Sunnyvale Historical Society and Museum Association, Inc.  
Sunnyvale Heritage Park Museum


The Historical Society tried several times in the past 40 years to construct a museum. In 2002, we were successful in creating an alliance with the City of Sunnyvale to anchor the project. The City donated the land at the Orchard Heritage Park and committed $500,000 in the form of a grant.

The Museum to be constructed was to be a near replica of the Murphy Family home. The Murphy Family were among the original settlers in the Santa Clara Valley and pre-dated the Donner party. The original home was constructed in Maine then taken apart and shipped around the horn through San Francisco bay and reconstructed in what is now Sunnyvale. Sunnyvale was originally called Murphy Station as the Murphy family donated land to extend the railroad and were awarded a train stop. The home was destroyed following a fire in 1961 and to make the right of way for what is now Central Expressway.

Rendering of Museum Project Scope:
  • Build a near replica of the original "Murphy Family Home" within the Orchard Heritage Park site.
  • Provide space for the Sunnyvale Historical Society's child education program to accommodate 3000 students per year.
  • Display permanent and rotating exhibits for the public to see the evolution of the Sunnyvale Area.
Site Plan Benefits to the Community and our Ongoing Goals:
  • Preserve artifacts entrusted to the care of the Sunnyvale Historical Society.
  • Promote pride in Sunnyvale and Valley heritage through displays, newsletters, and participation in community events.
  • Educate people of all ages through docent led presentations for school children and adults, Scouts, and other members of various organizations visiting the Museum.
  • Display exhibits at schools.
  • Hold community events.
  • Provide a unique historical presentation of local history to Museum visitors.
First Floor Plan Project Accomplishments:
  • Received an award from the City of Sunnyvale for a site at the Orchard Heritage Park for the Museum and a $500,000 Grant to go toward construction of the Building.
  • Completed research and analysis of the former Murphy home.
  • Facilitated the move and restoration of the Bianchi Barn.
  • Raised funds to build and complete the Orchard Heritage Interpretive Exhibit in May of 2001.
  • Completed a site plan to include the Orchard Heritage Park, a working era Barn, the Orchard Heritage Park Interpretive Exhibit and the near replica of the Murphy Home to be used as the Heritage Park Museum.
  • Completed construction, and had an official Grand Opening.
Second Floor Plan Project Timing and Status:

  • Gain City Approval for the Project
  • Completed - September 2002
  • Retain Architect and Engineers
  • Completed - September 2002
  • Initiate Fundraising
  • Completed - September 2002
  • Complete and gain approval for the site plan
  • Completed - December 2002
  • Complete Design
  • Completed - March 2003
  • Relocate the Barn
  • Completed - April 2003
  • Achieve Funding
  • Completed - March 2006
  • Start Construction
  • Completed - April 2007
  • Project Dedication
  • Completed - September 2008