Faculty Websites Information Class List
  • HIST 17A--U.S. History to the Early National Era
  • HIST 17B--U.S. History, 19th Century
  • HIST 17C--U.S. History, 20th Century 
  • HIST 51--California Political and Diplomatic History          
  • HIST 53--California Sites and Monuments
  • HIST 54--Significant Californians
  • HIST 107--Community History

Mary Jo Ignoffo - History


Mary Jo Ignoffo has written books on local and California history. Some are available through the California History Center (CHC) at De Anza www.calhistory.org or 408-864-8712. Most are also available through Amazon or your favorite book seller.

 Short video on La Verdad

La Verdad: A Witness to the Salvadoran Martyrs is Lucia Cerna's firsthand account of the Salvadoran martrydoms of 1989 and the process of settling in the United States. Oral history interviews and commentary by De Anza instructor Mary Jo Ignoffo.  Orbis Books, 2014.    

                    La Verdad




Captive of the Labyrinth: Sarah L. Winchester, Heiress to the Rifle Fortune                       (2010)       by Mary Jo Ignoffo

Since her death in 1922, Sarah Winchester has been perceived as a mysterious, haunted figure. After inheriting a vast fortune upon the death of her husband in 1881, Sarah purchased a simple farmhouse in San José, California. She began building additions to the house. A hostile press cast Sarah as the conscience of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company—a widow shouldering responsibility for the many deaths caused by the rifle that brought her riches. She was accused of being a ghost-obsessed spiritualist, and to this day it is largely believed that the extensive construction she executed on her San José house was done to appease the ghouls around her.

Was she really as guilt-ridden and superstitious as history remembers her?

ISBN 978-0-8262-1905-3        eISBN 978-0-8262-7237


pres Presenting the President: Press Photos of U.S. Presidents  in Santa Clara County From Ulysses S. Grant to George W. Bush compiled and written by Mary Jo Ignoffo

A collection of press photos of U.S. presidents in Santa Clara County, from Ulysses S. Grant to George W. Bush. Exhibition catalog, 2004. California History Center.






Milestones: A History of Mountain View, California               by Mary Jo Ignoffo

Mountain View was a bustling stagecoach stop on El Camino Real a full fifty years before a city was incorporated there.  Milestones takes us down the road of Mountain View history and marks off the important twists and turns as a community of people that grows up around it—individuals who hail from every nation on earth and participate in an important way in the Silicon Valley and the development of the “information super-highway,” connecting the local community with people around the world.

ISBN 0-935089-28-4  (soft)  ISBN 0-935089-27-6 (cloth)         2002

Proceeds benefit the Mountain View Historical Association. Also available at the Mountain View Public Library.




Gold Rush Politics: California's First Legislature                        by Mary Jo Ignoffo with a foreword by Kevin Starr

Events that led to California’s admission to the Union are told in this lively and colorful narrative of the First Legislature which convened in the midst of the biggest gold rush the world has ever known. This book emphasizes the personalities of California’s early representatives.

Paperback – Feb 2, 2000               ISBN 0-993508-92-25 

Funds return to the State of California





A Meeting of the Minds: A Retrospective of the ToKalon Club of San Jose, California 1903-2003                          by Mary Jo Ignoffo

Today’s ToKalon Club of San Jose, California was established as the Young Woman’s Club in 1903. This book tells the history of the club, from its antecedents in the woman’s club movement sweeping the nation at the turn of the twentieth century. San José history plays a prominent role in this narrative. ISBN 0-935089-29-2        2003.

Proceeds benefit The California History Center Foundation




Santa Clara Sagas by Austen D. Warburton                    edited by Mary Jo Ignoffo

The late Austen Warburton (1917-1995), attorney, philanthropist, patron of the arts and history buff, wrote a series of stories about Santa Clara families which appeared in the Santa Clara American during the 1970s and 1980s. This book is a compilation of those stories, recounting memories and experiences of many immigrant families, and how they came to live in Santa Clara.             1996   ISBN 0-935089-20-9 or ISBN 0-935089-19-5 (soft).




Reflections of the Past An Anthology of San Jose  by        Terry Christensen, Charlene Duval, Ellen Garboske, Phil Grasser, and Mary Jo Ignoffo

edited by Judith Henderson; photo editor Glory Anne Laffey

This collaboration between five authors results in a serious history of San Jose, California that emphasized the multi-cultural diversity that has always distinguished San Jose’s population, the achievements of local women that have been overlooked in other histories, and a number of San Jose “firsts.”

ISBN 1-886483-07-8   Published by Heritage Media Corporation, Encinitas, California





Sunnyvale: From the City of Destiny to the Heart of the Silicon Valley    by Mary Jo Ignoffo

Long before the City of Sunnyvale was incorporated in 1912, it was part of Rancho Pastoria de las Borregas, an old sheep pasture for Mission Santa Clara. The rancho was purchased by land baron Martin Murphy, Jr. where he established a home for his large family. This book traces the history of Sunnyvale from its earliest days to the emergence of the Silicon Valley after World War II, and the demise of agriculture.

Paperback. 1994          ISBN 0-935089-17-9

email Email: Mary Jo Ignoffo

California History Center
by appointment

History Department

Last Updated: 5/5/14