Meetings 2016

Milpitas Historical Society Meetings are typically held on the second Wednesday of all non-summer months at the Milpitas Community Library, Auditorium, 160 N. Main St., Milpitas, CA. Our meetings are free and all are welcome. Hope to see you there!

Election: January 11, 2017

At the Milpitas Historical Society’s November meeting, the Nominating Committee will announce the slate of candidates for Officers and Directors for 2017.

The slate of candidates will be finalized by the Nominating Committee before the next meeting of the Board of Directors and this list will be distributed to the membership by email and US Mail before the November General Meeting.

The election will be held at the regular meeting of the Society on Wednesday, January 11, 2017.

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!
 

November 9 Meeting: History of the Roberto Adobe and Sunol House, with Judge Robert Bernal

Roberto Adobe
Roberto Adobe
At this meeting, our distinguished speaker, Santa Clara County Judge Paul Bernal, will talk about the Roberto Adobe, built in 1836, and the adjoining Sunol House, begun in 1854.
 
 
 
Sunol House
Sunol House
These two structures, located in what is now Willow Glen, are part of the newly opened Roberto Adobe Sunol House Museum, owned and operated by the California Pioneers of Santa Clara County. These venerable structures are among the oldest in this area; their history, the story of their rescue from near-destruction, and their preservation due to the hard work of Paul and many others of the Pioneers will be the topic of this presentation.

Paul Bernal
Paul Bernal
Judge Bernal was our memorable presenter at the Milpitas Historical Society’s Officer and Board Installation Dinner in 2013 and impressed us all with his stories of the history of the settlement of the
Almaden Valley.
 

October 12 Meeting: California Pioneers’ of Santa Clara County AKA the Fruit Cocktail Gang Present Film Clips

Jim Zetterquist
Jim Zetterquist
At our next meeting, we will see an interesting time-tripping selection of films about our regional fruit-growing industry. Local historian Jim Zetterquist and some fellow members of a group of local historians and film specialists, members of the California Pioneers of Santa Clara County, known as the “Fruit Cocktail Gang,” will show a collection of clips from old films about the iconic fruit orchards and other aspects of agriculture in the Santa Clara Valley. The film will include some newly acquired footage of a hay-baler invented locally. This is a completely different film from “The Valley of Heart’s Delight,” which we saw in 2011.

Also there will be a short presentation by Eugene Suslowicz, Division Manager of the hauling operation for Republic Services, our current provider of garbage service, about the company and what they do.
 

September 14 Meeting—How the Computer Was Born and Grew Up in Our Valley

Computer History MuseumOur next meeting will be an informative presentation on the development of the computer industry here in our Valley. Our speaker will be Chris Garcia, a curator since 1999 at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, who will give us an overview of the growth and development of computers and how and why this happened in our area.

Chris grew up in the City of Santa Clara, and was a Curatorial Assistant at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American Art even before he went off to get his BFA in Creative Writing at Emerson College in 1997.

Chris Garcia
Chris Garcia
After stints with the City of Santa Clara Parks and Recreation Department and La Strange and Associates, Chris joined the Computer Museum in Boston. After 6 months of giving tours and scheduling events, he came back home to California and joined the staff of the Computer History Museum.

As Curator, Chris provides information on artifacts, develops content for exhibits, assists in donation review, gives talks, tours and writes articles for CORE – the official publication of the Museum.

Please join us for this fascinating presentation about the industry that changed our valley and stay for snacks and conversation afterwards.
 

Milpitas Historical Society Board Meetings:
September 7

If you are interested, you are welcome to attend the Milpitas Historical Society Board meetings, which are held on the first Wednesday of the month (except July and August) at 1:30 pm in Group Study Room A in the Milpitas Library. The next meeting is Wednesday, September 7.
 

Historical Society’s Summer Vacation Notice

The Milpitas Historical Society is taking its usual summer vacation, so there will be no Society meetings or newsletters in July
or August
.
 

June 8 Meeting—Milpitas Home Movie!

The Kozy Kitchen, a 1950s style diner
The Kozy Kitchen, a 1950s style diner central to old downtown that was run by original Milpitas families
This time we will be honored by the presence of former Milpitas Mayor and Milpitas Veteran of the Year Denny Weisgerber, who will give a brief introduction to a film he narrates called “Milpitas Home Movie,” put together by the Milpitas Chamber of Commerce in 2014 and made up of shots and movies of Milpitas as  it was in the 1950s. Please join us for this nostalgic and informative look at the city that you might have once known.
 

Milpitas Historical Society Board Meetings

If you are interested, you are welcome to attend the Milpitas Historical Society Board meetings, which are held on the first Wednesday of the month (except July and August) at 1:30 pm in Group Study Room A in the Milpitas Library. The next meeting is Wednesday, June 1.
 

Agnews, Our Jewel in the Silicon Valley: May 11

To what does this title refer? Come learn the answer at Milpitas Historical Society’s next meeting, on Wednesday, May 11. at 7:00 pm in the Auditorium (Multipurpose Room) of the Milpitas Library, 160 North Main Street.

The program for this meeting will be a talk and film about “Agnews, Our Jewel in the Silicon Valley,” by Kathleen Lee, a writer, filmmaker, and longtime volunteer coordinator at Agnews Hospital. She will tell us about the founding of the tiny former town called Agnews, which was incorporated into the city of Santa Clara in the 1980s, and how it came to be. The film will also provide the history of the institution first for the mentally ill and later for the developmentally disabled, for which it is best known.

Agnews HospitalThis historical photograph of
Agnews Hospital was taken before the 1906 earthquake that damaged the structure and killed over 100 patients.

Watertowerat Agnews-HospitalThe water tower at Agnews, (shown at left) is a familiar landmark. Agnews Develop-mental Center closed in 2009 and residents moved to other facilities. It was built by the California Conservation Corps under the direction of President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1939. Please join us for this informative presentation about a little city that might be new to you.
 
 
 

Milpitas Historical Society Board Meetings: May 4

Ever wonder what the Milpitas Historical Society Board of Directors does at their meetings? If you are interested, you are welcome to attend these Board meetings, which are held on the first Wednesday of the month (except July and August) at 1:30 pm in Group Study Room A in the Milpitas Library. The next meeting is Wednesday,
May 4.
 

April 13 Meeting: History of Saratoga

Saratoga Historical Foundation MuseumThe Milpitas Historical Society’s next meeting will be held at 7:00 pm on Wednesday, April 13. Our speaker on this occasion will be Ray Cosyn, current Historian for the Saratoga History Center.

Ray Cosyn
Ray Cosyn
When was Saratoga founded and what was it like to live there in the not-too-distant past? These and more questions will be answered in Ray Cosyn’s presentation that traces the story of the city from the Ohlone Indians through the Spanish explorers and on into the lumber and mining times of the late 19th century and its suburbanization in the 20th century.

The Blossom Festival and the surrounding publicity that made Saratoga the center of the “Valley of the Hearts Delight” will be brought into focus. The 1920s and the unique transit system that tied this agricultural town to the outside world will come to life in this fascinating story. The period of 1950s and Saratoga’s incorporation into a city, becoming the home to many in the Silicon Valley, will resonate with those who have visited this unique and historic place.

Should we have a field trip to this Saratoga Museum? At our April meeting, we can see if you want to do this.
 

March 9 Meeting: A History of San Jose’s Japantown

San Jose Japantown: A JourneyThe next meeting of the Milpitas Historical Society will be held at 7:00 pm on Wednesday, March 9. The topic for this meeting will be San Jose’s historic Japantown, one of only three remaining Japantowns, from its outgrowth from San Jose’s last Chinatown through two world wars, the Depression, Internment, Resettlement, and then its gradual evolution into its present-day, ethnically diverse community.

Ralph Pearce and Curt Fukuda
Ralph Pearce and Curt Fukuda
Our presenters will be local authors Curt Fukuda and Ralph Pearce, authors of San Jose Japantown: A Journey. Published by the Japanese American Museum of San Jose, this book is the culmination of fifteen years of their research, photo-gathering, and writing.
 
 

Milpitas Historical Society Board Meetings: March 2

Ever wonder what the Milpitas Historical Society’s Board of Directors does at their meetings? If you’re interested, you are welcome to attend these Board meetings, which are held on the first Wednesday of the month (except July and August) at 1:30 pm in Group Study Room A at the Milpitas Library. The next meeting is on Wednesday, March 2.
 

January 13: The Architecture of Frank Delos Wolfe

George Delos Wolfe Designed House in Downtown San JoseOur speaker on this occasion will be Krista van Laan, author of a book about architect Frank Delos Wolfe (1862-1926) of San Jose, California. Wolfe was one of the most prolific architects of his time, popular with clients all over Northern California and respected by his peers, as was evident by his heavy coverage in national architectural trade magazines. For 35 years, Wolfe, with and without partners, made significant architectural contributions. Seven of his buildings are today on the National Register of Historic Places, and many others are city landmarks.

Krista van Laan
Krista van Laan

Krista van Laan[/caption]Wolfe was the architect of the 1916 Milpitas Grammar School that today is the anchor around which our Milpitas library was built, and he also designed the DeVries House across the street from the library.

Please join us to hear stories of and see more of the treasured examples of the work of this master architect.