The Foundation Celebrates 40th Anniversary

April 1st, 2020

This year, the Farrington Historical Foundation celebrates the 40th anniversary of the creation of the Farrington Historical Trust by Dorothy Bogen Farrington. Mrs. Farrington established the trust with the donation of her historic Willow Glen home and grounds to be used as a repository of Santa Clara Valley history, and as the headquarters of the Junior League of San Jose. Mrs. Farrington later contributed a fund to be used for maintaining the Kirk-Farrington property and, when times permitted, to make grants to charitable organizations in Santa Clara County.  Since it began giving grants in 1997, the Foundation has given more than $2.4 million to local non-profit organizations.



Farrington Board Members welcomed our guests

on the front steps of the 1878 Kirk-Farrington House

To mark this landmark occasion, on May 18 the Foundation hosted a garden reception for long-time friends and supporters.  The lower floor of the

Kirk-Farrington House was open for exploring, with docents in each room to answer questions.  A special exhibit of Mrs. Farrington’s antique hats and vintage tea dresses was on display in the Dog Room.  Our visitors stopped to admire the antiques and family photographs throughout the house.  The remodeled Junior League office drew the attention of the many League sustainers attending the party.


It was a lovely day under the shady trees in the rear garden.  Tables draped in pink and decorated with fresh flower arrangements welcomed the guests.  Everyone enjoyed a selection of hors d’oeuvres and cool drinks while listening to the soft strings of the Night Owl Guitar Quartet playing in the rose garden gazebo.  Some guests toured the peony bed and had a walk around the landscaped grounds.  Others enjoyed exploring the 1860s barn at the rear of the property. The barn was rescued  from decay two summers ago and renovated to historical specifications.


A highlight of the day was the announcement of a special 40th Anniversary Grant by board member Steve McCray.  This is a competitive opportunity of up to $40,000 to fund proposals for one-time projects of exceptional merit.  The goal of the 40th Anniversary Grant is to make a significant contribution to developing the capacity of Santa Clara County-based non-profits, either to support one-time capital improvements or purchases, or to undertake creative programs or innovations that will contribute to the citizens of Santa Clara County.


Mrs. Farrington was with us in spirit at the anniversary celebration.  She would be proud of the many good causes that her Foundation has supported over the years and of the wonderful legacy she left behind.


We invite you to enjoy these candid photos of our party!


The day's program



Board member Joselle Kryder toasts the Foundation's 40th year



Gorgeous flowers were provided by board members

Sharon Watts and Dianne Van Voorhis



Guests enjoyed the picture-perfect spring afternoon in the garden



The Night Owl Quartet

entertained with classical guitar music



Our excellent bartenders

Andy Kryder, Brian Bliss, Rich Caligaris and Dick Sheehan

kept the refreshments freely flowing



Tables were set up on the shady grass



Board member Carolyn McCoid

models a vintage hat



Decendents of Socrates Kirk joined the party --

Socrates was the brother of the Theophilus Kirk, the entrepreneur

and orchardist who built the Kirk-Farrington residence



Kevin and Gabrielle Copley --

Kevin has been the official paint contractor 

for our old Victorian home since he was a teen-ager



The party in full swing



 The Junior League table,

including some JL Presidents

 present, future, and past



Farrington board member Al Moore



Lovers of art, antiques and all things Victorian --

Crystal Chow, Steve Yvaska, and Manuel Lima



Our neighbor and local beekeeper, Steve Demkowski



Board member Steve McCray announces

the 40th Anniversary Grant



Local plantsman Jose Ixta and his wife Kathy



Our Farrington clock keeper Michael Georgoff (center),

with wife Pat and Brian Bliss



Board members Sharon Watts and Corrine Fabie



Kirk-Farrington handyman extraordinare Gary Shelgren

 and his companion Marlene Minasian



Junior League Office Manager Linda Bostwick and her pal Khushi



Farrington grant recipients Craig Diserens of Village Harvest (left)

and Loraine Wallace and Tom Ingalz of South Bay Guitar Society

enjoy the afternoon