walking tour 2) bicycling the historic house tour 3) 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.

Wanted: Author for Book on Saratoga
For immediate release: The Saratoga Historical Foundation is seeking someone to write a book on the history of Saratoga. The historical book would cover the time period of 1950-2000.

The author would be responsible for researching and writing the material for the time period. Requirements include a demonstrated ability to research and write historical materials; knowledge of the publishing process; and prior published experience. Three samples of writing must be furnished at the time of the interview. If you are interested, write or call (408) 867-4311 for more information or to set up an interview.

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.
The Santa Clara County Fire Department has interesting information and pictures about the history of the Saratoga fire station here.
Saratoga Historical Foundation  ·  20450 Saratoga-Los Gatos Road, Saratoga, CA 95070-5935  ·  #408.867.4311
© Saratoga Historical Foundation 2011