Valley Speaks

Since 2008, "Valley Speaks" has been hosting guest speakers who share their experiences and history in the Santa Maria Valley on the second Saturday of each month. Talks are given at the Santa Maria Public Library at 11:00am in Shepard Hall.


Excerpts from the Santa Maria Times. Mike Farris, a resident of Los Alamos and a longtime member of the Santa Maria Genealogical Society. Farris' talk will feature excerpts from the Santa Maria Times, news items that will cover much of the history of the Santa Maria Valley.
Tall Tales of our Town. Larry Lavagnino and Jim Glines.
Basketball in Santa Maria. Valley Speaks and the Santa Maria Historical Society will be presenting the history of the early 1950s Santa Maria Golden Dukes and the 1957 Hancock Jr. College State Basketball Champions.
Boy Scout Troop 91, by Jim Calahane, Scoutmaster. BSA Troop 91 is the longest continuously chartered Boy Scout troop in the Santa Maria Valley.
Santa Maria Valley Athletic Club Redskins and the Santa Maria Hawks, by Eddie Navarro, Jim Draper, and Don Moshier
Santa Maria’s All-America City designation, by Bob Orach
Santa Maria Elks Lodge 1538, by Bill Wurth
Santa Maria Times, Managing Editor Marga Cooley, Sports Editor Elliott Stern and Digital Producer Jason Anderson will tell the paper's story in pictures and words, from that first weekly edition to today
James "Joe" Murray Hagerman, journalist, Managing Editor SM Times, sportscaster, and chairman of the Santa Maria Recreation and Parks Commission for 31 years; by Doug Dougherty
Sadie West, Santa Maria’s first female council member, real estate agent, and oil woman; by Cindy Ransick
Smith-Enos Farmhouse, JoAnn Smith Wilson
Boys and Girls Club of Santa Maria, Bill Libbon
High Crimes and Misdemeanors, Jim Zemaitis
History of Altrusa and Festival of Trees, Melinda Aguire
Santa Maria Valley WWI Veterans, Roger Hall
North SB County Cemeteries, Shirley Contreras
Los Alamos Valley, R. Lawson Gamble.
Buena Vista Beautifiers and Campfire Girls, Heather Weare.
VTC Enterprises. Kirk Spry, retired chief executive officer of VTC Enterprises, will discuss the history of the organization in Santa Maria, as well as his time directing it. One of the topics he will cover, in particular, is that, although VTC Enterprises is a nonprofit organization, he believes in maintaining a strong business-oriented approach to managing his organization. That philosophy has resulted in a budget that is 70-percent funded by revenue generated from sales from the business side of the organization, not from state government sources.
Knudsen's Creamery. Following the talk, at noon, a book signing for Laura Lee Tognazzini Dias? "The Purple Cow, a Dairy Daughter's Heritage" will take place at the Santa Maria Valley Historical Museum. Tognazzini, daughter of a longtime dairy farmer in the Guadalupe, will give a firsthand account of the history of dairy farming in the area.
May's subject will be Minerva Thornburg, who is credited with helping bring the first public library to our city.
Barron Smith, Civil War historian, will talk about Santa Maria's connections to the Civil War. This year marks the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War. The Museum currently features a special Civil War display.
Peggy Sue Hesselbarth Blough, board chair of the Santa Maria Valley YMCA.
Cindy Ransick, executive director of the Museum, spoke about Ethel-May Dorsey Conrad, who passed away in 1991. She helped form the Santa Maria Valley Historical Society in 1955 after a career as a singer and a stint heading up fundraising efforts during World War II. She was the Historical Society's first president.
Jim Bray spoke on "W. W. Orcutt - Oil and the Community." Jim is Pacific Coast Energy Company's public and government affairs manager.


Previous Speakers Have Included:

Dick Weldon, Harrell Fletcher, Larry Lavagnino, Meg Smith, Curtis Tunnell, Laura Tognazzini and Norma DeBernadi, Jim Glines, Shirley Boydstun, Angel Bourbon, Tetsuo Furukawa and Jack Morishima, Janice and Glenn Battles, Patrick Sheehy, Dee Dee Benford, Richard Adam, John Wickenden, Gen Span, Marge and Joe Taulagon

DVDs of some speakers are available for $12.00 each at the Museum.


Annual SMV Strawberry Festival

April 28-30, 2017
The Santa Maria Valley Strawberry Festival kicks of the valley's Strawberry Season, supports our local agriculture and encourages the healthy indulgence of strawberries, all in a fun filled, three day weekend community event.

Talk at SLO Train Day

May 13, 2017
Cindy Ransick will talk about her new book, Historic Santa Maria Valley, at the San Luis Obispo Railroad Museum's Nation Train Day, 12:30pm. The museum is located at 1940 Santa Barbara Avenue, San Luis Obispo.

Santa Maria Elks Rodeo and Parade

June 1-4, 2017

Special Little League Display: