New Lecture: "How Californians Saved Big Basin"

Saratoga Historical Foundation presents, "How Californians Saved Big Basin" on August 22 at 7:00 PM on Zoom. Author of "Big Basin Redwood Forest: California's Oldest State Park," Dr. Traci Bliss details in her lecture how and why a most unlikely coalition came together to change the trajectory of deforestation in California. She will share why 1900 marked a new era in our state history.

Hear the riveting story of how women journalists, Jesuit priests, Bay Area academics and the pillars of San Francisco Society joined forces to achieve an unimaginable victory for preservation.

Bliss will conclude her talk with an overview of the after effects of the 2020 CZU fire and the exciting plan for Big Basin's future. The lecture is free and open to the public.

Emerita Professor Dr. Traci Bliss retired early from her career in academia to write the true history of how the environmental movement began, fulfilling a promise she had made as a young child.

In addition to writing "Big Basin," Bliss has authored two other books about extraordinary public land: "Evergreen Cemetery of Santa Cruz" and "Santa Cruz's Seabright" with Randall Brown, She is a life member of the Society of California Pioneers, her family having arrived in Santa Cruz in the late 1840s.

Bliss earned her BA, MA and PhD from Stanford.

Join the lecture on Zoom by going to: How Californians Saved Big Basin
Zoom Meeting ID: 858 2757 7975
Passcode: 429853

"Hearts, Leprechauns, and Fools"--New Exhibit Focuses on Traditions

The Saratoga Historical Foundation presents, "Hearts, Leprechauns, and Fools", a new exhibit explores the impact traditions have on the fabric of the community. The exhibit covers over 30 holidays and associated traditions. The exhibit opens on February 11 and ends In June.

Traditions are the stories, beliefs, customs and routines that pass to us from older generations. They have been passed down, in the hope of keeping the tradition alive until the next coming generations. Many traditions originated in Europe and were brought to the US by immigrants. Some have roots in religion. Mother's Day is a tradition that originated in the US by a woman who wanted mothers to be recognized. The Blossom Festival is a tradition that originated in Saratoga in 1900 celebrating the agricultural heritage. Participating in a tradition creates long lasting memories.

The Saratoga History Museum is located at 20450 Saratoga-Los Gatos Road in Saratoga. Admission is free. The Museum is open from 1-4 on Friday, 10-4 on Saturday and 1-4 on Sunday. For more information go up to or call 408-867-4311.

Free Activities

Explore our Pioneer Living program for 3rd-5th grades, and take a walk around Saratoga to spot Bats and Other Wildlife using these pictures.

Pioneer Living.

Bats and Other Wildlife in Saratoga.

Join or DonateJoin or Renew your Membership Today! Or make a Donation!

Support local history and the museum today. The Saratoga Historical Foundation invites you to join, renew your membership or make a dontaion today.

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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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  • 2023 Upcoming Events
  • Zoom Lectures:
  • August 22, 7:00PM - How Californians Saved Big Basin

Latest recorded lecture video available

You can watch this video, along with past lectures and presentations at the Saratoga Historical Foundation's YouTube channel.

Subscribe to our channel and sign up for notifications when new videos are available.

Take A Moment Out and Read About the History of Saratoga Blacksmiths!

The attached presentation gives a quick overview on the roles of a blacksmith in 1850 as well as the blacksmiths that once worked in Saratoga. The information was given in a presentation to the Saratoga Foothill Club as well as was part of a display in the Saratoga Library lobby.

Click here for the presentation: The History of Saratoga Blacksmiths

Blacksmith Exhibit Scheduled to Open 2023

A new blacksmith exhibit will open in 2023 demonstrating the work a blacksmith of the 1850s would have handled. Interactivity and sound effects will add to the ambience. 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, the 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 and your name will be on a plaque on the outside of the exhibit)-- send your contribution to:

Blacksmith Exhibit
c/0 Saratoga Historical Foundation
PO Box 172
Saratoga, CA 95071

Your donation is tax deductible.

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.

Visit the Museum Gift Shop

Stop by the Museum gift shop and see the new book from Author and Lecturer Robin Chapman: "The Valley of Heart's Delight--the True Tales from Around the Bay. Chapman has written many popular books about the Bay Area-- including "California Apricots-- The Lost Orchards of Silicon Valley. This book promises to be just as interesting and more! It's a compilation of various vignettes of people in Santa Clara's history. It will make a great Christmas gift or just a gift of friendship to someone interested in history. Come on by and purchase a copy. You'll find other books by Robin in our gift shop!!

The Museum Gift Shop has copies of the hard to find Florence Cunningham's "Saratoga's First Hundred Years" along with over 20 other 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