'Legendary Locals of Los Gatos' Book Is Coming Soon!

Legendary Locals of Los Gatos [Paperback] Peggy Conaway Bergtold (Author), Stephanie Ross Mathews (Author). Photo: Amazon.
Legendary Locals of Los Gatos [Paperback] Peggy Conaway Bergtold (Author), Stephanie Ross Mathews (Author). Photo: Amazon.
By Mary Ann Cook, Program Chairman for Friends of Los Gatos Library

The long-awaited, zealously researched book about Los Gatos characters - some villainous, but mostly honorable - will be out May 31.  

Titled "Legendary Locals of Los Gatos," the book will be launched at a 
reception from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the Fireplace Room and patio of the library,
sponsored by the Friends of Los Gatos Library.

"Legendary Locals of Los Gatos" is the work of Peggy Conaway Bergtold, retired library director, and Stephanie Ross Mathews, formerly on the board of the Art and History Museums of Los Gatos.
Both authors are local historians who have written previous books for Arcadia Publishing, publisher of the new book.

The authors were aided by four members of the library's History Project, the team that is digitizing Los Gatos' past to protect it for the future.

Those four are long-time Los Gatans Betty Balch Chase, Kathy Cusick, Lyn
Dougherty and Donn Waters.  

Librarian Melissa Maglio also assisted the team.  Together the group chose 180 personalities to honor with the book, giving brief bios and photos of each.

Historical figures selected outnumber the living; and because women's lives were often constricted in the 19th and early 20th centuries, men dominate women two to one. Most of those chosen led lives that benefited the community; some were simply hard-working citizens. Some overcame terrible adversity; a few were desperadoes.

Examples of Los Gatos legends are evident on the book's cover: Steve Wozniak; Mountain Charley's wife, Barbara Berricke Kelly McKiernan; and Charles Erskine Scott Wood, who built the Cats estate.

Also pictured are Olympians Chris von Saltza and Peggy Fleming;restaurateurs Chris Benson and John Hannegan; and Bruce and Diane Ogilvie.  

The back cover features Louis O. Sporleder Sr., businessman and volunteer firefighter; and Neta Snook Southern, the aviatrix who taught Amelia Earhart to fly.

It was a daunting task of winnowing, writing and weaving that this history team set in motion two years ago, after receiving an invitation to write a book for Arcadia Publishing's new imprint, "Legendary Locals."

Legends and their families will be invited to attend, as well as the public. Books will be for sale by the Friends of the Library, the Museums of Los Gatos, and various retail outlets around town.  

They can also be ordered through any of the major online booksellers.

All royalties from the new book will be donated to the library's History Trust Fund for the purchase of additions to the local history collection at the library.


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