COVID-19 Response:
Due to County guidelines the Saratoga History Museum, McWilliams House, and one-room schoolhouse are closed. We miss you and hope you'll continue to come to our website and look at the online activities and events.

Free Zoom Lecture on July 26 - "Poverty of Affluence"

Continuing a series of lectures on local history, the Saratoga Historical Foundation presents David Mariani, the author of "Poverty of Affluence", the inside story of Silicon Valley taking root in the Valley of Heart's Delight or Santa Clara Valley. The talk will be given on July 26 at 7:00 PM on Zoom. Mariani's talk will provide a glimpse into the lives of four generations of the Mariani family, pioneers in the development of quality dried fruit, who witnessed the valley as an agrarian community become the famous high-tech mecca of the world. The talk is co-sponsored by the Sunnyvale Heritage Park and Museum.

David W. Mariani, Board Chair, earned his BA from the University of San Francisco with both undergraduate and postgraduate work at Santa Clara University. Mr. Mariani served on 27 corporate boards. His service includes but not limited to private corporate boards, industry agency boards, and public boards. His professional career includes agri-business, venture capital, real estate development, and private and public banking. He is the author of two books.

For more information call 408-867-4311 or go to

Join the Lecture on Zoom.
Meeting ID: 811 0901 8550
Passcode: 530755

"Quest For Flight" Lecture Recording Available
A Recording of the May 24 lecture "Quest for Flight: John J. Montgomery and the Dawn of Aviation in the West" is available on YouTube at this link.

"Quest for Flight"

"Bringing Spain to California" Lecture Recording Available
A Recording of the April 26 lecture "Bringing Spain to California: the Bernal Experience" is available on YouTube at this link.

"Bringing Spain To California"

"The Olive in California" Lecture Recording Available
A Recording of the March 29 lecture "The Olive in California" is available on YouTube at this link.

"The Olive in California"

Free Zoom Lecture on June 28
Love of Apricots and Memories of the Santa Clara Valley
Author Lisa Newman will take you on a journey covering apricots and memories of growing up in the Santa Clara Valley on June 28 at 7:00PM on Zoom. Both the Saratoga Historical Foundation and the Cupertino History Museum will be sponsoring the free presentation. In the 1960s, orchards still covered much of the hilly fringe of the Santa Clara Valley. Newman grew up in Saratoga and began to cultivate relationships with the remaining orchardists and to learn about the area. She transferred some of that information into a cookbook and blog. Newman studied Land Resources Planning at Stanford University and received a Master's Degree in Land Use and Environmental Planning from UC Berkeley. A popular speaker, the presentation promises to be a sentimental journey.
For more information call 408-867-4311 or go up to
Meeting ID: 817 4399 2840
Passcode: 449016

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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 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.

Click on this link to complete your membership application on line.
Click on this link to make a donation on line.

Let's Stroll to Saratoga in the 1950's

Take a moment and look at what was happening in Saratoga during the 1950's. Do you remember the corner drug store? walking to school? Seeing orchards and orchards of trees?

If you have some photos of the 1950's in Saratoga, please e-mail to we'll add them to our stroll. So, come on!

"Come, let's stroll
Stroll across the floor
Come, let's stro-oh-oh-oll
Stroll across the floor"

Click on the link and stroll back in time.

New Exhibit - Riding The RailsRiding the Rails"-- new exhibit opens on the Peninsular Interurban

A new exhibit, "Riding the Rails" opens on January 10 and runs through April 26 at the Saratoga History Museum. One of the highlights of the exhibit is a restored Interurban passenger stop.

The interurban was in use from 1903-1933 and provided a transportation solution for enabling travelling between the cities of San Jose, Los Gatos, Saratoga, Campbell, and Palo Alto.

The Interurban was part of a technological breakthrough in the early 1900s across the US. At that time paved roads were uncommon and automobiles were still a twinkle in Henry Ford's eye. Railroads did not service many of the small towns so the Interurban provided a convenient, economical service. The Peninsular Interurban connected San Jose, Los Gatos, Campbell and Palo Alto using rail and electricity. The sleek, red cars ran every hour and every 2 hours in the evening. The clanging of the trolley lured passengers to travel in comfort at 30 mph for dentist appointments in San Jose, to attend school at Stanford University, or go to Congress Springs for recreation. The cost to ride from Saratoga to San Jose was .35 cents or about 3 cents per mile. Prior to this service residents would travel by horse and buggy which could take up to an hour alone to reach San Jose from Saratoga. In the spring 65-mile long blossom tours brought people to Santa Clara Valley to enjoy the wonderful scent and see nine million blossoming trees for just $1.00. The Interurban could also be used to haul freight such as: oil, fruit, gravel and other cargo.

The exhibit will include many photos and artifacts from that timeframe on the interurban. The Interurban Stop which provided passenger comfort is believed to be the sole one in Northern California. The passenger stop was located near Nippon Mura, a popular resort at that time and located on Saratoga-Los Gatos Road.

The Saratoga History Museum is located at 20450 Saratoga-Los Gatos Road in Saratoga. The museum is open from 1-4 Friday, 10-4 on Saturday and 1-4 on Sunday. Admission is free.

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, 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 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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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.

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, which are 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.
  • The Flying Tigers, officially known as the First American Volunteer Group, were American pilots who fought in the Chinese Air Force during World War II between 1941 and 1942.
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 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