The Milpitas Historical Society sponsors events that are open to members and the general public. Please see the list below.
Annual Society Summer Picnic on August 27
The Milpitas Historical Society’s annual Summer Picnic at Kim Parker and Peter Herrera’s Last Word Ranch (The historic Belshaw house), on Sunday, August 27, was a very pleasant affair, attended by many welcome new members as well as a large group of members of many years standing.
Member Steve Munzel said that the Society has been having these joyful celebrations at the Belshaw house courtesy of Kim Parker and Peter Herrera since 1995.
Milpitas Historical Society Annual Tour
The Milpitas Historical Society’s annual Community Tour on Saturday, June 17th, designed to acquaint the community with historic sites in Milpitas, was filled to capacity, and the few sign-ups who did not show up or who cancelled were replaced right away by new riders.
The tour began with a talk about the Society’s exhibit of Milpitas historical items at the Great Mall, and proceeded with commentary along historic Main Street, on the way to the 1835 Jose Alviso Adobe on Piedmont Road, then went to the old St. John the Baptist Cemetery where many of our local pioneers are buried, and finally visited the Silva apricot ranch to learn how apricots are processed.
Milpitas Historical Society Annual Tour: June 17
The Milpitas Historical Society will be sponsoring its annual Community Tour (free and open to the public) on Saturday, June 17th.
This free bus tour is designed to acquaint the community with historic sites in Milpitas. Check-in time of the tour is 9 am at the Great Mall of the Bay Area, Entrance 4 (which is on the east side of the Mall at the Food Court Entrance).
A multi-page color brochure of this year’s historic sites will be provided to all participants, and docents will speak at each location. The tour itself begins with a discussion of the Society’s exhibit of Milpitas historical items at the Great Mall, and then everyone will board the bus to visit several stops along historic Main Street, proceed to the 1835 Jose Alviso Adobe on Piedmont Road, then go to the old St. John the Baptist Cemetery where many pioneers are buried, and finally cross the road to the 60-year-old working Silva apricot ranch to learn how apricots are processed. The bus will bring everyone back to the Great Mall by 1:30 pm.
Seating on the bus is first-come, first-served. To guarantee your place in the tour, and/or to obtain additional information, please call 1-408-945-9848.
The itinerary of the tour’s locations and meeting times for each place will be sent out in a bulletin to Society members in mid-June and will be available to everyone else through announcements in the Milpitas Post. The tour is free and open to all.
Refurbished Rollin’ Jail Attracts Visitors to Society’s Booth at International BBQ
Milpitas Historical Society’s Board members Kraig Bunnell, Mark Tiernan, and Joe Ehardt, in company with the society’s historic Rollin’ Jail, newly repaired, and with its new banner, represented the Society at the city’s annual International BBQ on May 20 and 21 this year.
Milpitas BBQ Coming Up on May 20 and 21
The Milpitas International Barbecue and Car Show will be held on Saturday and Sunday, May 20 and 21, 2017, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, in a brand new location on Alder Drive (between McCarthy Blvd. and Tasman Dr.).
The Milpitas Historical Society will be participating with our traditional Rolling Jail, now newly refurbished, thanks to donations from members and the Milpitas Home Depot store. We will also have a booth staffed to tell people about our history and sell Milpitas Historical Society merchandise. Come check us out!
History San Jose: Painting the Town
Painting the Town: The Work of Rey Giese
History San Jose, 1661 Senter Road, San Jose
Free to the public except during paid events
For the next few months, History San Jose highlights acclaimed local sign painter Rey Giese, shown below.
Born in San Jose, Giese created his own sign painting business from the ground up starting in 1935. Over the course of his career he hand-painted more than 20,000 signs in the Bay Area. Among his early jobs was painting this sign in Milpitas!
His clients were local businesses, public organizations and political campaigns. His career spanned more than 75 years and this large collection of his work represents some of this area’s long-forgotten businesses and activities.
We hope you can spare an hour or so to revisit the past through the work of this previously unsung artist of communications!
Milpitas Historical Society’s 2017 Board and Officers Installation Dinner
The Milpitas Historical Society held its annual dinner to celebrate the installation of its new officers and board of directors on
Thursday evening, February 16, at the Summitpointe Golf Club Restaurant.
Board President Mark Tiernan welcomed the guests, including our new mayor, Richard Tran, Vice-Mayor Marsha Grilli, Recreation Service Manager Rene Lorentzen, former City Council member Debbie Indihar Giordano, Water District Chairman Richard Santos and of course, a good group of our regular members.
Our special guests were Kelly and Diane Silva, who were honored and thanked for their kindness and help to the Society in opening their Apricot Ranch to us for the Community Tour for many years.
Also, Home Depot Managers David Webster and Jessika Talaugon, were presented with Certificates of Appreciation for their generosity in donating to the Society materials for repairing and upgrading the historic Frontier Days Rolling Jail.
The new board (see photo below) includes (left to right) Historian Joanne Souza, Hospitality Chair Marilyn Simpkins, Membership Chair Mary Ann Udoutch, Vice President and Newsletter Editor Catherine Pelizzari, Archives and Landmarks Chairs Kraig Bunnell, Public Relations and Special Events Chairs Harriett McGuire, Secretary Linda Arbaugh, President Mark Tiernan, Treasurer Joseph Ehardt and Mayor Richard Tran. Due to family obligations, Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Resources Commission Liaison Representative Steve Munzel could not be present.
The evening was topped off by a presentation about “Brave Local Pioneer Women” by Rose Marie Beebe, Professor of Spanish at Santa Clara University and Richard Senkewicz, Professor of History at Santa Clara University, who are joint authors of several books about early California history. They told us about the lives of several early California women whose stories had been collected in the 19th century at the request of Hubert Howe Bancroft, founder of U.C. Berkeley’s distinguished library, who commissioned writers who spoke Spanish to interview early California settlers, both men and women, in order to record a history of the state as told by the people who were there to see it. These stories were fascinating and well told and were deeply appreciated by all the guests.