Cupertino Historical Society & Museum

Monta Vista Walking Guide Program


Monta Vista is an unincorporated settlement that has turned into a neighborhood on the western side of Cupertino. As one of the oldest neighborhoods of Cupertino, it has plenty of interesting history. There is substantial documentation available of Monta Vista's history, but it is scattered among many documents. There is a desire to connect the pertinent stories and assemble them into a walking guide for the neighborhood. As there are many new residents as well as that the old timers are passing on, it is important that the stories of the stories of the neighborhood be collected and passed on to future generations. Walking guides also serve as boosters for the local economy by giving both locals and visitors to stay and shop in the business establishments. Far from being just another suburban tract, Monta Vista has interesting stories to tell and and show as not everything has been demolished in the name of progress.


A draft of the guide has already been written and is on its fourth revision. Gaps in the story lines have been shown and memories are not as clear as we would like. To fill those gaps we are searching through the archives as well as also talking to the old timers. Oral histories are being collected and the archives are being digitized so the more people can access the raw information and find the answers to the pending gaps as well as additional finding yet more interesting facts and events.


The digitization of the archives should be done by the end of 2023. Organizing and indexing it will take longer. But any Monta Vista related stories are being identified during digitization and kept for use in the project. A fifth draft is due around October 2023. The acquisition of oral histories is taking longer than expected. The pandemic has left the old-timers in a state to be less willing meet strange people with recorders and cameras. With the reopening of socialization, we hope that we can secure the appointments we need.


Paula Quinterno - Paula is the visionary and champion of this project. She is a third generation Monta Vista resident. A retired geologist with the United States Geological Survey who specialized in oceanic micropalaeontology she has the smarts and detail to make this happen.

Edwin El-Kareh - As an engineer who enjoys writing and illustrating reports, this project was an excellent way for him to put his talents to work for the organization. His knowledge of the history of technology also allows him to add context to each story.

How to Help

  1. Provide more information about Monta Vista History. Any pictures, documents, brochures, advertisements, stories, or other items relating to the history of Monta Vista, the Peninsula Interurban railroad, any of the businesses in the area (especially those on Bubb Road in the late twentieth century) would be greatly appreciated. In particular we want to know what the inside of the Hoo Hoo house looked like and also what the Varian house/farm looked like. Please contact us at if you have anything to contribute.

  2. We feel that this guide would have the most positive impact in creating a sense of community and in increasing business visits if it was in print form and put in the hands of residents and visitors. While the guide will also be available online, the concept that Monta Vista has an interesting history is so new to most people that only something in their hands is likely to entice them to explore the subject.
    For any business that would like to reach the general public (such as real estate, insurance, or hospitality) with a message that will keep their customer's attention for a long period of time who would be willing to underwrite the printing & distribution costs, we would be most willing to put advertisements in the guide. We also would be interested in telling the history of the sponsor beyond what is needed to acquire customer interest for the firm. If multiple businesses would like to join together to sponsor the guide, we can make that work also. We all win if Monta Vista is seen as an interesting place to visit and spend some time exploring. Contact us at if this could potentially meet your marketing goals.

  3. A generous individual donation of $2000 was made specifically towards this project. Additional funds would allow us to get expert staff time to support the project. In particular, prioritizing the location, cataloging and indexing of Monta Vista specific papers.

    Monta Vista Walking Guide Donation:

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  4. However, this project cannot stand alone by itself. It needs other CHSM projects to move forward so that it has all the necessary historical information. Support for the following additional projects would strongly help the Monta Vista Walking Guide get completed:

    • The Oral History Program which provide us the infrastructure to conduct oral history interviews
    • The Collections Management Program which digitizes and organizes all the archives so we can find all the little gems of Monta Vista history tucked away in all those papers
    • The Sharing History Program which allows anybody to see the contents of the archives so that by reading and studying the thousands of pages in the archive they can help us discover new facts and stories about Monta Vista

The Current Version of the Walking Guide Prototype (not finished at all)

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