Our Annual Founders Dinner was a memorable event on several fronts. More than 200 community members attended to enjoy a delicious dinner, watch our newest Stories from the Past film, and socialize with friends old and new.
At the event, we launched a new tradition with “Stewards of History,” which recognizes people who contribute their time and talent to the mission of the Morgan Hill Historical Society.
For those who weren’t able to join us, we’d like to share a few words about our “Stewards of History” 2023 honorees below.
Ellie is a former MHHS board member and a long-time Property Manager of Villa Mira Monte, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. Ellie ran the History Museum in its original location and through its move to Villa Mira Monte. She also manages rental of Villa Mira Monte for weddings, reunions and community events. Last but not least, Ellie originated the Boutiques, a popular Historical Society tradition.
Beth is a former board member and President of the Historical Society, former Mayor of Morgan Hill, Adjunct Professor of History at San Jose State University, and author of the book, “Hiram Morgan Hill: The Man, Not the Mountain,” chronicling the life of our City’s namesake. Beth has been an effective advocate in preserving local historic sites over the years.
Kathy is a former board member and President of the Historical Society. Over the years, she forged a partnership with the City of Morgan Hill that continues to this day. Kathy has played a leadership role in the stewardship of Villa Mira Monte and the creation of community programs, from traditional Tea celebrations to History Conversations and the Historic Downtown Walking Tours. She also provided a vision for the Historical Society’s documentary film program, now in its 10th year.
Sandy and David de la Cuesta
Sandy is a former board member and Treasurer of the Historical Society, overseeing the financial matters of the Historical Society for many years. Sandy has played an active role in the Historical Society’s programs and events, from the Founders Dinner to the Prohibition Party and Community Picnics. Sandy’s husband Dave has been a steadfast volunteer in many areas from organizing and engaging local students as volunteers at Historical Society events, to decorating the Villa Mira Monte for the holidays.
Janie and Roger Knopf
Janie is a past board member, Treasurer, and long-time volunteer with the Historical Society. She contributed her fine art, graphic design and computer skills to the renovation of the Hiram Morgan Hill House and the History Museum as well as the Centennial History Trail. She co-chaired the City’s Centennial Celebration with Jennifer Tate, and she helped launch the Historical Society’s boutiques.
Roger is current board President of the Historical Society. Previously he contributed his professional expertise as a general contractor, supervising aspects of renovation of the History Museum and the construction of the Centennial History Trail. Current projects underway include plans for development of the back of Villa Mira Monte and installing the Popper Jasper monument next to the Museum.
Mike is a former board member of the Historical Society and a former Santa Clara County park ranger. An avid history buff, Mike channels his research and writing talents into historic preservation awareness and advocacy in South County. He fosters community dialogue and encourages preservation of unique stories and sites, from Charles Kellogg’s home to Henry Miller’s ranch and the Chitactac-Adams Park to the Red Barn in Gilroy.
Rich began volunteering with the Historical Society many years ago through his wife Margo who serves on the board. His contributions are wide-ranging, from serving wine at tonight’s event, to serving as an actor in one of the Historical Society’s films. Whether he’s hanging Christmas lights, painting the porch trim, or changing light bulbs, Rich is a generous, cheerful, can-do kind of guy and part of the family who become friends through volunteering at Villa Mira Monte.
Susan is a former board member and President of the Historical Society. She helped create the Living History Days, which brought community members to Villa Mira Monte to experience all aspects of early Morgan Hill life, from churning butter to shoeing horses. Susan was involved at the start of the historic renovation of Hiram Morgan Hill House. She also initiated the Hike up El Toro. The steep hike was popular in its heyday with residents making the trek for the reward of a beautiful 360-degree view from old Murphy’s Peak.