California Bound: Opening the West—1840 to 1846

The Saratoga Historical Foundation invites the public to hear Robert Keahey on the topic California Bound: Opening the West — 1840 to 1846. The lecture takes place at the Saratoga Foothill Club at 7:00 PM on June 25. The Saratoga Foothill Club is located at 20399 Park Place in Saratoga. Members are free and nonmembers pay $5.00.

The westward migration to California is the largest in US history, with over w250,000 people making the journey across the Great American Desert between 1840 and 1870.

The Donner Party, the California Gold Rush, and the intercontinental Railroad are indelibly etched in the annals of western history. But before the Donners, the Fort-Niners and the golden Spike there were the Bidwells, Bartlesons, Walkers and Murphys who blazed a 2000 mile trail across the rugged western plains and mountains to California.

Starting with a discussion of the Oregon and Santa Fe Trails, key aspects of the development of the California Trail are examined — the drivers, the elements of a wagon train, and the people who migrated during 1840 to 1846. What was the impact of these early pioneers on the Westward migration?

The Saratoga Historical Foundation is located at 20450 Saratoga-Los Gators Road in Saratoga.
For more information: 408-867-4311 or

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.

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

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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
  • Lecture — California Bound: Opening the West — 1840 to 1846
  • Zoom Lectures:
  • TBD

Latest recorded lecture video available

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

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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