Los Altos History Museum Features Exhibition on Stories of Bay Area Families during WWI

LOS ALTOS, CA (May 23, 2018)  The Los Altos History Museum highlights material seldom told in its new exhibition: “Right Here: Our Local Stories,” a focus on WWI artifacts and stories of local families affected by the Great War. The exhibition, opening June 1 and extended through July 1 due to overwhelming interest, features personal letters, original newspaper stories, and posters promoting patriotic messages that mobilized the nation to war.

“In this exhibition, we want to show the global impact of World War I felt locally not only by families whose fathers and sons served, but also by immigrants and others ostracized by wartime fervor,” said Dr. Elisabeth Ward, Executive Director. “We will have a display about the “Hindoo Conspiracy Trial” in San Francisco.”

Among the artifacts, Frank Duveneck’s love letters to his wife Josephine, and his wartime diary, tell the story of his service with the 322nd Field Signal Battalion, his longing to be home, and joy over his daughter’s birth. The Duvenecks went on to purchase Hidden Villa in 1924, a Los Altos Hills property which evolved into a nonprofit farm and wilderness preserve promoting environmental education and social justice.

In conjunction with the opening, the Museum hosts a lecture with Barbara Wilcox, “Training for War in the Los Altos Hills: The Camp Fremont Experience,” slated for June 5th, 7pm, at the Los Altos Library’s Orchard Room. In 1917, Stanford leased part of its land to allow the creation of Camp Fremont, which brought the war to the Bay Area’s backyard. Wilcox, inspired by the discovery of hidden war tunnels in the Palo Alto hills, wrote the book “World War I Army Training by San Francisco Bay.” Photographs of Camp Fremont from the Menlo Park Historical Society collection will be on display at the exhibition.

Additional programing includes a panel discussion entitled, “World War 1: Lessons Learned?” taking place on Father’s Day, June 17th, 2-4pm at the Museum, featuring, among others, Kim Cranston discussing his father’s interest in the political aftermath of WWI.

Admission for the programs and exhibition is free. For more information, visit LosAltosHistory.org.

The Los Altos History Museum began in 1977 with the opening of the J. Gilbert Smith House historic farmhouse, built in 1905. In 2001, the Los Altos History Museum opened its modern building next door, which houses the Museum’s collectionspermanent and changing exhibits, store and administrative offices. The Museum and its grounds are available for rent during evenings and weekends. Its collections are owned by the City of Los Altos and are managed by an independent nonprofit organization, whose staff and volunteers are responsible for all programs and operations.

The Museum and J. Gilbert Smith House are open Thursday through Sunday, from noon-4pm. Admission is free. The gardens, outdoor agricultural exhibits and picnic area are accessible beyond Museum hours. For more information, go to: www.losaltoshistory.org, email hello@losaltoshistory.org, or phone 650.948.9427 x14.

Media Contact: Marketing@losaltoshistory.org

Los Altos History Museum: Elisabeth I. Ward, 650.948.9427 x10, eward@losaltoshistory.org