Events 2014

Christmas Tour of the Historic Patterson House: December 13, 2014

If you would like to join the “Christmas Tour of Historic Patterson House” that has been arranged by the Milpitas Historical Society, you can meet with the group at the Big 5 Sporting Goods/former Mervyn’s parking lot off Calaveras at noon on Saturday, December 13, to car pool or caravan to Patterson House for the 1 pm tour. The Patterson House address is 34600 Ardenwood Blvd in Fremont (in case you want to meet the group there). Admission: $6 Adults, $5 Seniors

Milpitas Veterans Honored

Arthur Ebright (below, left) with Denny Weisgerber, former Milpitas Mayor and Chairman of the Milpitas Veteran’s Commission (right)On Tuesday, November 11, 2014, at the annual Veteran’s Day celebration at Veteran’s Plaza behind the City Hall, the Milpitas Veterans commission awarded the honor of Veteran of the Year to Arthur Ebright (below, left) with Denny Weisgerber, former Milpitas Mayor and Chairman of the Milpitas Veteran’s Commission (right).

Also in attendance were Milpitas Mayor Jose Esteves and his wife, Susan and Milpitas Historical Society President Roger Skuse and his wife, Shirley.

Gabriel Ibarra “Light Catcher” Architectural Historical Photographer

Gabriel Ibarra, photographer and Milpitas Historical Society Member, has 15 photographs of historical nature now hanging on the South Wing Wall of the Milpitas Library through Oct 31st.

The Milpitas Historical Society is sponsoring a “Community Tour” on Saturday, June 28, 2014

The tour is scheduled for 4 stops, but can be joined anywhere along the route. The tour is open to the public to acquaint them with historic places in and around Milpitas. All are welcome!

1st Stop: 9:30 am. Meet at the Alviso Adobe, the first Rancho in Milpitas, at
2087 Alviso Adobe Court, just south of the corner of Calaveras Boulevard and Piedmont Road. There will be a tour of the grounds to learn about the main structure, the restored outbuildings, the historic sycamore tree, and early farming. Hear the story of the Alviso, Sepulvida, and Cuciz families and the adobe, which is now a Milpitas Park.

2nd Stop: 10:15 am. Meet at the Silva Apricot Ranch, 891 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. They will show how their Blenheim apricots are cut, laid out on trays, and taken by rail carts to be dried. Apricots came in early this year, but there will be dried ones to taste and buy to take home.

3rd Stop: 10:45 am. Cross the road and tour the historic cemetery at 651
Piedmont Road. St. John the Baptist Catholic Cemetery was originally the parish cemetery for St. John the Baptist Church in Milpitas. The first burial there took place in 1903, and it is the final resting place of many members of pioneer Milpitas families.

4th Stop: 11:45 am. Visit the old Laguna Schoolhouse at 4001 Calaveras Road
(at the turnoff to Felter Road). The Laguna School was built in 1865 and, with later additions, was used until 1943; it is one of the earliest schools constructed in the Milpitas area, and the oldest remaining wooden schoolhouse in Santa Clara County.

5th Stop: 12:30-1:30 pm. Return to the Alviso Adobe for a picnic lunch if you’d
like (bring your own lunch), and chat with fellow Milpitas residents and visitors.

Enjoy the tour!

Milpitas Revives Street Festival

On Saturday and Sunday, May 31 and June 1, 2014, Milpitas brought back the tradition of a summer street festival and music and art venue, this time as an International Barbecue. The Milpitas Historical Society’s old Rolling Jail was present at the event, as it had been at our street festivals in the past, starting with the Frontier Days parades of the 1960’s and 70’s .Attendees enjoyed having their pictures taken with the old jail and were fascinated by the display of antique spurs, tools, and weapons (all dug up in this general area) from the personal collection of our President, Roger Skuse, shown above with his wife Shirley Skuse and Historical Society member Dan Cosper. People also enjoyed looking at photos of Milpitas as it was in the past and learning about our Society.

Citizen of the Year Nominees Honored

Frank DeSmidt, Joanne Souza and Ruben EsguerraAt the Knights of Columbus 40th Annual Awards Dinner, on Saturday, April 12, Historical Society Hospitality Director Joanne Souza is shown below (with Frank DeSmidt on the left and Ruben Esguerra on the right) being honored for her nomination as Milpitas Citizen of the Year. Five other nominees were honored as well as the chosen Citizen of the Year Joseph Weinstein, Firefighter of the Year Captain Bryan Stelling, and Police Officer of the Year Detective Alexander Prince.

Show and Tell!

The Improved Order of Red MenOur Society President, Roger Skuse, will be presenting a special Show and Tell after the program on April 9 about a patriotic and charitable fraternal order called “The Improved Order of Red Men,” which dates back over 250 years and is descended from the original Sons of Liberty, who conducted the Boston Tea Party in 1773. Originally this extra talk was going to be given after the March 12 meeting, but unfortunately, there was not enough time left after the presentation.

If you or a friend or family members have any interesting family treasures or historic objects you could tell us about, we’d love to have any of you do a “show and tell” for about 5 minutes at each of our upcoming meetings. If you have any family, community, or historical treasures you could tell us about, please call President Roger Skuse at 408/262-0354 to sign up for a meeting.

History-Themed Chamber of Commerce Mixer

The Milpitas Chamber of Commerce’s Open House for the Historical Society and the Library staff on Wednesday, April 2, seemed to be a great success, not in the least because Bob Keely and his Bobcats played wonderful traditional music for all to enjoy.

Among the members of the Milpitas Historical Society who attended the event were Board Members Lela Ehardt, Joanne Souza and Catherine Pelizzari (in the photo below) along with many other members of the community who met, munched, and chatted, which was the purpose of the gathering.

Milpitas’s 60th Anniversary Year!

Milpitas Minute Man
The “Milpitas Minute Man” unveiled
2014 is the year that marks Milpitas’s 60th birthday! A year of events and special programs for the community are planned beginning with the Milpitas 60th Anniversary Gala on Saturday, Jan. 25 at the Barbara Lee Senior Center followed by the unveiling of a 16-foot bronze statue of the “Minute Man” on the front lawn of Milpitas City Hall. The idea for the statue was taken from the city’s official seal; the “Minute Man” was chosen to be on the city’s seal after a small group of Milpitas citizens calling themselves “The Minute Men” fought off annexation attempts from San Jose in the early 1960s.

Milpitas Historical Society President Roger Skuse with the old Frontier Days jail
Milpitas Historical Society President Roger Skuse with the old Frontier Days jail
The following day, Sunday, January 26, a Family Day will be held from 1 to 4 pm at the Civic Center. City commissions and various city departments and organizations, including the Milpitas Historical Society, will be sponsoring booths and local entertainment to contribute to this family-fun event. One of the features to be provided will be the historic jailhouse or “hoosegow” that used to be in the Frontier Days parades that Milpitas had in the 60’s and 70’s. People will be able to have their pictures taken with the jail, and perhaps make contributions to the Society.