The Great Indian Railway; One of the Largest Railways in the World
The Saratoga Historical Foundation will present a free video on the Great Indian Railway on August 19 at 7:30 PM.
Many are the faces, and varied are the stories, on the Great Indian Railway. Since 1853, India's railway has been a unifying force. Not only did it physically link
distant regions, it also connected the myriad of castes, languages, and religions that comprise India. It's a rich history, riding the sumptuous Palace on Wheels through Rajasthan or the "toy train" to Darjiling, but sadly, the age of steam has died. At the Black Beauty contest, the beloved steam engines were admired for the last time.
From the engineer in the steaming locomotive to the station master in the sleepy village, from the family traveling to a wedding to the commuters in the large cities, this great institution reflects the country itself. Historian Ray Cosyn will chair the event. The video will be shown at 7:30 PM on the patio of the Saratoga Historical Park at 20450 Saratoga-Los Gatos Road in Saratoga. The event is free and open to the public.
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 Saratoga Historical Foundation is holding a dinner, “Honoring Saratogans” on Sunday July 26 from 4:30-6:30 PM. The event includes a BBQ dinner and music and will be held at the Saratoga Historical Park.
The event will honor Saratogans who have made significant contributions in the areas of community service, local history, and service.
This year’s honorees include Henry Clarke, Rhoda Ann Porter, and Adrian Stanga.
The Saratoga Historical Park is located at 20450 Saratoga-Los Gatos Road in Saratoga. Reservations can be made by purchasing a ticket for $40 for Foundation members; $45 for non-members by sending your check in to Honoring Saratogans/SHF at PO Box 172, Saratoga, CA 95071. Questions? Call 408-867-9727 or e-mail Robert Himel. Seating is limited—send your check today.
Estate Sale Fundraiser: August 15
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 15 from 9-3pm at the Saratoga History Museum (20450 Saratoga-Los Gatos Road).
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—give us a call.
You can drop off items during the Museum’s normal hours—Friday, Saturday or Sunday from 1-4 PM or up until August 1. Or you can contact Bob Himel 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.
Your donation will go towards funding the outdoor blacksmith 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”.
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.
|The Saratoga Historical Foundation Museum located at Saratoga Historical Park: 20450 Saratoga-Los Gatos Road, Saratoga, CA
- 2015 Upcoming Events
- July 26 Honoring Saratogans Dinner
- August 15 Estate Sale - SHF Fundraiser
- August 19 The Great Indian Railroad lecture at 7:30pm
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
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
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.
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.