History museum director leaves legacy of ‘intergenerational’ growth

By April 3, 2024In The News

Town Crier Staff Report/Los Altos Town Crier

Elisabeth Ward, executive director of the Los Altos History Museum for the past seven years, announced this week she is stepping down to spend more time with her family in Southern California. Ward’s last day is projected to be April 30.

Ward presided over a fruitful period of growth at the museum, despite the interference of the pandemic.

This included an increase in special programs, expanded use of the J. Gilbert Smith house and a new permanent exhibit chronicling Los Altos history using the latest in cutting-edge technology.

“So much has happened since she took the helm in March 2017,” said Larry Lang, museum president. “We’ve grown our staff, membership and visitor count considerably. We’ve created and unveiled a state-of-the-art permanent exhibit, a remarkable investment in our community. (All the more so given the pandemic in the midst of all that.) We’ve taken on stewardship of the landmark apricot orchard, with 289 new trees flourishing in the spring sunshine. We’ve inaugurated the Third Thursday speaker program that’s that’s gathering Los Altans for engaging and meaningful conversations. All of these milestones…more.


Elisabeth Ward attends the 2023 opening of the Los Altos History Museum’s new permanent exhibition, “Making Connections: Stories from the Land.”