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Current Special Exhibit – Historic Downtown Sunnyvale
A look at Sunnyvale from “Murphy’s Station” to the Fifties is called Historic Downtown Sunnyvale.
In the horse-and-buggy days of the 1860s settlement known at the time as Murphy’s Station, Main Street (now Murphy Avenue) was a dirt road leading to the railroad stop. the first store held windows for the post office, the drugstore, and the general store, respectively.
The museum’s new exhibit includes a series of photographs and maps depicting the slow growth and development of the early downtown, as well as artifacts from the first businesses lining Main Street and the railroad tracks. The display shows tools from the first veterinary office, the first morgue services, items from Del Monte’s cannery, Ryan’s Hotel, Tao Tao’s, the Kirkish store, and much more.
This exhibit opened June 30th and will run through October 20th.
Museum’s proposed Lockheed / Blue Cube Exhibit and Sunnyvale Research Library
The mission of the Sunnyvale Historical Society is to preserve, teach, and protect items pertaining to the history of our community. The Museum is looking to expand in order to build a much-needed historical research library and create a permanent exhibit on the Blue Cube and Lockheed Missile programs – both important parts of Sunnyvale history as well as national history. Please contact the museum if you have mementos or stories to share.
The Sunnyvale Historical Society and Museum Association has taken into consideration how this project may temporarily impact Orchard Heritage Park. The Orchard, located next to the Heritage Park Museum, is respected as a valuable part of the community and Sunnyvale’s living history. Preserving the integrity and heritage of The Orchard Heritage Park, and maintaining the ten-acre site is important to The Sunnyvale Historical Society, so it can also be enjoyed by many generations to come. The 1600 sq. ft addition may impact 6 to 10 apricot trees, all of which will be replaced in other areas of the orchard. There will be no net loss of trees.
Entryway Construction Completed
A new, grand entrance has been created to welcome visitors to our museum building. Delays in construction have pushed the celebration to 2019, so please join us on September 28th for a dedication of the new outdoor exhibits and a “Ten Plus One” anniversary event. Click Here to see the 2018 demolition and remodeling photos.
Past 2019 Events
June 10, 2019 – General Meeting
California’s Historic El Camino Real Bells
After the business section of the General Meeting, our guest speaker, John Kolstad, gave a talk on the history of El Camino Real, as well as the history of the bells, how the bells are made, and the fascinating story of how the California Bell Company (originally founded in the 1900s) was brought back to life. The plan had been to place one bell along each mile of the highway called El Camino Real, in front of each mission, and also at selected historical landmarks. By 1913, the goal of placing 450 bells was reached. One bell was placed in front of each mission and the balance were placed along the El Camino Real highway. Since then over 586 bells have been replaced on the 101 highway. The bell gracing the new entrance to the museum is dated 1906. It was originally placed on El Camino Real near Mary Avenue in Sunnyvale.
Kolstad is the owner of the California Bell Company. For more information go to www.saratogahistory.com or call 408-867-4311.
April 27-28, 2019 – Spring Victorian Teas
April 6, 2019 – Spring Garage Sale
February 11, 2019 – General Meeting
Winter 2019 Special Exhibit
Our upstairs rotating exhibit this winter was, Communications before Technology. Much of the technology being developed here in Silicon Valley is all about communication: instant, distributable to the masses, easy. But how did people wish one another a happy birthday or let their family know that they would be visiting soon fifty, a hundred, a hundred and fifty years ago? The museum’s new exhibit will answer those questions. You will see letters written by the Taaffe twins (Mattie and Molly, Elizabeth Yuba Murphy Taaffe’s daughters) and learn how postal worker Joe Stanich hung Sunnyvale’s outgoing mail pouch on a tall crane at Murphy’s Station, the pouch to be grabbed by someone on the passing train. You will be able to refresh your memories of a Walkman, typewriters, a calculator that is NOT part of your phone, IBM punch cards, and much more!
Give the Gift of Membership
Your membership to the Sunnyvale Historical Society and Museum Association helps to support our daily operations. Members Benefits include, our members-only Newsletter, special invitations to members-only events, and a 10% discount on Museum Gift Shop purchases. You can become a member online (below) or come into the museum Gift Shop.
Members can decide to receive this full-color PDF via e-mail instead of via US Mail. If this is a Gift Membership, add the recipient info in the Add a special message Section when completing the transaction on PayPal.
Orchard Heritage Park
In 1994, the City of Sunnyvale preserved 10 acres of apricot trees to celebrate the important contribution of orchards to the early development of the local economy. The museum opened next to the orchard in 2008. Click the photo for views of our apricot orchard throughout the year .
It is with great sorrow that we announce the
August 19, 2017 passing of Jeanine Stanek, the Sunnyvale Historical Society’s Chief Archivist. Her dedication to history, her positive attitude, and her endless energy was an inspiration to us all. She will be greatly missed. Click Here for the Museum Director’s memories of Jeanine.
Here is a photo from February 2014, of Jeanine receiving the 2013 Murphy Award for Lifetime Community Contribution.
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