Events 2016

The Milpitas Historical Society sponsors events that are open to members and the general public. Please see the list below.

Holiday Notice

There will be no Milpitas Historical Society general meeting, board meeting, or newsletter in December, but look for your invitation for our annual Christmas party, to be held on Sunday, December 18, from noon to 4 pm. Save the date!

Ainsley House Field Trip

Jan Hamburger, Roger Skuse, Trudy Alvarez, Harriett McGuire, Shirley Skuse, Diane Jones, Mayvid Maclay, Barney Terrell (docent), Linda Arbaugh, Mike Pelizzari, Susan Bocchini
Jan Hamburger, Roger Skuse, Trudy Alvarez, Harriett McGuire, Shirley Skuse, Diane Jones, Mayvid Maclay, Barney Terrell (docent), Linda Arbaugh, Mike Pelizzari, Susan Bocchini
On Saturday, December 10, Milpitas Historical Society members were treated to a field trip to the beautifully decorated Ainsley House Historical Museum in Campbell. The J. C. Ainsley owned a cannery, and built this beautiful Tudor-style house nearby; it was moved to its present location and beautifully restored in 1990. Our tour group, shown below, was led on an excellent tour by docent Barney Terrell, who will be our speaker in June on the subject of the history of the city of Campbell.

Interested in a Christmas Field Trip?

If anyone is interested in taking a field trip to the City of Campbell’s beautifully decorated Ainsley House Museum in December, (date to be determined by November), you can sign up at the November meeting or call Harriett McGuire at 408-262-7979.

Gabriel Ibarra’s Photos of Historic Local Homes 0n Display

Local photographer and Milpitas Historical Society member Gabriel Ibarra’s photos of historic local homes will be on display through the second week of October at the Santa Clara City Hall, 1500 Warburton Ave., in the Planners West Wing display cases. This display can be seen Monday-Friday, from 8 am to 5 pm.

Historic House
Photo Courtesy of Gabriel Ibarra
Historic home on Harrison Street in Santa Clara
After that display at City Hall is taken down, these photographs will be put up again as Ibarra’s Fifth Annual Historic Homes Exhibit at the Santa Clara Senior Center at 1303 Fremont Avenue, at the corner of Monroe Avenue. The exhibit will be housed in the display case in the book reading area.

The hours for viewing the photos at the Senior Center are Monday-Thursday, 7 am-7 pm, Friday, 7 am-5 pm, and Saturday, 9 am-12 pm. The exhibit will be open from November 1st through December 30th.

This exhibit will have a twist! There will be feedback forms that you can fill out asking you: Would you rather have this house or that one? And why?
 

Busy Times in October!

As well as attending the opening of the Bob McGuire Park, members of the Milpitas Historical Society had quite a choice of activities to attend in October.

Picnic’s Hosts

Kim Parker and Peter HerreraOn the following day, Sunday, October 2, was the Society’s annual picnic, Hawaiian-themed this time, where guests are shown below toasting our hosts, Kim Parker and Peter Herrera.

Annual Veterans’ Car Show

Melissa Roberts, Barbara Bowman, Harriett McGuire, Joe Ehardt, Dan Cosper, our President Mark Tiernan, and Warren WettensteinAnd two weeks later, on October 15, many members turned out for the annual Veterans’ Car Show, where the Society had a booth, sold merchant-dise, and met old friends. Shown at the booth, from left, are Melissa Roberts, Barbara Bowman, Harriett McGuire, Joe Ehardt, Dan Cosper, our President Mark Tiernan, and Warren Wettenstein.
 

End-of-Summer Pot-Luck Picnic Luau
Sunday, October 2, 2016
12:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Kim Parker’s Last Word Ranch
430 Evans Road, Milpitas

SummerPicnicInvite2016..newdate
You can print out the flier and put it on your fridge so you won’t forget the date.

The Milpitas Historical Society’s annual picnic was announced earlier as being held on September 18, but due to changes in plans, the date has been moved to Sunday October 2.

Historical Society Members in Hawaiian shirtsWe hope you will come join the fun and feasting, and enjoy Hawaiian music (sorry, no live band this time). Wear a Hawaiian shirt and celebrate!
 
 
Grilled hamburgers and fixings will be provided. Please bring
drinks (water will be available), an appetizer, salad, veggie, or
dessert to share, and call: Marilyn Simpkins at 408-263-2975 or Harriett McGuire at 408-262-7979 to let us know what you will
be contributing.

(Please also bring a few extra portable chairs, if possible, so you can be sure of a place to sit down.)

We look forward to seeing you there!
 

Bob McGuire Park Opening: October 1, 2016

See the related article: A New Milpitas Park Will Be Named for Bob McGuire

The opening of the park dedicated to the memory of Milpitas’ first Parks and Recreation Director (1964-80), Bob McGuire, was held on Saturday, October 1. Bob McGuire was one of the founding members of the Milpitas Historical Society, and a past President and Vice President.

The 3-acre park named in his honor is part of a developing residential area north of South Milpitas Blvd. and Montague Expwy. It features tennis courts, an outdoor amphitheater, and a community center building dedicated to longtime community leader Sal Cracolice. The opening was attended by family members of both honorees and many community leaders.

Bob McGuire Park OpeningShown in the photo and speaking at the podium of the amphitheater is Harriett McGuire, Bob McGuire’s wife, currently a member of the Milpitas Historical Society’s Board of Directors. From the left in the photo are sons Mike McGuire, who also spoke, Glen McGuire; then City Manager Tom Williams and Mayor Jose Esteves. On the right is Vice Mayor Carmen Montano.

Opening of the Sal Cracolice Recreation Facility

Opening of the Sal Cracolice Recreation FacilityIn the photo (right), city officials prepare to cut the ribbon marking the opening of the Sal Cracolice Recreation Facility.
 

The Milpitas Historical Society Welcomes All
Our Annual Historical Tour
Saturday, June 25th, 9:30 am to 12:30 pm

The Tour Is Free and Open To The Public
Join us at our exhibit inside Entrance 4 of the Great Mall of the Bay Area. People either can drive separately or be shuttled between stops via a bus provided by the Milpitas Historical Society. The tour officially will end back at the Great Mall.

9:30 am, Stop 1: We will meet immediately inside Entrance 4 (Food Court) of the Great Mall at the Society’s exhibit of Milpitas historical items for a brief explanation of these historic items.

10 am, Stop 2: The group will load into a tour bus and travel north, stopping for more information near the Milpitas Library (160 N. Main St., with its incorporated Neoclassical façade of the 1916 Milpitas Grammar School) and the Prairie-Style 1916 DeVries House across the street.

10:45 am, Stop 3: The participants will proceed to the City’s José Alviso Adobe Park (Alviso Adobe Ct, off Piedmont Road a block south of Calaveras Blvd), a portion of the 4,400-acre 1837 Californio-era Rancho Milpitas, whose buildings have been recently restored.

<strong11:30 am, Stop 4: The group will be shuttled from the Alviso Adobe south to the nearby Silva Apricot Ranch on Piedmont Road. This is the last working apricot ranch in Milpitas, where Kelly Silva and his family have cared for this vintage farm for almost 60 years.

12:30 pm At this point the group will be transported back to the Great Mall where everyone’s vehicles are parked.

1:00 pm, Optional: Those who wish can finish up the tour at the Big Dog Winery at 4545 Felter Road, (directly up Calaveras Blvd. into the beautiful eastern foothills overlooking Milpitas), where they can experience delicious wine tasting (at $10 for 5 varieties), enjoy the snacks or lunch they bring, and chat with fellow docents, Milpitas residents, and visitors.

Information about the tour’s locations and times will be sent again to Society members in mid-June and will be available to everyone else through announcements in the Milpitas Post, Tri-City Voice, and Berryessa Sun. The tour is free and open to all.

For further information call Harriett McGuire at 1-408-262-7979

Milpitas International BBQ Raised Over $600

Catherine Pelizzari, Joe Ehardt, Kraig Bunnell and Dan Cosper staffing the Milpitas Historical Society booth at the BBQOnce again the Historical Society’s Rolling Jail from the 1960s (a popular photo opportunity) and Milpitas books and memorabilia were successful at the Milpitas International BBQ in raising over $600 for the Society. Shown at left are Society members Catherine Pelizzari, Joe Ehardt, Kraig Bunnell and Dan Cosper staffing the Milpitas Historical Society booth at the BBQ on May 21 (and sheltering from the rain!).

Don’t Miss This Year’s International BBQ:
May 21 & 22

The annual Milpitas International BBQ and Festival takes place this year on Saturday and Sunday, May 21 and 22, 10 am to 6 pm, offering plenty of drinks, food, shopping, entertainment, and overall fun for the family.

This year, on Saturday only, the Milpitas Historical Society’s Frontier Days Jail, a veteran of city festivities dating back to the 1960s, will again be on display at the Society’s booth (a fun photo opportunity). There will also be interesting historical artifacts on display and Milpitas books and other Milpitas memorabilia for sale.

Here Comes That Milpitas Monster Again!

Milpitas-Monster271x200There will be another 40th year anniversary showing of the new director’s cut of our local cult classic, “The Milpitas Monster,” by local photographer and filmmaker Bob Burrill, on Sunday, May 22nd at 7:00 pm at the Century Theaters in the Great Mall. Some tickets are still available at the Milpitas Post.

Pre-sale tickets are $10. Proceeds will benefit Milpitas High School. Get your tickets while they last! And be sure to see the trailer with Krazy George at the bottom of the page at milpitasmonster.com!

Field Trip to Agnews Museum

The Milpitas Historical Society took another field trip on Friday, May 20, to the Agnews Historic Cemetery & Museum at 1250 Hope Street in Santa Clara, which is located in a former Visitors Center building that was moved to the site of the hospital’s cemetery in 1995, after the hospital closed. Now it is restored and furnished with displays, photos, and artifacts from the hospital’s long history.

Visit to the Agnews Musuem: May 20

The Milpitas Historical Society has arranged another field trip, this one to visit the Agnews Historic Cemetery & Museum located at 1250 Hope Dr. on Friday, May 20, 1-2 pm. The State of California closed the Agnews State Hospital West Campus in 1995, at which time its brick Visitors Center building was moved to the cemetery site to be restored and turned into a Visitors Center for the cemetery that was newly renamed the Agnews Historic Cemetery. The Agnews Museum remembers the people who worked and lived at the “Hospital for the Chronic Insane,” later the Agnews State Hospital and later still the Agnews Developmental Center from 1888 to 2009. Artifacts and photos of the past are displayed for the public to view.

You can sign up for this tour at our May 11th Milpitas Historical
Society meeting or call Harriett McGuire at 408-262-7979.

We will meet, as we usually do now, behind the Red Lobster Restaurant at the Milpitas Town Center on Calaveras Blvd. Meeting time will be 12:30 pm.

And More Field Trips!

Jan Hamburger, Harriett McGuire, Mayvid Maclay, Mary Hanel (docent), and Mike Pelizzari at the Harris-Lass House
Jan Hamburger, Harriett McGuire, Mayvid Maclay, Mary Hanel (docent), and Mike Pelizzari at the Harris-Lass House

The Milpitas Historical Society’s field trip to the Harris-Lass House Museum on Saturday, April 23, was another success. It is a beautiful place with memorable things to see inside and outside of the house, made all the more interesting by our exceptional tour guides Mary Hanel and Bob Byrd (our speaker at the 2016 Installation Dinner).

If you were unable to join us at this tour, we recommend you schedule a visit to this beautifully curated historical site at your earliest convenience.

Harris-Lass House Tour: April 30

Harris-Lass House Museum in Santa ClaraThe tour will take place Saturday, April 30, 1-2 pm. The Harris-Lass House is located at 1889 Market Street in Santa Clara. This last
original farmhouse left in Santa Clara, the Harris-Lass House, is now a museum, of which the house, gardens, and out-buildings, shown in the film, have all been beautifully restored, inside and out.

We will meet, as we did last time, behind the Red Lobster Restaurant at the Milpitas Town Center on Calaveras Blvd. This time we’re planning on having a picnic lunch in the garden of the Harris-Lass house, so we’ll be meeting at 11:45 am, lunch in hand, to car pool to the museum at 1889 Market St, Santa Clara, or you can meet there at noon. We can picnic and enjoy the surroundings for an hour before we start the tour.

You can sign up for this tour at our April 13th Milpitas Historical Society meeting or you can call Harriett McGuire at 408-262-7979.

Field Trips and More Field Trips!

TMHS members lunching at Okayama RestaurantThe Milpitas Historical Society’s field trip to San Jose’s Japanese American Museum on Saturday, March 19 was a fun and informative trip for 14 of our members and friends who participated. The tour finished up with a delicious lunch at Okayama Restaurant on Sixth Street, shown in the photo.

In case you missed the Japantown Museum field trip, another good field trip is coming up in April. This one will be a visit and tour of the Harris-Lass House Museum in Santa Clara, described in the film shown by Santa Clara County historian Bob Byrd at the Society’s Installation Dinner in February.

Japantown Museum Field Trip: March 19

Japantown_largerIn conjunction with this month’s meeting topic, the Milpitas Historical Society is sponsoring a tour of the Japanese American Museum of San Jose (shown below) on Saturday, March 19, starting at 10 am. The museum is located at 535 N. Fifth Street in San Jose, in the heart of Japantown. If you would like to carpool there, meet at the Big 5 Sporting Goods Store at 9:30 am. We might go to lunch at a Japanese restaurant after the tour. You can sign up for the tour at the March meeting or by calling Harriett McGuire at 408-262-7979.

Milpitas Historical Society’s Board and Officers Installation Ceremony and Gala Dinner

Milpitas Historical Society’s Board and Officers Installation Ceremony and Gala DinnerAt the Milpitas Historical Society’s Board and officers’ Installation Dinner at the Summitpointe Golf Club Restaurant, on Thursday, February 18, Mayor Jose Esteves (right) swears in the 2016 Officers and Board of Directors: (left to right) PRCRC Representative Steve Munzel, Special Events Chair Harriett McGuire, Treasurer and Membership Chair Joe Ehardt, Historian Joanne Souza, Hospitality Chair Marilyn Simpkins, Archives and Landmarks Chair Kraig Bunnell, Vice President and Newsletter Editor Catherine Pelizzari, and President Mark Tiernan. Absent from the ceremony were Public Relations Chair Wanda Olinger and Secretary Gloria Orange.

Roger Skuse and Mark TiernanAfter the ceremony, new president Mark Tiernan presented a celebratory plaque to outgoing president Roger Skuse, thanking him for his great service to the society over the past three years.

Bob Byrd
Bob Byrd: Photos courtesy of Mylene Stolpe

After the ceremonies, Santa Clara Historical Society President Bob Byrd showed a film about the Harris-Lass House Museum (named for its only two owners in 150 years) in Santa Clara, the last original farmhouse left in the city, now a museum. The house, gardens, and out-buildings, shown in the film, have all been beautifully restored, inside and out. You can sign up for a Milpitas Historical Society tour of the Harris-Lass house, which will be held on Saturday, April 30, 1-2 pm, at the April 13 Milpitas Historical Society meeting. The Harris-Lass House is located at 1889 Market Street in Santa Clara.

Dedication of Mabel Mattos’ Memorial Plaque

Plaque Honoring Mabel Mattos at Alviso Adobe ParkOn Saturday, January 9 at 1:00 pm, at the Alviso Adobe Park, the Milpitas Historical Society will dedicate a memorial plaque to
Mabel Mattos (1923-2013).

Mabel Mattos was one of the founding members of the Milpitas
Historical Society and served at different times as newsletter co-publisher, Vice President, Hospitality Director, and Membership Director, as well being a beloved member of many other community organizations.

Dan Cosper and Joe Ehardt moving the rock on which Mabel Mattos’s memorial plaque will be placed
Dan Cosper and Joe Ehardt moving the rock on which Mabel Mattos’s memorial plaque will be placed

Mabel’s family, the Silvas, moved to Milpitas in the 1930s from the Central Valley. Her family worked on the Downing Ranch for many years, then moved to a farm and orchard at the corner of Old Calaveras and Evans Road, where she lived with her husband, Henry Mattos, who died in early 2013.

The plaque will be mounted on a boulder next to the area of the park where the historic sycamore tree stands and where farm equipment donated by Mabel’s family is displayed.

The plaque will be mounted on a boulder next to the area of the park where the historic sycamore tree stands and where farm equipment donated by Mabel’s family is displayed.

City officials and members of Mabel’s family will speak. We hope you can join this community celebration of Mabel Mattos’ lifelong contribution to our community.

Little History Note: The giant pry bar held by Dan Cosper, lent for the occasion by Bob Keely, was from the original Falcato ranch, which was on N. Milpitas Blvd., south of Dixon Landing Road near Jacklin (south of Washington St.). Falcato St. is named after one of the Falcato sons who died in WWII.

Official Website of the Milpitas Historical Society