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Historic Walking Tour

Tour information compliments of:

historic_walking_tourSaratoga Historical Museum
20450 Saratoga-Los Gatos Rd.,
P.O. Box 172,
Saratoga, CA 95071
(408) 867-4311
Open Friday thru Sunday 1-4 PM
Saratoga Historical Museum

Saratoga Historic Walking Tour

1. Saratoga Historical Museum
20450 Saratoga-Los Gatos Road
A Western False front store, it is one of the oldest commercial buildings in Santa Clara County. More than a hundred years old, it was originally built on Lumber Street, now known as Big Basin Way. It was moved to its present location in 1975 and renovated as a museum. It was dedicated on July 4th, 1976 as Saratoga’s participation in the national Bicentennial celebration.

2. McWilliams House
20460 Saratoga-Los Gatos Road
This is one of the oldest homes in Saratoga—perhaps dating to the 1850’s. Built by blacksmith Henry Jarboe, the house was sold to another blacksmith, James McWilliams in 1864. The house is made of local redwood using single-wall construction; there are no studs. The McWilliams family owned the home until 1900. It was moved to this site in 1976 as part of the American Bicentennial celebration.

3. The Village Library
14410 Oak Street
The first library was a box of books in the drugstore. The community raised funds for this building in 1927. Designed by notable California architect Eldridge Spencer, it is faced with cinder block, making it unique for its time. Today it is operated by the Friends of the Library as Book-Go-Round, selling gently used books. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places.

4. Lundblad’s Lodge
14534 Oak Street
In 1918 Mr. and Mrs. Ludwig Lundblad purchased this shingle-style Craftsman house. It became a very popular vacation resort, later operated by their daughter Hazel Bargas and her husband. Actresses Olivia de Havilland and Joan Fontaine lived here as children with their mother Lillian Fontaine. Mrs. Bargas’ culinary skills earned Lundblad’s a listing in the Duncan Hines Restaurant Guide.

5. Saratoga Grammar School- Oak Street School
14592 Oak Street
A Saratoga grammar school has occupied this site since 1854, making this one of the oldest school sites in California that is still in operation. Much of this structure was built in 1923 in the California Mission Revival style; it was greatly expanded with a new auditorium at the turn of the last century. The school bell dates from 1898.

6. Congregational Church Parsonage
14666 Oak Street
The Congregational church is considered the oldest in town with regular local services beginning in 1872. A church structure was completed about 1877 and was located on Oak Street on part of the site now occupied by the Oak Street school.

7. William F. King House
14672 Oak Street
Built around 1870 for local businessman William F. King, this two-story frame structure was built of local redwood using square nails. It has been remodeled several times over the last century. William King and his brother Erwin built the Saratoga Paper Mill. The mill burned in 1883 and was not rebuilt. William died in 1899. His wife took in boarders, many of them local school teachers.

8. Missionary Settlement House
14683 Oak Street
This late Victorian cottage was built around 1897 by Clarence George. Congregational church members bought it in 1907 for use by visiting clergy.

9. Van Arsdale House
14690 Oak Street
Built in the 1880’s, this Victorian cottage was once part of a much larger property. The main house burned in the 1930’s, leaving only the tank house and this small cottage.

10. Madronia Cemetery
14766 Oak Street
The land for the cemetery was donated by Jose Ramon Arguello, owner of the Quito Rancho, the Mexican land grant that included most of Saratoga. Arguello donated the original one-acre burial ground for use in 1854. Many notable Saratoga residents are buried here including Mary Brown, the widow of Abolitionist John Brown.

11. Nardie House
14650 Sixth Street
This Victorian cottage of the 1890’s era was remodeled to accommodate parking.

12.John Henry House
14630 Big Basin Way
Early residents from the eastern part of the US built their homes in the saltbox style of the East Coast. The original owner and builder of this house was John Henry, an engineer at the nearby Saratoga Paper Mill. Built before 1870 the house is made of local redwood using single-wall construction with square nails.

13. Pettis Livery Stable
14605 Big Basin Way
WW Pettis operated a stage line from this barn, taking passengers from Saratoga to the railroad station in Los Gatos about four miles away. The barn was reportedly built in 1898. Stage service was discontinued when the Peninsular Interurban Railway line was completed and regular trolley service connected Los Gatos and Saratoga.

14. Erwin T. King House
14605 Big Basin Way
The original house was built around 1875 for John Chisholm. Erwin King rented the home from 1876 to 1883. The building became a boarding house and saloon known as the Oriental Hotel, managed by ME Pettis, a relative. The house was purchased and extensively restored in 1958.

15. Grover House
14521 Big Basin Way
This small home is one of the smallest from the early days of the Village. It dates from 1895 and was home for many years to Mrs. Grover and her son. Mrs. Grover was active in church and in the community.

16. Green Store Building/Kocher Building
14519 Big Basin Way
Known locally as the Green Building because it was painted green, this Western False front building was typical of the businesses lining Lumber Street in the early days. The building was built in 1890 by Daniel McCarty, son of Martin McCarty. The decorative medallion was added in the 1950’s.

17. Sam Cloud House & Cloud General Store
14501 and 14503 Big Basin Way
The store was built of local limestone in 1884 by John Hutchinson. Hutchinson was an early Saratoga postmaster who owned the local limestone quarry. Samuel Cloud bought the store in 1893. The second floor was used for community meetings and was called Cloud’s Hall. In 1896 Cloud built the Victorian residence for his family next door. His daughter married Tom Smith and the business was operated as the Cloud-Smith Store after his death. Cloud was killed in front of his store in 1907 when the local trolley jumped the tracks.

18. Sam Cloud’s Hay and Feed Warehouse
20640 Third Street
The barn has a limestone foundation and was built by John Hutchinson. Sam Cloud used the space as a warehouse for feed and hay. For many years the building was used as an antiques store. The building was restored and won a green award in 2008.

19. Toll Gate Plaque
Third Street and Big Basin Way
The town was known first as Campbell’s, then became McCartysville after it was platted in 1852. In 1863, Charles Maclay succeeded in renaming the post office to Bank Mills. With nearby Congress Springs attracting people, in 1864 residents changed the name to Saratoga in 1865. The name commemorates the famous mineral springs in New York.

20. Hutchinson Building
14495 Big Basin Way
One of two buildings built around 1884 by John Hutchinson. This building was originally a butcher shop. The early limestone structure has been modified many times.

21. Saratoga National Bank-The Bank
14421 Big Basin Way
Saratoga’s first bank building was designed by architects Wolfe & McKenzie in a classic revival style. It became the Garden City Bank in 1917, and later a branch of the Bank of America. It still contains the original bank vault.

22. Memorial Arch
Saratoga-Los Gatos Road
Designed by famed architect Bruce Porter, the arch was built in 1919 as a memorial to the Saratoga men who lost their lives in World War I. Funds were raised by contributions from the community. On the arch is the official plaque designating Saratoga as State Registered Landmark No. 435, installed in 1950 as part of California’s Centennial celebration.

23. Saratoga Fire Bell
Front of the Fire House
The Saratoga Fire Department was composed of volunteers for many years. This has been a firehouse site since 1924. The bell was originally in a tower near 4th and Big Basin and was used to alert the volunteers. It was moved to this location in 2005.

24. Methodist-Episcopal Church
20490 Saratoga-Los Gatos Road
Built in 1895 with a belfry added in 1903, church services ceased in 1924. The building was sold to famed artist Theodore Wores who ran a studio and gallery here until 1939. Wores was California’s first significant native-born painter.

25. Saratoga Federated Church
20390 Park Place
Julia Morgan designed the original Federated Church. The first chapel and Douglass Hall still remain as designed by Morgan, although the church has been expanded. The chapel and hall were completed in 1923.

26.Saratoga Foothill Club
20399 Park Place
Julia Morgan designed this clubhouse in 1915. The architectural style is Craftsman and the interior is of natural redwood. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It has been in continuous use as a women’s club since inception