Meetings: 2011

History of Local Aviation and Moffet Field at November 9 Meeting

The Milpitas Historical Society’s next meeting, on Wednesday, November 9, at 7:00 pm, will feature Greg Lander’s presentation “The History of Aviation at Moffett Field and in the Santa Clara Valley.” Mr. Lander, a former Naval Aviator flying the Lockheed P-3 from Naval Air Station Moffett Field since 1974, is very familiar with the history of Moffett Field and will gladly answer any questions we may have after the presentation. The public is invited to attend the meeting at no charge.

The dirigible Macon, tethered to the mast outside Hangar 1 at Moffett Field (1934)
The dirigible Macon, tethered to the mast outside Hangar 1 at Moffett Field (1934)

Come hear about the transition from the USS Macon dirigible (pictured above), to the U.S. Army Air Corps Moffett Field, to Naval Aviation, NASA and finally Moffett Federal Airfield, and learn how these 1,000 acres of farmland were critical to the defense of the United States for over 60 years. With threats ranging from Japanese submarines lurking in Monterey Bay, to Soviet nuclear missiles aimed at our cities from submarines in the Pacific Ocean, we will see what the men and women of Moffett Field did to protect our country, and how one man – Admiral William Moffett, had such dramatic influence on the development of the United States military.

The speaker will describe the vast collection of military, artifacts, uniforms, photographs, models and equipment that paint the history of military aviation at the Moffett Field Museum, which also includes restored aircraft, cockpits and specially designed displays that spark the interest of children, as well as the many blimps, jets, fighter and patrol aircraft that routinely operated out of Moffett Field, which was decommissioned in 1994.

Also at the November meeting the Nominating Committee (Mabel Mattos, Joann Souza, Jean Wyatt, and Catherine Pelizzari) will present the slate of candidates for the 2012 Board of Directors of the Milpitas Historical Society.
 

Milpitas Historical Society’s October 12 Meeting Honors Women’s Suffrage

19th century Suffrage Campaign Postcards19th century Suffrage Campaign PostcardsCalifornia will celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Women’s Suffrage on October 10, 2011. The campaign, both for and against women’s suffrage, was waged on postcards during the postcard era of 1893-1920. Women, as well as men, fought against suffrage for a variety of reasons. How did California women finally get the vote? Through postcard images from her 50-year collection, historian Darlene Thorne will illustrate the obstacles, and finally the tactics used successfully in the 1911 election and the important roles that the Bay Area played in achieving this right for California women.

A former Milpitas Chamber of Commerce executive director who helped found the Milpitas Historical Society, Ms. Thorne is currently on the board of directors of the Cupertino Historical Society and served for a year on the Santa Clara County Civil Grand Jury.

Darlene will be presenting her program at the Milpitas Historical Society meeting on Wednesday, October 12 at 7 pm.

All are invited to attend, including students, both male and female and will be asked the question at the end of the hour: “Would you have been “in their League”?
 

MHS September 14 Meeting

The next meeting of the Milpitas Historical Society will be on Wednesday, September 14, at 7:00 pm.

Roger SkuseOur guest speaker will be society member Roger Skuse, AKA “Rattlesnake Roger.” He will be discussing the use of weapons on the frontier with emphasis on war clubs, tomahawks, and bowie knives, using examples from his own collection. He will also include a presentation about trade blankets, hand-made Navajo chief’s blankets and Plains Indian clothing.

Join Us Again September 14, 2011

There will be no Milpitas Historical Society meeting in July or in August and no newsletter for those months. We’ll get together again in September for a fascinating presentation on our area’s history by Rodger Skuse, on Wednesday, September 14. Complete details will be in the September newsletter.
June 5, 2011 by mhs
 

Museum of American Heritage Tour: Saturday, June 18, 2011

The next meeting of the Milpitas Historical Society, on Saturday, June 18, 2011, will be a tour of the Museum of American Heritage in Palo Alto. This will be a regular meeting that will feature a field trip instead of a speaker presentation.

Members and friends interested in this tour will meet at 2:00 PM in the parking lot of the Big 5 Sporting Goods store parking lot at 757 E. Calaveras Blvd. After a short business meeting, we will carpool to the Museum of American Heritage in Palo Alto. We should arrive there around 2:30 pm and will get to see their new exhibit on American Invention, which opens on June 17. We will tour the museum for about an hour or so, and then ask questions to the staff about how they operate a volunteer-based museum. We should be back by
4:30 pm.

American Invention: old telephone American Invention: bicylceAmerican Invention: old telephone

A unique museum of historic technologies, the Museum of American Heritage is located in the historic Williams House and Gardens near downtown Palo Alto at 351 Homer Avenue.

At the museum’s new exhibit, “Victorian America: Invention and Technology.” we’ll discover inventions that shaped America, displayed in a century-old home and garden. The Victorian Age (approximately 1837-1914) was one of the most prolific periods of invention and technological development. Photography, electricity, radio and mass production all came of age during the period, and the architecture of the age still reminds us, often with nostalgia, of Victorian elegance.

Travel back in time with us and revisit the times that laid the cornerstone for the modern world.

Our meeting and the museum tour are open to the public. For more information, call: 408-320-9587.
June 5, 2011 by mhs
 

Information from the May 11, 2011 Meeting

In case you missed our May meeting about the Santa Clara County Historical and Genealogical Society (SCCHGS), and how to find the information you need to document your family tree, you can find a wide variety of family records at the at the SCCHGS website.

The Santa Clara Central Library
The Santa Clara Central Library

You can find lots of help at the Santa Clara City Library, 2635 Homestead Road in Santa Clara, where representatives of the SCCHGS can help you. You can call the library at (408) 615-2900 or go the Santa Clara City Library website.
June 5, 2011by mhs
 

Genealogy Topic: May 11, 2011

The next meeting of the Milpitas Historical Society, will be a presentation on researching genealogy, given by Trina Gentry. Ms Gentry serves as Second Vice President and Editor of Connections, a publication of Santa Clara County history and genealogies for the Santa Clara County Historical and Genealogical Society.

Her presentation will cover how to work on your family tree and what the society offers for help to family historians and researchers through the vast local and international collection housed in the Santa Clara Central Library on Homestead Road.

The library and the society have combined collections including not only Santa Clara County and California records, but also genealogical information from a variety of other places in the United States, including New England and the southern states as well as family information about ethnic groups such as Italian, Jewish, Native American, Canadian, and many others.

The Milpitas Historical Society meeting will be held Wednesday, May 11 at 7 pm. The public is invited to attend free of charge and meet Ms. Gentry. For further information on the Historical Society, phone (408) 320-9587.
May 7, 2011 by mhs
 

April Meeting’s Preservation Information

In case you missed our April meeting about preserving your family’s historic papers and mementos, you can find excellent information, how-to’s, and places to get safe storage materials on our presenter Kathleen Orlenko’s website at http://www.orlenko.net.

Preserve Your Precious Family Heritage: April 13, 2011

The April 13, 2011, meeting of the Milpitas Historical Society will feature Kathleen Orlenko, a professional conservator, who will demonstrate how to protect and preserve your family documents and photographs as well as different ways to store your family treasures. The meeting will be held at 7 pm in the Community Room of the Milpitas Library, 160 N. Main Street.

Old paper documentsMs Orlenko will also discuss preservation supply vendors and conservation treatment options. She began her long career as a conservator in the Conservation Office of the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C and now has a private business in conservation of art on paper and of rare books and documents, and acts as consultant on preservation issues to various institutions and private collectors.

For further information on Kathleen Orlenko, and on her career and work in this field go to her web site.
April 3, 2011 by mhs
 

Santa Clara County Archives

At our last meeting, on Wednesday, March 9, Trista Raezer, Archivist for the Santa Clara County Archives, showed us the rich resources housed at the new county archives, including such things as cattle brand registration and voting ballots of the past, as well as marriage, birth, death,, property, political, and other records.

Hall of Records building in San Jose, built in 1893 on the corner of First and St. James Streets
Hall of Records
As part of the presentation, she showed us a photograph of this grand old Hall of Records building in San Jose, built in 1893 on the corner of First and St. James Streets, It also housed the offices of the county clerk, treasurer, auditor, surveyor, recorder and superintendent of schools until it was taken down in 1966 because it was not earthquake safe.

You can discover more information about the Santa Clara County Archives and its collections by clicking on this link. The current Santa Clara County Archives are now located at 1875 Senter Road in San Jose (near Kelly Park).
April 3, 2011 by mhs
 

County Archives to Be Highlighted at March Meeting

Our March meeting will be held in the Auditorium at the Milpitas Public Library on Wednesday, March 9, 2011, 7:00 to 8:45 PM.

Our speaker for the evening, Trista Raezer, will give us an overview of what is available at the Santa Clara Archives, what the Archives does, and what are some of the more interesting things they have.

The Santa Clara County Archives is the repository for historical records of county government. Opened in 2006, the Archives was established in accordance with the Archive Policy adopted by the County of Santa Clara Board of Supervisors in September 2004. The Archives collects, preserves, arranges, and describes historical records transferred to it by County agencies so that they may be made available to the public as a center for research and information about Santa Clara County and to foster an appreciation and understanding of the county’s history and development.

Trista Raezer has been the Archivist for the Santa Clara County Archives since September 2010. Previously she served as the Assistant Archivist for two years. She has also worked for the Santa Clara University Archives and the San Jose State University Special Collections. Ms. Raezer received her BA in History from Western Washington University, and her Masters in Library and Information Science with a concentration in Archives from San Jose State University.

After the presentation, the business part of the Milpitas Historical Society meeting will deal with two important issues:

  1. Discussion for possible action about the Alviso
    Adobe and disbursing a large sum of money
  2. Discussion about possible sale of assets
    owned by the Society

Only members may participate in these decisions.
 

Historical Society’s Installation Dinner

At the annual Installation of Officers and Board of the Milpitas Historical Society, which was held at Omega restaurant on Thursday, February 17, Mayor Jose Esteves administered the oath of office to the newly elected officers and Board members.

Milpitas Mayor Jose Esteves installing the 2011 Milpitas Historical Society Officers and Directors. Shown, from the left, Mayor Esteves, President Steve Munzel; Vice-President Harriett McGuire; Secretary Catherine Pelizzari. Directors: Bob Keely, Archives; Bob Burrill, Historian; Bill Hare, Landmarks; Peggy Horyza, Membership; Treasurer Kraig Bunnell, and Joanne Souza, Hospitality. Out of the frame, to the right, is PRCRC Liaison, Rebecca Villalobos.Milpitas Mayor Jose Esteves installing the 2011 Milpitas Historical Society Officers and Directors. Shown, from the left, Mayor Esteves, President Steve Munzel; Vice-President Harriett McGuire; Secretary Catherine Pelizzari. Directors: Bob Keely, Archives; Bob Burrill, Historian; Bill Hare, Landmarks; Peggy Horyza, Membership; Treasurer Kraig Bunnell, and Joanne Souza, Hospitality. Out of the frame, to the right, is PRCRC Liaison, Rebecca Villalobos.

Vincenzo CorteseAfter remarks on the importance of our history by Santa Clara Valley Water District Board Member Richard Santos, Santa Clara County Supervisor Dave Cortese gave a brief but fascinating overview of the history of his family in our area, beginning when his grandfather, Vincenzo Cortese, arrived from Italy as a young teen in the Santa Clara Valley, worked in canneries and on leased farmland and eventually became a prosperous farmer, landowner, and model citizen. A family friend designed this poster in his memory.
 

“The Valley of Heart’s Delight” Showing at January Meeting

Our January meeting will feature John Kimball, who has lived in the Valley since 1950, who will show a 1922 16-mm film about the Santa Clara Valley called The Valley of Heart’s Delight. This film was, produced by Clyde Arbuckle and KPIX. It shows Valley history in black and white from Alum Rock Park to the Saratoga Blossom Festival and from Palo Alto to Santa Cruz over old Highway 17.

If there is enough time, John will also show “Fortune in Two Trunks,” which was filmed in color by Sunsweet in 1957 and is the story of Louis Pellier, who introduced the French prune to the Valley, initiating the fruit industry; it shows the Valley in white blossom splendor as it was every Spring!

The January meeting will be held in the Auditorium at the Milpitas Public Library on Wednesday, January 12, 2011, 7:00 to 8:45 PM.

Official Website of the Milpitas Historical Society