Historical Cocktail of Old Time Films on the Valley of Heart’s Delight on January 27
Memories of working in canneries, fruit orchards, and more will come alive as the California Pioneers along with the Fruit Cocktail Club present a medley of films from the 1920-50’s on January 27. The films will cover the agricultural period during the Valley of Heart’s Delight. Sponsored by the Saratoga Historical Foundation, the films will start at 7:30 PM with promised audience participation and will be held at the Foothill Club in Saratoga. The Foothill Club is located at 20399 Park Place in Saratoga. The event is open to the public. The lecture is free to SHF members, nonmembers will pay $5 to attend the lecture.

The Fruit Cocktail Club got its name from the television station KPIX. The Club was featured on the popular program, Bay Area Back Roads when they showed a 1950s promotional film produced by Dole in the 1950s. The film was about the fruit cocktail plant in San Jose. Today some of the recipes featured like spam and fruit cocktail, jello and fruit cocktail, would raise a few eyebrows.

Circle the Date—Celebrate the Blossom Festival on March 19!
Antique cars, music of the 40s, craftspeople, art, poetry, food trucks and more will be featured at the Saratoga Blossom Festival on March 19. The community event pays homage to the original festival founded by Rev. Sunshine Williams. Some have called the festival a slice of hometown Americana. Join us in the Heritage Orchard and Civic Center on March 19 from 10-4 PM and enjoy a day of free, unfettered fun. Or as Sunshine Williams said, "Enjoy the God-given glory of springtime." Funded by the city of Saratoga and produced by the Saratoga Historical Foundation.

The South Skyline Story—New Book
The Saratoga History Museum gift shop has added a new book: The South Skyline Story by Janet Schwind and the Skyline Historical Society. The South Skyline region runs along Skyline Boulevard and includes parts of three counties: San Mateo, Santa Cruz and Santa Clara. The 232 page book includes historic photos, maps and stories of residents from the Ohlone Indians through the present day. According to author Janet Schwind, “Upon opening the book you will follow the paths of the native Ohlone peoples; experience the rugged life in the logging camps, mills and ranches. Learn how the crude trails, dusty ranch and private roads of the ridge properties through four different counties were connected by the building of the boulevard, in spite of the daunting impediments of politics and financial difficulties.

Moving at a lively pace the book covers the various activities of timber harvesting, the search for oil, recreation, and agriculture, followed later by the development of communes, communities and organizations. It will provide great insight into the history of the area we call “home”.

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—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.

Seeking Furniture Donation
The Saratoga Historical Park has a beautiful 1860’s historical home that needs the following items: Dry sink, hutch, wardrobe/armoire, small dining room table, men’s shaving station. Since the house is used for educational purposes, the furniture should be authentic and not reproductions and from the era 1860-1880. If you have any of this furniture, please call 408-867-4311 or email info@saratogahistory.com. All donations are 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-Saturday and Sunday from 1-4PM.

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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  • 2016 Upcoming Events
  • Jan 21 SHF board of directors, 5-7 PM
  • Jan 27 Fruit Cocktail of Films, 7:30 PM
  • Feb 12 The Faces of Pioneers and Sanborn Park exhibit
  • Feb 18 SHF board of directors, 5-7 PM
  • Mar 17 SHF board of directors, 5-7 PM
  • Mar 19 Blossom Festival 10-4PM
  • Mar 23 Pacific Congress Springs lecture, 7:30 PM
  • Apr 21 SHF board of directors, 5-7 PM
  • May 19 SHF board of directors, 5-7 PM
  • May 25 Membership meeting 7:30 PM

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.

Some Free Things To Do!
Get in touch with local history by taking our historic landmark walking tour, bicycling the historic house tour, and 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.

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.
Saratoga Historical Foundation  ·  20450 Saratoga-Los Gatos Road, Saratoga, CA 95070-5935  ·  #408.867.4311
© Saratoga Historical Foundation 2014