The Milpitas Historical Society was formed in 1980 by 79 residents of Milpitas who felt that much of our city’s historic heritage was in danger of being lost. Soon after the society was formed, it began to publish a monthly newsletter for members called
The Milpitas Muse. The name came from the muses of Greek Mythology, one of whom, Clio, is usually associated with history. The Milpitas Muse is available with a paid membership to the society, but some of the information, such as our monthly programs, is available on this website.
The goals of the society have not changed since 1980. Our members continue to seek out and record the history of Milpitas.For more information, please visit the About the Milpitas Historical Society page.
November 13 Meeting: Silent Film Pioneers
The next meeting of the Milpitas Historical Society will be held on Wednesday, November 13, 2013, at 7:00 pm in the Community Room (auditorium) of the Milpitas Library, 160 N. Main Street.
Monday, the first of April in the year 1912, the town of Niles, population 1400, was invaded by a small army. The fifty-two members of the Essanay Film Manufacturing Company had arrived by train. By 1912, the moving picture profession was transforming the nation and the world with a universal language printed on film. The people of Niles were well aware of this new medium. Charles Ellestyne, manager of the local circuit for the Edison Moving Picture Company, put on a movie show every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday night at Conners Hall on Front Street (called Niles Boulevard today).
Essanay Film Factory 1913
David Keihn, the president of the Niles Film Museum will tell us about what came next and how the these film pioneers, with the help of the soon-to-be-famous Charlie Chaplin, changed a town and the culture of a whole country with the development of moving pictures.