Museum to Hold Garden Party Evening at Historic Winchester Merriman House

By May 1, 2019May 14th, 2019Press Releases

LOS ALTOS, CA (May 1, 2019) Don your cocktail attire and fancy hat for a garden party at the Winchester Merriman House in an evening of Memories & Mysteries, a fundraiser for Los Altos History Museum’s exhibitions, Friday, June 14th, 5:30-8:30pm.

The Winchester Merriman House, originally situated on 140 acres on Edgewood Lane, is the oldest residence in Los Altos. Sarah Pardee Winchester, heiress of the Winchester rifle fortune, purchased the property, and what was then a four-room redwood framed farmhouse, in 1888 for her sister, Isabelle Merriman. The sisters remodeled the house to its current splendor, a Victorian Gothic style with mismatched windows to give it an asymmetrical look–the architectural fad at the time. Many design features are similar to those of the famous Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, which was purchased and remodeled by Sarah in 1886. Merriman owned her home until 1907, when it became the Chandler School for Girls, followed by an era of continuous family ownership.

“We appreciate the Warren Yang and Jung Yoon family opening up their historic home gardens in support of the Museum and our mission-critical changing exhibition program,” said Dr. Elisabeth Ward, the Museum’s executive director. “We are excited to be celebrating the history of our area in a beautiful garden setting.”

The fundraiser will feature:

  • Live jazz by the Kirk Abe Trio
  • A talk by a Winchester Mystery House Historian who shares historical information, anecdotes and artifacts of the home
  • Catering by Blue Heron Catering, Continental Caterers, Ginger Café, Karen Bevels Custom Catering, Pacific Catch, Rustic House, and The Bistro
  • The debut of an apricot-inspired signature cocktail, “The Los Altan,” created by The Post in Los Altos
  • Handcrafted brews by Santa Clara County Home Beer Brewer, ThowOneBack
  • Wine from Woodside Winery and other local wineries
  • 1920s vintage cars, owned by local collectors, parked in front to give guests the illusion of stepping back in time

Guests who park in the Saint Nicholas Church parking lot can pick up a pedicab at the corner of Orange and Sherman Avenues. Garden party tickets are $175 per person, of which $125 is tax-deductible. Purchase tickets by June 8 at 650-948-9427 or online at

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:, email, or phone 650.948.9427 x14.

Media Contact:

Los Altos History Museum: Elisabeth I. Ward, 650.948.9427 x10,

Correction 5/14/19: The home owner’s name has been corrected from Jung Joon to Jung Yoon.

Winchester Merriman House, Painted by Anna Knapp Fitz