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Best Volunteer Job Ever!

I love working in the Los Altos Heritage Orchard because it brings up so many happy memories as a child growing up in Los Altos Hills; I lived with my family in an apricot orchard. I’d run from tree to tree through the yellow mustard, and couldn’t wait to devour fresh apricots straight from the trees in July. Dad made…
May 2, 2024
Blog

A letter from Elisabeth Ward

Dear Members of Los Altos History Museum, For the last seven years, I’ve had the privilege of being the Executive Director of the Los Altos History Museum. The time has flown by because of the quality of the people with whom I have interacted. As you all know, this area is extraordinary for having intelligent, hard-working, creative, and optimistic residents. I…
April 2, 2024
Blog

New Trees for Heritage Orchard

My gaze dances along straight rows of new saplings that fill in the gaps between existing apricot trees. Each sapling is tucked within a compost-rich basin, encircled by a spiral dripline at the trunk’s base. The Orchardscapes crew used a Bobcat loader to blanket the soil with arbor mulch spread along as many rows of trees as possible between rains,…
January 31, 2024
Blog

Teen Docents Promote Inclusivity with Mandarin Tours

At Los Altos History Museum, we constantly look for innovative ways to engage with our audience and make history accessible to all. The establishment of the Teen Docent Program is one such approach. Not only do these teen volunteers bring youthful energy and fresh perspectives, but they also represent a connection to the future, helping to fulfill our mission of…
January 4, 2024
Blog

Dancing Through Time with Helen Foerster

As a history major at San Jose State University, I've been drawn to the lives of ordinary people rather than focusing on monarchs or generals. I find a deep connection in exploring the diaries, letters, and community meeting notes of regular individuals. There's something powerful about understanding the lives of those who came before us as everyday people. Los Altos History Museum’s Oral History Project takes this…
December 6, 2023
Blog

Frank Berry: Los Altos’ First Ophthalmologist

Although I’m a San Diego native who has only lived in the Bay Area for the past two years, interning for Los Altos History Museum has given me the opportunity to get to know the city of Los Altos almost as well as I know the city I grew up in. The Museum’s Oral History Committee works tirelessly to preserve the history of Los Altos through the eyes…
November 30, 2023
Blog

Wish Come True

A fluttering yellow ribbon with the message “Drip Irrigation” caught my eye in the Los Altos Heritage Orchard. In December, a volunteer tied this wish to the apricot tree that we planted in memory of Phil Doetsch, our former orchardist who taught me so much. Now, that wish is coming true as we install a new drip irrigation system, and my heart sings as so many join…
October 5, 2023
Blog

History Museum grateful for support

Letters to the Editor, Los Altos Town Crier The Los Altos History Museum wishes to express its gratitude to the Los Altos City Council for voting unanimously Sept. 12 to increase financial support for museum operations and programs. The process leading to this increase involved several council meetings, as well as detailed analysis with city staff, as appropriate when allocating public funds.…
September 27, 2023
Blog

Corn Husk Doll

For northeast Native American, enslaved African American, and early American pioneer children, corn husk dolls were common toys. Corn husks were easily accessible during the early 19th century, and the dolls were fairly easy to construct. Northeast Native Americans made their corn husk dolls without faces. A Seneca craftswoman, Mrs. Snow, explains why: Corn, one of the “Three Sisters,” along…
June 29, 2023
Blog

2022 Year in Review

I want to thank you, dear friends and supporters of Los Altos History Museum, for being a part of the Museum community over the last year. By opening our e-newsletters, logging onto our webinars, renewing your membership, donating to our campaigns, and attending our events, you let us know that the work we do matters to you. Over the last…
December 8, 2022
Watch for Eliseo Perez perched high on a ladder. He has been tending our orchard for over 35 years. Each morning, Eliseo takes ten boxes a day over to DeMartini.Blog

Apricot Harvest is Early!

Have you noticed the orange apricots decorating the trees of our Heritage Orchard along San Antonio Road? The summer harvest is underway, two weeks earlier than in the previous century. Old-timers planned for apricot harvest around the 4th of July. Maybe this is an indicator of climate change? “When the apricots ripen is the highlight of my year,” declared one…
June 24, 2022
Blog

Finding Asian America in the Museum

The Museum has issued an official statement condemning the recent resurgence of racial violence against Asian, Asian American Pacific Islander communities. As local historians, we celebrate the impactful contributions of AAPI members in our community and embrace the educational power of intercultural connections. This essay is in response to racial violence and what role history museums can play in cultivating…
April 15, 2021