Friday, April 17, 2015

Hands-On History Days: Digging Up San Jose’s Past at History Park

San José, CA – April 17, 2015. Calling all Indiana Jones wannabes! On Sunday, May 17 from 12 PM to 4 PM, Digging Up San Jose’s Past at History Park will offer children an opportunity to become junior archaeologists. In partnership with the Chinese Historical & Cultural Project, Stanford Archaeology Center students will be at History Park conducting a mock excavation, screening, artifact identification and artifact reconstruction.

“This program is a wonderful opportunity for kids to learn about the incredible world of archaeology, while simultaneously developing an interest in our local history,” said Wendy Abelmann, Director of Education at History San José. “We are so excited that this partnership between the Stanford Archaeology Center and the Chinese Historical & Cultural Project gives us the opportunity to share the stories of San Jose’s 19th century Chinese pioneers.”

This family educational program will allow individuals to collect stickers for each activity to place in Archaeology Passports and become ‘certified’ as a Junior Archaeologist.

At 11:45 AM, there will be a celebration and dedication of the Lillian Gong-Guy Plaza at History Park. Lillian Gong-Guy was the co-founder of the Chinese Historical & Cultural Project, and a dedicated philanthropic leader and volunteer in the Santa Clara Valley. The Lillian Gong-Guy Memorial Scholarship will be presented to local students, based on their exemplary academic achievement and community service.

Cost: HSJ members and kids two and under – FREE. All others $5.00.

For more information, call 408 918­1047 or visit

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

History San José Honors San Jose’s Diverse Community At Annual Valley of Heart’s Delight Event

San Jose, CA --- April 16, 2015 --- History San José’s 10th Annual Valley of Heart’s Delight fundraising event will be held onSaturday, June 27 at History Park. This year, History San José will honor the many cultural groups that have helped make the city of San Jose one of the most diverse cities in the nation.

“It is remarkable how many diverse groups thrive within San Jose and the Santa Clara Valley,” said Alida Bray, President and CEO of History San José. “We have the privilege of learning so much from these different cultures, languages, and communities. It is of the utmost importance that these cultures and the stories they tell are represented at History San José.”

The Valley of Heart's Delight at History Park will be on Saturday, June 27 from 5 PM to 10 PM. The dinner will be catered by Catered Too! and will feature wines from Joseph George Fine Wines and beer from Gordon Biersch.

The event will highlight entertainment from local performance groups, including the Akoma Drummers, Los Lupeños de San Jose, Khamsin Belly Dance, Fiddle Road, Millenium Sounds, and many more.

Individual tickets are $175. Proceeds from the Valley of Heart’s Delight event benefit History San José’s education programs, which provide hands-on school programs to over 20,000 children each year.

Sponsorships are still available, beginning at $2,500, with in-kind support also greatly appreciated.

To purchase tickets or to secure a sponsorship, please contact

Michelle Powers at 408-521-5016 or For more information about the event, please visit

History Park at Kelley Park is located at 1650 Senter Road, between Phelan & Keyes in San Jose. For GPS mapping use 635 Phelan Avenue. For more information visit or call 408 287 2290.

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About History San José: 

History San José is a non-profit organization that collects, preserves and celebrates the stories of diversity and innovation in San José and the Santa Clara Valley. HSJ manages one of the largest and most comprehensive regional history collections in the State of California, from 18th century Spanish governmental records to 21st century Silicon Valley technology. 

History San José 1650 Senter Road San José, CA 95112 408.287.2290

Facebook: /historysanjose
Twitter: @historysanjose
Instagram: @historysanjose

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Heritage Circle's Hearst Castle Adventure

Exclusive look inside Heart Castle's vault
History San Jose's Heritage Circle make a leadership commitment to help preserve the stories and artifacts from the Santa Clara Valley so future generations can learn from these histories. The annual, tax-deductible contribution of $1,500 to join Heritage Circle includes access to unique social and educational activities. Above all, these generous donations ensure that History San José has the resources we need to fulfill our mission every day.

In late March, our Heritage Circle group enjoyed an amazing weekend in rustic Cambria for our annual getaway. We stayed at the picturesque El Colibri Boutique Hotel & Spa in downtown Cambria, where we participated in their nightly wine and cheese tastings. On Friday evening, our rowdy group of 17 squeezed into Madeline's Restaurant and Wine Shop for a sumptuous French-inspired feast and fine wines. According to the staff at Madeline's, we were one of the biggest groups they've ever seated!

The next day, our carpool caravan was off to an early start to Hearst Castle for a private, behind-the-scenes tour. Our tour guide, Chuck Walker, led us on a once-in-a-lifetime treasure hunt, revealing some of the secrets and scandals connected to the Hearst family and their famous guests at the Castle.

We were also allowed to peek inside the Castle wine cellar and private vaults, where we saw statues, furs, carpets, and other objects belonging to the family.

HSJ Board Member and Heritage Circle Member, Kathleen Orlenko, who has been a Conservator to the Castle for over ten years, then took us on an exclusive tour of the Archives, where we were shown some of the original hand-drawn prints of the architecture of the Castle by none other than architect Julia Morgan.

Private archives tour with Conservator Kathy Orlenko
After a busy day at Hearst Castle (and a little wine tasting!), we enjoyed a relaxing dinner at Indigo Moon Cafe, another local favorite serving up high-end American food and delectable desserts. The next morning, we sadly went our separate ways and said goodbye for now to beautiful Cambria.

To see some photos from the weekend, please explore our online photo album!

Read more about the many benefits of becoming a Heritage Circle Member.

Renew your Heritage Circle Membership today and join us on future trips such as this trip to Cambria.