May 20 Program: Noteworthy and Notorious Women in California’s History— with Historian Mary Jo Ignoffo
Well-known historian and author Mary Jo Ignoffo will speak May 20 about “Noteworthy and Notorious Women in California’s History” at the Saratoga Historical Foundation membership program. Find out about pioneer Tamsen Donner, Gold Rush-era abolitionist Mary Ellen Pleasant, novelist Gertrude Atherton, philanthropist Sarah Winchester, architect Julia Morgan, First Lady Lou Henry Hoover, and civil rights leader Dolores Huerta-- each of these lives sheds considerable light upon her time and place in California’s past. This entertaining lecture is free and open to the public.

Historian and author Mary Jo Ignoffo teaches in the history department of De Anza College in Cupertino, California. She is the author of six books about California history: La Verdad; Gold Rush Politics; Sunnyvale From the City of Destinty to the Heart of Silicon Valley; Milestones, A History of Mountain View, CA; A Meeting of the Minds—A Retrospective of the ToKalon Club of San Jose 1903-2003; and Reflections of the Past, An Anthology of San Jose.

The presentation will take place at the Immanuel Lutheran Fellowship Hall at 14103 Saratoga Avenue in Saratoga. The lecture will begin at 7:30 PM.

School Daze—A New Exhibit—Traces Saratoga’s Roots
Memories of country school days can be enjoyed at the Saratoga History Museum opening February 15- end of June. Visitors will enjoy the photos and artifacts that marked Saratoga’s beginnings going back as far as 1850.

Memorabilia includes photos, desk and globe, lunch boxes and yearbooks. The exhibit traces some of the changes in today’s curriculum and includes all the current Saratoga schools. Visitors are invited to share their memories of school days, too.

Four New Books in Museum Gift Shop
Four new local history books have been added to the Saratoga History Museum’s gift shop: “Gulchin’ Out” by Vince S. Garrod, Saratoga pioneer; “The Tie That Bound Us, the Women of John Brown’s Family” by Bonnie Laughlin-Schultz; “California Apricots-The Lost Orchards of Silicon Valley,” by Robin Chapman; and “The Mineral Springs of Santa Clara County,” by Ian L. Sanders. The gift shop contains a variety of children’s and adult books covering local history in addition to these titles.

Some Free Things To Do!
Get in touch with local history by: 1) taking our historic landmark walking tour 2) bicycling the historic house tour 3) 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.

Calling All Village Historians
Any one who wants to write about the historic buildings in the Saratoga Village where restaurants are located i.e. what used to be in that building; what buildings can be seen from the restaurant windows or what the buildings next to them used to be are welcome to become a "Village Historian." Send your information to Willys Peck c/o SHF, PO Box 172 Saratoga, CA 95071. The information will be sent to each restaurant so that customers can read and enjoy this historic information while they wait to be served.

The Santa Clara County Fire Department has interesting information and pictures about the history of the Saratoga fire station here.
The Saratoga Historical Foundation Museum
The Saratoga Historical Foundation Museum located at Saratoga Historical Park: 20450 Saratoga-Los Gatos Road, Saratoga, CA
  Subscribe to our email announcement list.

Wanted: Author for Book on Saratoga
For immediate release: The Saratoga Historical Foundation is seeking someone to write a book on the history of Saratoga. The historical book would cover the time period of 1950-2000.

The author would be responsible for researching and writing the material for the time period. Requirements include a demonstrated ability to research and write historical materials; knowledge of the publishing process; and prior published experience. Three samples of writing must be furnished at the time of the interview. If you are interested, write or call (408) 867-4311 for more information or to set up an interview.

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 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.

Survey For Saratoga, CA Citizens
The Saratoga Historical Museum wishes to survey and document the ideas, dreams, and facts about a group of Saratogans who did something quite extraordinary. They uprooted themselves, left their families and countries of origin and the "comforts of home". They took a risk not only by moving to and living in a new country, the USA, but also by changing their citizenship status. From the Museum’s standpoint, these special individuals are making and changing history and adding to the great cultural mix of Saratoga, CA and the USA. If you would like to be part of this survey, live in Saratoga, CA, immigrated here from another country and have become a citizen-- please download the survey!

Download HERE (29Kb .doc file).

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-Saturday and Sunday from 1-4PM.

Saratoga Historical Foundation  ·  20450 Saratoga-Los Gatos Road, Saratoga, CA 95070-5935  ·  #408.867.4311
© Saratoga Historical Foundation 2011