Robin ChapmanFree Lecture on Historic Bay Area Visionaries
The Saratoga Historical Foundation invites you to attend a free lecture by Robin Chapman based on her new book, "Historic bay Area Visionaries". The lecture will take place October 24 at 7 PM at the Saratoga Library (13650 Saratoga Avenue in Saratoga). The Saratoga Library is a sponsor of the event.

The lecture covers how five individuals triumphed over adversity and flourished in the Santa Clara Valley.

Lope Inigo, an Ohlone Indian, was born in 1781, just four years after the founding of the Santa Clara mission, to an Ohlone family native to the area we now associate with Moffett Field. He was one of the few Ohlone Indians who became successful and an alcade or leader.

Thomas Foon Chew, began working for his father in 1906. Due to his progressive ideas, Bay City Cannery began a period of rapid growth that made it the third largest cannery in the United States at the time.

Juana Briones, born in 1802 was among the few women in California of her time to own property in her own name, and became a skilled farmer, rancher, and businesswoman in the City and Santa Clara Valley.

Robert Louis Stevenson, born in 1850, was a literary theorist, essayist and social critic, and a witness to the colonial history of the Pacific Islands.

Sarah Winchester, born in 1840 inherited from her husband the Winchester Repeating Arms Company, which made her one of the wealthiest women in the world. She is best known for using her vast fortune to continue construction on the Winchester mansion in San Jose, California, for 38 consecutive years.

Charlie Chaplin, born in 1889, was an English comic actor, filmmaker, and composer who rose to fame in the era of silent film. Chaplin became a worldwide icon through his screen persona "the Tramp" and is considered one of the most important figures in the history of the film industry. Many of his films were filmed in Niles, California.

Robin Chapman is a longtime journalist who is a native of Los Altos. She earned her Masters Degree in journalism from the University of California, Los Angeles, before setting out on a long career in television news. Covering history in the making stirred her interest in America's stories. In 2009, she returned to the Santa Clara Valley and published her first book about her home state: California Apricots: The Lost Orchards of Silicon Valley . She now writes for a number of local publications and serves on the board of the Los Altos History Museum. Historic Bay Area Visionaries, also from The History Press, is her fifth book, her second about California.

No reservation needed. Just attend and enjoy the lecture. For more information go to or call 408-867-4311.

Thank You to Our Supporters
The Saratoga Historical Foundation thanks the many supporters of the Old Grandview Ranch benefit held in May.

Photos of the event can be seen here.

The following sponsors are thanked: Eherril & Kim Kenny, Star One Credit Union, Pamela and Stan Atwood, Brandenburg Family Foundation, Steve McCarrick, Coldwell Banker, Gay & Roy Crawford, Mary Ellen & Michael E. Fox Family Foundation, Marcia Hall, Dr. W. Donald Head, Noelle & Dave Henderson, Polly & Jack Hillis of Hillis Financial Services, Laurel & Tony Perusa, Carol Mauldin of Alain Pinel Realtors, Kathie & Bob Maxfield, Rena & John Saunders, Anne & Jim Sorden, Marcia and Jon Tammel, Saratoga Monte Sereno Community Foundation, Dan Tellep, Kay & Bill Walker, Charmaine & Dan Warmenhoven.

Legends and Leaders: Cynthia Chang, The George Family, Jill & Dennis Hunter, Reiko Iwanaga, Linda L. Lester, Sue & Jack Mallory.

Friends of the Museum: Bill Gorman of Gorman Real Estate Group, Bette & Dave Loomis, Calvano Development, Donald Lee & Sally Steadman of Lucas Foundation.

Proceeds from the event will go towards funding a blacksmith exhibit on the grounds of the Saratoga Historical Park.

New Exhibit: Ohlone Indians Then and Now
“Ohlone Indians Then and Now” opened February 16 at the Saratoga History Museum and will run through the end of August. Stop by and see images and artifacts of the Ohlone Indians in this special exhibit. Admission is free. The museum is open from 1-4PM Friday and Sunday and from 10AM-4PM on Saturday.

Walking Tours
Take a walking tour of the Saratoga Village. This docent-led tour takes about 1 to 1 and ˝ hours. Find out about the history of your community. To make a reservation, call 408-867-4311. Docent-led tours cost $3.00 per person.

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
  • Feb-August Ohlone "Then and Now" exhibit
  • May "Journey into History with Heritage Preservation" exhibit
  • October 24, 7:00PM "Historic bay Area Visionaries"

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.

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 and Sunday from 1-4PM, Saturday from 10PM to 4PM.

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 travelled 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.

Visit the Museum Gift Shop
We've just added the new, "For the Love of Apricots" cookbook to the gift shop. Perfect as a gift or for you! This locally-written cookbook combines memories of the Valley of Heart's Delight plus tasty recipes. The gift shop also has many books on local history, postcards, notecards and more. The gift shop is open Friday and Sunday from 1-4 PM and on Saturdays from 10AM-4PM.

Support the Saratoga Historical Foundation with AmazonSmile

The Saratoga Historical Foundation is now on the AmazonSmile list. Visit 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.

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