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Historic Sites

Agilent Technologies

Formerly HP, Agilent’s location is a National Historical Chemical Landmark because it is the birthplace of nuclear magnetic resonance (a function of MRI’s).

5301 Stevens Creek Blvd., Santa Clara, CA 95051

Agnews Historic Cemetery and Museum

Museum housing artifacts from the Agnews Developmental Center which for 120 years housed people with mental and physical disabilities. Tours are free, but museum is only open Fridays between 10am and 2pm.

1250 Hope Drive, Santa Clara, CA 95054

Berryessa Adobe

The city’s oldest adobe structure features documents, objects, and other artifacts from the era before California’s statehood in 1850. Open Thursdays and Saturdays 12 noon to 4:00 pm.

373 Jefferson Street near Santa Clara University

Harris-Lass House Museum

Santa Clara’s last preserved farm site includes a large full furnished Italianate-style home, barn, summer kitchen, and a tankhouse. Guided tours aid visitors in learning about local history and life in the early 1900s. Museum hours are Saturday and Sundays from 12 noon to 4:00 p.m. Admission is $3.00 for adults and $2.00 for students and seniors. Operated by the Historic Preservation Society of Santa Clara. Please check our website or message line for our opening times as we are not open every day.

1889 Market St., Santa Clara, CA 95051

Headen-Inman House

The Headen-Inman House includes a museum with photographs and artifacts related to the history of Santa Clara. Rotating exhibits by the Santa Clara Art Association are on display. The museum is open most Sundays from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. Admission is free.

1509 Warburton Avenue

Historic Photographs of Santa Clara

Copies of more than 150 historic photographs of the City of Santa Clara are on display at City Hall. From photographs of a 1917 parade, to the Santa Clara Mission after a 1926 fire, pioneer aviator John J. Montgomery with his aeroplane the “Santa Clara” (c. 1905), a shot of the east side of Main Street between Franklin and Liberty St. (c. 1890), to portrait photos of Santa Clara’s earliest residents (Morse, Franck, Bacigalupi, Eberhard, and others), these photographs were installed for the City’s 140th anniversary in 1992, and have remained as a tribute to Santa Clara’s rich and interesting past. The photographs are available for viewing weekdays, from 7:30am to 5pm. Tour booklets are available from the City Manager’s Office; order forms are available at the City Hall Information Desk.

1500 Warburton Avenue

Historic Walking Tour

Take the self-guided walking tour of historic Santa Clara, with stops at 36 homes and structures that played important roles in the history of the City, and Region. Mission Santa Clara, the first stop on the tour, is a State Historical Landmark (No. 338), and the next stop, the Santa Clara Railroad Depot, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Print out the map and home descriptions and select a few of the sites located in the same general area for an easy morning or afternoon stroll.

Mission Santa Clara de Asis

The eighth of 21 missions built in California, founded in 1777 by the Spanish Franciscans. (California Historical Landmark No. 338). The mission and surrounding Mission Gardens are on the grounds of picturesque Santa Clara University.

500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95050

Santa Clara Fire Museum

The Santa Clara Fire Museum houses firefighting artifacts and memorabilia that firefighters have used since 1855. The museum is operated by volunteers from the Saint Clare Hook & Ladder Historical Society, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to providing fire and life-safety education to members of our community. The museum is open Sundays from noon to 5 PM.

1900 Walsh Avenue, Santa Clara, CA 95050

Santa Clara Woman’s Club Adobe

One of the oldest adobe structures in Northern California, and a state registered historical landmark (CA Historical Landmark No. 249), the adobe has origins dating to 1784. Built in 1790, the structure was originally part of a row of houses for married Indian couples.

3260 The Alameda, Santa Clara, CA 95050

Santa Clara’s Oldest Document

The black notebook in the corner of the garage on Benton Street in Santa Clara looked like nothing special. It was only when Danny O’Neal and his wife, Mollie, saw the faded writing on the blue pages inside that they realized they might have something historic on their hands. It was a court docket book for the township of Santa Clara dating from 1850-1852, the earliest known court record for a still-unincorporated Santa Clara. It told a story of envy, treachery, chaos and hope.

South Bay Historical Railroad Society

Two operational scale model railroad layout displays depicting various railroad eras and operations venues, plus areas devoted to artifacts and other railroad-related objects. Open 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. on Tuesdays and 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. on Saturdays. Located at the Santa Clara Depot (at Caltrain station).

1005 Railroad Avenue

Stroll Into the Past

A self-guided tour of Santa Clara history leads visitors through a series of 28 plaques tracing the city’s history from a Native American settlement to its present status as the internationally recognized center of technology innovation.

Tour begins at the Santa Clara Civic Center, corner of Civic Center Drive and Lincoln Avenue

Books on Santa Clara’s History

Please note: All these titles can be found in the book collection of the Santa Clara City Library. Some of these titles are also available for sale at the Friends of the Library Book Store, at the Santa Clara Central Park Library.

2635 Homestead Road

Santa Clara County Historical & Genealogical Society

The international genealogy collection and the Santa Clara County Early Settler files of the Genealogical Society are housed in the Heritage Pavilion of the Santa Clara City Central Park Library. The Heritage Pavilion also provides online access to genealogy databases and includes a collection of research materials on Santa Clara City history. For more information, contact Local History Librarian Mary Hanel, phone (408) 615-2909 or email mhanel@ci.santa-clara.ca.us

2635 Homestead Road

Santa Clara Historic Home Tour

Annual Santa Clara Historic Home Tour usually held the first weekend of December. Past tours have included historic private homes, the Berryessa Adobe, Carmelite Monastery, and the Harris-Lass Museum. Call (408) 249-7905, or email info@sc-hometour.com for more information.

Santa Clara Historic Properties

Santa Clara has many historic homes and structures that played important roles in the history of the City and Region. These properties have been brought together in an online storyboard that includes photos, maps and historical information.

Silicon Valley History Online

Approximately 1,000 historic photographs, manuscripts and other images of Santa Clara Valley history can be accessed online. From the home page, visitors to the site can explore materials in six major themes: agriculture, education, people, technology, transportation, or urban life. For more information about Silicon Valley History Online, contact Local History Librarian Mary Hanel, phone (408) 615-2909 or email mhanel@ci.santa-clara.ca.us