Milpitas History

For more information about specific topics in Milpitas history, please click on a link located on the right sidebar.

What? More Than One Milpitas?

Although we tend to think that there could only be one community bearing this distinctive name, it turns out that there were at least two other sites called Milpitas.

One was a Rancho Milpitas formed when the lands of the Mission San Antonio de Padua, (in Monterey County, near today’s King City) were secularized and divided into Mexican land grants. When William Randolph Hearst acquired the rancho in 1925, he commissioned architect Julia Morgan (who also designed Hearst Castle, some 30 miles from there) to build the Hacienda Milpitas for his employees and guests. It was completed in 1930 and has also been known as Hacienda Guest Lodge and Milpitas Ranchhouse, under which name the property was placed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1977.

Although the land was acquired by the U.S. War Department in 1940 to create a troop training facility, and the Hacienda was used as housing by the military during WWII and after, today, the US Army Reserve operates the base, and a civilian concessionaire is allowed to run the Milpitas Hacienda as a hotel open both to the public and to the military.

The other was, according to Spanish and Indian Place Names of California, by Nellie Van de Grift Sanchez, the the crop and garden area of Mission San Antonio de Pala, in San Diego County. The Mission was founded in 1861 as an “asistencia” to its parent, Mission San Luis Rey de Francia, about 25 miles east of San Luis Rey, and is now located inside the Pala Indian Reservation.
April 1, 2012 by mhs

Milpitas Community Museum Needs You!

The Milpitas Community Museum (MCM) has been successfully raising start-up funds. Now MCM is ready for more persons who are interested in becoming Trustees and Directors. This is a wonderful opportunity for you to become involved in the historic founding of our city’s first museum. Our first goal is to apply for non-profit corporation status with the State of California.

If you are interested in attending the next MCM Board of Directors meeting, call Steve Munzel, current President of the Board of Trustees and Chairperson of the Board of Directors of The Milpitas Community Museum, at 408-263-3099.

June 2, 2012 by mhs

Milpitas Town Seal

The Milpitas Town Seal was the idea of member Betty McDermott’s husband John, who came up with the idea for a seal of the Minuteman from one of his son’s history books. He designed the seal and took it to Arnie’s Signs and had 4,000 decals made.

Joe Brown, a local painter, painted the original for free. It is believed that Mr. Brown may have been hired to repaint the statues in the old St. John’s Church. Mr. Brown lived on the Henry Strickroth/Murphy Ranch.
June 10, 2009 by mhs