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Our Mission: History inspires imagination, stimulates thought and transforms society.

The Los Altos History Museum preserves and shares our local history to enrich our community and to shape a more informed future.

Upcoming Events

pedal powerCurrent Exhibit
Pedal Power: From Wacky to Workhorse
New exhibit opens April 10, 2014 at the Los Altos History Museum

Opening Reception: Sunday, April 27 - 4-6pm
Hear from local bike designer, Craig Calfee, on bike design through time.
Enjoy light appetizers and libations, compliments of  New Belgian Beer

Since their introduction, bicycles have been used for work and for whimsy. Experience a unique collection of wacky, wonderful, and workhorse bicycles from around the Bay Area - where mountain biking was born and road-racing legends were formed. From nostalgic high-wheelers and classic Sting-Rays to early mountain and road-racing bikes, and bikes used by soldiers and police officers, you're sure to find many that pique your interest and inspire you to take a ride!

Bicycling has a long history in California. This exhibition will tell that story and show the fun and value of cycling-all brought to you by your neighbors.

"Why do I bike? It's fun, it's healthy and it's good for the planet. Plus, it's so easy to connect with people. You're out in the open and can say hi to friends, and even strangers. And I never have a problem finding a place to park!" says Gary Hedden, exhibition coordinator.

"Bikes were a common means of transportation for a long time in America. My excitement? Biking is a great way to connect with our community," added Mike McTighe, exhibition committee member.

The exhibit will feature a vintage collection of bikes including one of the earliest mountain bikes from the legendary Tom Ritchey. Also on exhibit-the very first bike ridden in 1980 by professional Greg LeMond, who trained extensively in our area. Wacky bikes include a wooden one built by a local, Tom Kabat, and a workhorse bike used by the Los Altos Police Department.

Pedal Power offers much more: rides led by local clubs, a design-a-bike event, the popular Historic Bike Tour, and especially for kids, a Bicycle Carnival. Mark your calendar now so you don't miss out. It's going to be fun!

5.08         Bike-To-Work Day Party

6.29         Design a Bike Workshop AND Family Cycle Carnival

7.26         Electric Bike Festival

A collaboration with GreenTown Los Altos


Members' Tour: A Day at Filoli!
House, Garden, Lunch & Nature Hike

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Lace up those walking shoes and join us on May 7 for a special day of adventure and history at Filoli country estate.
Tour the fascinating historic house and beautiful gardens with knowledgeable docents. After a box lunch, we'll explore the extensive grounds on a hike to the Filoli Nature Preserve with seasoned docents. You'll see things you never knew were there - like the family cemetary.

A $30 fee will cover admission and a box lunch. Space is limited to 30; send your check payable to LAHM by April 23 with your sandwich request to reserve your space. 

Questions? Contact Grace at 650.948.9427 x14 or gperry@losaltoshistory.org, or contact Ann Oliver or Virginia Farthing.

9:30am - Carpool from the Museum

10:30am - House & Garden Tour

12:30pm - Box Lunch

1:30pm - Nature Hike (or linger in the garden if you prefer)

3:00pm - Return to Museum

Lunch includes your choice of roast beef, ham and swiss, turkey or veggie sandwich, beverage, pasta salad, cookie & fruit.


Celebrate Museum & Historic Preservation Month with the Los Altos Historical Commission & the Museum at the Smith House

Presentation of Historical Plaques

New Exhibit of Black & White Photographs of the Smith House by Marj & Tom Green

Sunday, May 11 - 1-4pm

Join us on Mother's Day afternoon to celebrate our shared past, as we recognize the first 20 recipients of historical plaques presented by the Los Altos Historical Commission. The 2pm ceremony will mark our community's most important places, including the J. Gilbert Smith History House and our heritage orchard.  

Winchester-Merriman House, 1840s/1888
Farnsworth-Myers House, ca. 1895
Dutch Colonial Revival Farmhouse, ca. 1898
Civic Center Apricot Orchard, planted 1902
J. Gilbert Smith House, 1905
Adams House, 1906 
San Antonio Club, 1908
Shoup Building, 1908
Altos Land Company Building, ca. 1909
Paul & Rose Shoup House, 1910
Copeland Building, 1911
S.P. Railroad Passenger Depot, 1913
Guy & Adelle Shoup House, 1915
Panama Pacific International Exposition Structure, 1916
Halsey House & Redwood Grove, ca. 1923
Marini House, 1926
Erwin Reichel Designed Home, 1927
Eschenbruecher House, 1931


30th Annual Margaret Thompson Essay Contest Winner Ice Cream Social

Tuesday, May 13, 6-7 pm
Los Altos History Museum Courtyard

Join us on our garden patio for a root beer float and celebrate the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th graders --and the school with the most entries -- who will be recognized with awards for their outstanding essays. A collaboration with the Los Altos Historical Commission.


California Country & More Antiques Show

Sunday, June 8, 10 am - 4 pm
Hillview Center

Join us for the best show in the west of Early  California and American antiques. Free for Museum members!


Summer Gala: "An American in Paris"

Monday, July 14, 2014, 5-8pm
Enchante Hotel

Celebrate Bastille Day in grand style - and support the Museum! Be the first to explore Los Altos' new boutique hotel at a fabulous cocktail party. Whether or not you are in costume, we hope you will say "oui"!

Tickets $125/person. ($100 is deductible.) Proceeds benefit the Museum.


Train Days Returns September 20 & 21! More information to come.



Opening October 2014
Silicon Valley: the Lure & the Legends



Showcasing dozens of local visionaries who helped create Silicon Valley, this original exhibition will answer the question:
"why here?"
What was it that led the Valley of Heart's Delight from orchards to oscillators?

Who were the visionaries and risk takers who made it happen?

The exhibit will focus on local folks who made good, created by the amazing team who brought us ground-breaking original exhibits on Wallace Stegner, Lucile & David Packard and Josephine & Frank Duveneck.
This is the story of the "who" and the "why" behind the "what." 
Don't miss it!