Milpitas once had an encampment of Ohlone Indians. Two adobe rancheros still stand from the early days of the Spanish. An early motto was “As goes Milpitas, so goes the State!” For centuries, Milpitas has often taken the lead in new ways of living and governance. If you want to live in the City of the Future, with a lively part in California history, too, come live in Milpitas.
The Milpitas Historical Society
General meeting is the second Wednesday of each month, 7 PM, in the assembly room of the Milpitas Community Library.
Four-Part Video Series about the History of Milpitas
Watch this series of videos at the Great Mall Historical Society Exhibit at Entrance 4.
Milpitas: A look back
Outline of Milpitas History from the Mercury News story published on Aug. 27, 2006.
California History and Culture – State Symbols
Here’s where you find all that information for that state report, like state bird or flower.
A major collection of documents from and about California’s rich history. The documents range from books, maps, newspapers, and periodicals, to pictorial materials (including daguerreotypes, lithographs, stereographs, and paintings) and ephemera (such as posters, programs, pamphlets, and sheet music).
California History Online
Lovely California Historical Society website includes geographic information, California natives, early explorers, to modern times.
California Interesting Facts
Site where you can find interesting facts such as – One out of every eight United States residents lives in California.
California as I Saw It: First-Person Narratives of California’s Early Years, 1849 to 1900
The collection covers the dramatic decades between the Gold Rush and the turn of the twentieth century. It captures the pioneer experience; encounters between Anglo-Americans and the diverse peoples who had preceded them; the transformation of the land by mining, ranching, agriculture, and urban development; the often-turbulent growth of communities and cities; and California’s emergence as both a state and a place of uniquely American dreams.
Publishing books about California history, culture, and literature.
Mark Hylkema: California during the Spanish and Mexican Colonial Periods
Mark begins with the first Spanish explorers conquering the Aztecs, and tells about the Portolá expedition in 1769, when California suddenly went from prehistory to history, like “the flip of a switch.”
Silicon Valley History Online
You will find photographs, maps, letters, postcards, manuscripts, scrapbooks, menus, programs from events, and many other materials from local libraries, archives, and museums.
Santa Clara County Historical Landmarks
My mother used to call these hunks of stone with metal plaques “Hysterical Landmarks” because so often there is nothing left at the site but the stone! But you’ll find one at the garage where H-P got started and where Noyce invented his first semiconductor. None in Milpitas…hmmmm.
Historical Figures in Early California
On June 27, 1542, an explorer under Spanish command, named Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo, left the port of Navidad on the Pacific Coast of what is now Mexico and headed north.
Juan Bautista de Anza
Juan Bautista de Anza was the first European to establish an overland route from Mexico, through the Sonoran Desert, to the Pacific coast of California. New World Spanish explorers had been seeking such a route through the Desert Southwest for more than two centuries.
Governors of California
A tribute to the individuals who have served as chief executive of the State of California from 1849 to present.
Notable People of Milpitas
The “Notable People” project adds to our knowledge about the history of Milpitas. For more information, please click on a link located on the right sidebar of the Historical Society’s page.
Russia’s Great Voyages
More than two hundred years ago, Russian naturalists, ethnographers, astronomers, cartographers, geographers and artists first described the west coast of America to the rest of the world.
Sir Francis Drake
The British explorer, Sir Francis Drake, sailed up the coast of California in 1579. Could he have discovered Milpitas?