Custom Search
CivicLifeSportsSchoolsBusinessFoodOur HomesLetters/OpinionsCalendar

Published April 1st, 2020
Moraga Historical Society puts even more info at your fingertips
Moraga Historical Society's History Center Photo Vera Kochan

If you love history, especially Moraga's, you'll be happy to know that the Moraga Historical Society has revamped its website to offer users more information than ever before.
MHS was founded in 1965 when Saint Mary's College's Brother Dennis Goodman and Moraga resident Maggie Skinner began storing town history at SMC. With a mission to "preserve knowledge about the history of the Rancho Laguna de los Palos Colorados, land now occupied by the Town of Moraga and portions of the cities of Orinda and Lafayette," the basis for today's MHS was formed.
The MHS home base now resides in the History Center, a three room structure attached to the Moraga library located at 1500 St. Mary's Road. Archives, vertical files, books, photos, historical paperwork and a meeting room are manned by volunteer members of the historical society. Past longtime archivists have included Elsie Mastick, Margaret DePriester and Mary Ostrander.
MHS president Susan Sperry is excited about the new website and how it offers users a wider range of information that was previously only accessible by visiting the History Center. "John Kaiser and Susan Skilton are responsible for upgrading our website," said Sperry. "Rather than continue mailing out a newsletter, we've discovered that we can save money by setting one up electronically."
The new Key People Archives page is probably one of the more impressive additions. It lists persons of historical interest, where they resided and birth/death dates. Under "Notes" there's a brief description of their ties to the area along with what sources for further research are available at the History Center.
The website also offers maps of Saint Mary's College, the town of Moraga and Rheem, while the history section describes turning points in Moraga's history along with historical sites and a section on railroads with photographs.
A timesaving feature is the Repositories section where numerous regional historical society websites and libraries offering historical sections are just a click away for anyone doing an extensive research project or merely satisfying their inner history-buff cravings.
The online store offers Moraga-related items such as a large throw depicting historic locations, note cards and books.
Lest we forget one of Moraga's agricultural icons, there is a History of Pears in Moraga section that contains an award-winning Moraga Pear Pie recipe.
Several MHS members have received awards from the Conference of California Historical Societies through the years. The website lists 14 of its recipients who have won recognition in the fields of merit, preservation, author/scholastic and individual accomplishment.
"We had a much larger membership in 2000, but people have either moved or passed away," said Sperry. "Our membership has declined from several hundred to about 100 now." The MHS makes its presence known with booths at the Moraga Community Fair, the Fourth of July celebration and the Pear Festival. It is hoped that the new website will be an attractive lure to increase interest and membership. To that end, there is also a Contact page with information about becoming a member or volunteer.
To check out the new MHS website, visit www.Moragahistory.org. For additional information call (925) 376-3053.

print story

Before you print this article, please remember that it will remain in our archive for you to visit anytime.
download pdf
(use the pdf document for best printing results!)
Send your comment to:
Reach the reporter at:

This article was published on Page A4:

Quick Links for LamorindaWeekly.com
send artwork to:
Classified ads
Lamorinda Service Directory
About us and How to Contact us
Letter to the Editor
Send stories or ideas to:
Send sports stories and photos to:
Subscribe to receive a delivered or mailed copy
Subscribe to receive storylinks by email
Our Homes
Copyright Lamorinda Weekly, Moraga CA