Betty and Willis Peck - The Heart of Saratoga
You are cordially invited to
20450 Saratoga-Los Gatos Road
Reception & Exhibit
Betty and Willys Peck: The Heart of Saratoga
Sunday, June 23
Enjoy Music and Light Refreshments
Videotape Your Memories/Stories of Willys Peck
Meet Betty Peck and Family
Saratoga History Museum
Questions, call: 408-867-4311
Or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Get out your red, white and blue clothes and flags. Soon it will be time to join friends and neighbors for the annual Saratoga Independence Day celebration. Activities will begin at 9:30 AM at the Kevin Moran Park (12415 Scully Avenue in Saratoga) for a morning of old time patriotic music, parade around the park, and more. The event is free and open to the public.
Betty and Willys Peck—the Heart of Saratoga—New Exhibit Opens May 31
Take a sentimental journey as both Betty and Willys Peck are recognized for their many contributions to the community in a new exhibit. Betty and Willys Peck—the Heart of Saratoga. The exhibit opens May 31 with memorabilia and photos focusing on the Peck’s many contributions in the areas of drama, music, historical preservation, nature and community service.
A special reception is planned for June 23 from 1-3 PM at the Saratoga History Museum and is open to the public. Music and light refreshments will be enjoyed.
During the period of the exhibit and on the third Sunday of each month, some of the presentations Willys gave will be shown: July 21—Southern Pacific; August 18 – Walking Tour; September 11 – Peninsular Interurban Railway and October 20 – School Memories. These tapes will be shown at 2 PM in the museum (20450 Saratoga-Los Gatos Road). Free admittance.
Click on the attached file and enjoy the “Selected Ramblings of Willys I. Peck, Saratoga historian. The articles are from the San Jose Mercury News perspective edition during 1985-1999.
Selected Ramblings of Willys I. Peck (.pdf 2MB)
Willys Peck—Saratoga Historian Passed Away 1923-2013
Willys Peck, well-known historian, passed away April 16. Peck was a historian, lawyer, newspaperman, train buff, playwright, disc jockey, and author during his lifetime.
Known for his passion for Saratoga, he wrote and told engaging stories about growing up in Saratoga; about walking in the orchards; about famous personalities in Saratoga, riding the Interurban railroad; and playing a duck in a play with actress Olivia de Havilland.
He was active in the community—saving the Memorial Arch (a landmark), finding a building and location for the Saratoga History Museum, and ensuring that Saratoga did not become part of San Jose. He was president of the Saratoga Historical Foundation for over 19 years and had continued to serve on the board of directors since the 1960’s. He was a museum docent for over 40 years. Some people thought of him as “Mr. Saratoga.” And one mayor even gave him the moniker of “Town Character” after an article on Saratoga in Life magazine appeared in the 1950’s and used the term “characters” in describing the locals.
Those wishing to make a donation for a memorial make send a contribution to Saratoga Historical Foundation, PO Box 172, Saratoga, CA 95071.
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.
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 located at Saratoga Historical Park: 20450 Saratoga-Los Gatos Road, Saratoga, CA
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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).
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.
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.