Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Support for preservation of Historic Wintersburg from Huntington Beach Historic Resources Board

ABOVE: Toshiko Furuta holds her sister, Grace, with Kazuko and Etsuko Furuta, near the Wintersburg Avenue frontage of the Gold Fish Farm, circa 1928.  The children are east of the barn, behind the Furuta's 1912 bungalow, A glimpse of an automobile just inside the barn.  Yukiko Furuta recalled in her 1982 oral history interview when her husband, Charles Mitsuji Furuta, bought their first automobile, a Chevy, after their second child, Toshiko, was born in 1916.  She shared that she was "scared to ride in it. The street was not well paved, and they could drive only twenty to twenty-five miles an hour." The Furuta barn is the last extant pioneer barn in Huntington Beach. Historic Wintersburg is one of the the last remaining Japanese-owned properties purchased before California's Alien Land Law of 1913.  (Photograph courtesy of the Furuta family) © ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

   The City of Huntington Beach Historic Resources Board transmitted a letter to the Huntington Beach City Council, following the Board's February 8 special meeting, to convey their support for the preservation of Historic Wintersburg "in the strongest possible terms."  The Board requests the City Council "facilitate discussion between the property owner and those capable of purchasing and protecting Historic Wintersburg."

LEFT: Letter sent from the City of Huntington Beach Historic Resources Board to the City Council after the Board's February 8 special meeting. The Board acts in an advisory capacity, with a mission "to encourage and promote programs and activities that enhance public awareness of historic resources (and) as a liaison to Council for local, state and federal groups and agencies whose interest involves historic issues.

   The Historic Resources Board previously  supported the preservation of Historic Wintersburg, in a 2014 letter to the Orange County Historical Commission, an advisory body to the Orange County Board of Supervisors. The letter noted that then-owner Rainbow Environmental Services stated they would work with the community to preserve the historic goldfish farm and mission property.  The Historic Wintersburg Preservation Task Force ultimately funded the analysis cited in the letter through community donations.

   The Orange County Historical Commission transmitted a letter to the Huntington Beach Planning Commission in 2013, during public hearings regarding the possible rezoning  to commericial / industrial and proposed demolition of all six historic structures, by the previous owner of the property, Rainbow Environmental Services. This letter was included in the subsequent review by the Huntington Beach City Council.

RIGHT: Letter from  the City of Huntington Beach Historic Resources Board to the Orange County Historical Commission in 2013. Both the City board and the County commission advocated for the preservation of Historic Wintersburg.

   Although the Huntington Beach City Council in a split vote certified the Environmental Impact Report for the rezoning and demolition in November 2013, this action was halted when the Ocean View School District filed two separate lawsuits, against the City and against Rainbow Environmental.  After the School District's settlement with the City and Republic Services in November 2016 (Republic bought Rainbow Environmental Services at the end of 2015), the property reverted to its prior residential zoning. 
ABOVE: Grading in 1908 for the construction of Huntington Beach High School's first permanent buildings, near what is today Main Street and Yorktown Avenue. At the same time in 1908, Charles Furuta and Reverend Terasawa purchased the land that is known today as Historic Wintersburg. (Photograph, City of Huntington Beach archives, 1908)

   As part of the settlement agreement between the School District and Republic Services, the District retained "first right of refusal" should Republic consider selling Historic Wintersburg.  Development of the property for self storage (the current project proposed by Republic Services notice of their plan to sell to Public Storage) would require another environmental review under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).  

   All six structures on Historic Wintersburg are each classified as individually eligible for the state and national historic registries, with documentation regarding this in the City of Huntington Beach General Plan's Historic and Cultural Element.  The property is considered significant per state guidelines, which state a resource identified as significant in an historical resource survey which meets the requirements of the California Public Resources Code, shall be presumed to be historically or culturally significant unless the preponderance of evidence demonstrates that it is not.  Historic Wintersburg is noted as historically and culturally significant and is one of 100 National Treasure historic places in the United States, the first and only National Treasure in Orange County.

LEFT: A July 2013 letter from the Orange County Historical Commission advocating for the preservation of Historic Wintersburg.  The Commission is a 15-member citizen advisory group appointed from each of the five Supervisory Districts in Orange County. Their public mission is to "promote the preservation and use of buildings, sites, structures, objects, and districts of importance in Orange County, stimulate and encourage financial and partnership support for projects in the public and private sectors."  Among their accomplishments are the "acquisition and planning of Orange County historical parks, including: Heritage Hill, Irvine Ranch Headquarters, Key Ranch, Modjeska House and Gardens, Peralta Adobe, and Yorba Cemetery."

ABOVE: Orange County history from 1863 to 1908.  A glimpse inside the 1891 St. George's Episcopal Mission at Orange County's Heritage Hill Historical Park prior to a 2016 presentation about Historic Wintersburg for the Saddleback Area Historical Society.  Although the St. George's mission has slightly taller ceilings, it is similar in size to the 1909-1910 Wintersburg Japanese Mission. Heritage Hill Historical Park also is similar in size to the Historic Wintersburg property.  The Park's 4.1 acres includes four restored historic buildings that span the early history of the Saddleback Valley and El Toro area from the Mexican Rancho era (Serrano Adobe, circa 1863), to the founding of the town of El Toro (El Toro Grammar School, 1890; St. George's Episcopal Mission, 1891), ending with the citrus farming days of the early twentieth century (Harvey Bennett Ranch House, 1908).  Heritage Hill is open to the public, Tuesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Photo, M. Urashima, January 23, 2016) © ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

   Purchased for the Furuta goldfish farm and Wintersburg Japanese Mission in 1908, Historic Wintersburg can continue the history of Orange County exactly where Heritage Hill Historical Park leaves off, if preserved as a historical park for future generations.

© All rights reserved.  No part of the Historic Wintersburg blog may be reproduced or duplicated without prior written permission from the author and publisher, M. Adams Urashima.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Day of Remembrance: 76th anniversary

ABOVE: Girl and Boy Scouts with the Nishi Hongwanji Buddhist Temple in Little Tokyo carry in the banners of the major confinement camps into the hall at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles. An eleventh banner (not shown) represented the Department of Justice and military detention centers, to which those classified as "enemy alien" were incarcerated. Those in the audience stand as the banner for the camp where they or their family were incarcerated. (Photo, M. Urashima, February 17, 2018) © ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

   February 19 marks the annual Day of Remembrance, the anniversary of the authorization of Executive Order 9066, which mandated the forced removal and incarceration of Americans of Japanese descent during World War II.  The majority of the 120,000 Japanese Americans incarcerated were U.S. citizens.

   Everyone associated with the Historic Wintersburg property--farmers, clergy, and congregation of the Wintersburg Japanese Mission--was incarcerated as a result of Executive Order 9066.  The majority of those from the Wintersburg Village and Huntington Beach area were incarcerated at the Colorado River Relocation Center, Poston, Arizona.

   The national listing of Day of Remembrance events is provided by the Japanese American Citizens League, national events directory.

   Historic Wintersburg participated in the Day of Remembrance at the Japanese American National Museum. Photographs of the event are on our Facebook page, Day of Remembrance 2018.

© All rights reserved.  No part of the Historic Wintersburg blog may be reproduced or duplicated without prior written permission from the author and publisher, M. Adams Urashima.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Manzanar Committee issues call to Huntington Beach for preservation of Historic Wintersburg


   LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA (February 15, 2018) — The Manzanar Committee, sponsor of the annual Manzanar Pilgrimage since 1969, along with the Manzanar At Dusk program, for the last 21 years, calls on the City Council of the City of Huntington Beach to act to preserve and protect the site of Historic Wintersburg, which is currently threatened by the proposed sale of the land by Republic Services, Inc. to Public Storage.

   "Our experience with establishing the Manzanar National Historic Site demonstrates the overwhelming positive impact preserving our nations’ history can have,” stated Manzanar Committee Co-Chair Bruce Embrey. “The economic, social, and cultural benefits to the Owens Valley are tremendously positive, bringing economic development and jobs."

   Read the statement from the Manzanar Commitee at https://blog.manzanarcommittee.org/2018/02/15/historic-wintersburg/ 

 © All rights reserved.  No part of the Historic Wintersburg blog may be reproduced or duplicated without prior written permission from the author and publisher, M. Adams Urashima.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Huntington Beach Historic Resources Board votes to support preservation of Historic Wintersburg

ABOVE: Kanji Sahara speaks before the City of Huntington Beach Historic Resources Board and City Council liaisons on February 7 at Huntington Beach city hall.  Sahara is a member of the Nikkei for Civil Rights and Redress, the Japanese American Citizens League, a board member for the Tuna Canyon Coalition, and an advisor for the Historic Wintersburg Preservation Task Force. A California public radio reporter recorded the public comments for an upcoming feature. (Photo, M. Urashima, February 7, 2018) © ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

   The City of Huntington Beach Historic Resources Board voted unanimously on February 7 (member Charles Epting absent) to support the preservation of Historic Wintersburg and send a letter to the City Council regarding their recommendation.

RIGHT: Phil Chinn, member of the Orange County Historical Commission, spoke in support of the preservation of Historic Wintersburg to the Historic Resources board. The Orange County Historical Commission was established by the Board of Supervisors in 1973 and is an advisory commission to the Orange County Board of Supervisors. (Photo, M. Urashima, February 7, 2018) © ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

      The mission of the Historic Resources Board is "to encourage and promote programs and activities that enhance public awareness of historic resources. The Historic Resources Board acts as an advisory body to City Council as well as a liaison to Council for local, state and federal groups and agencies whose interest involves historic issues."The Board's role is to advise on "issues of preservation of historic, commercial, and residential structures and sites...to insure that historic preservation and services are considered in the planning for future development of the community."

LEFT: One of the letters received by the Historic Resources Board, advocating the preservation of Historic Wintersburg. Preserve Orange County's mission is "to work through education and advocacy to promote conservation of our county’s architectural and cultural heritage. We believe that historic resources are essential to maintaining and improving the livability, diversity, sustainability and economic vitality of our communities." 

   Speaker Steve Nagano, a board member with the Little Tokyo Historical Society in Los Angeles, spoke regarding the loss of Japanese American heritage, "California had more than 40 'Japan towns' at one time but is now down to three."  

    Nancy Oda, president of the Tuna Canyon Detention Station Coalition, advocated for preservation, stating, "I think you want to leave a legacy for your children." (Huntington Beach advisory panel pledges support for preserving Wintersburg, Los Angeles Times, February 8, 2018)

  Other speakers and supporters at the meeting included Huntington Beach residents, and local and regional historical organizations, some driving two hours or more to attend the meeting. 

  The board listened to an overview of the history and communications with Republic Services regarding the purchase of the property, as well as participated in a discussion regarding Republic's communications to City officials that they plan to sell the Historic Wintersburg property to Public Storage for self storage development.  City Council liaisons Lyn Semeta and Erik Peterson also were in attendance.



RIGHT: A letter receive by the City of Huntington Beach from the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles, California. Historic Wintersburg screened the national premier of "Our American Family: The Furutas" at the Museum in February 2015, before the PBS program aired nationwide and has been part of presentations at the Museum on the history of Historic Wintersburg, Orange County's Japanese American community, and the history of the Tuna Canyon Detention Station.

   The statement with recommendation to support the preservation of Historic Wintersburg by the Historic Resources Board to the Huntington Beach City Council is forthcoming and will be published here.

© All rights reserved.  No part of the Historic Wintersburg blog may be reproduced or duplicated without prior written permission from the author and publisher, M. Adams Urashima.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

A note from China Alley: Preservation Noodles

ABOVE: An image of  "Preservation Noodles" from The Sentinel's "Hanford Gourmet", Arianne Wing, in Hanford, California.  She sends a message to Historic Wintersburg that, "In Chinese culture the unbroken noodles represent longevity. I also wanted to acknowledge the passion we feel as preservationists and to feed our fire. But I also wanted a cooling note signifying unity and positive engagement." (Photo, The Sentinel, Hanford Gourmet, February 7, 2018) 

   From California's historic China Alley, a message for Historic Wintersburg in Huntington Beach, from the Hanford Gourmet, Arianne WingWing is the co-author of “Noodles Through Escargots,” and co-owner of the L.T. Sue Tea Room and Emporium, benefiting the restoration and preservation of China Alley.  


LEFT: Arianne Wing, owner of the L.T. Sue Tea Room and Emporium in China Alley, in Hanford, California. China Alley was named one of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places in 2011. (Photo, The Sentinel, Hanford Gourmet, February 7, 2018)

   "For a few of my family members, and for Steve and me, our labors of love place us in a community, in a village of individuals and groups dedicated to preserving and protecting historical sites of incalculable worth and grave vulnerability. Read the Historic Wintersburg blog (historicwintersburg.blogspot.com) to learn how our voices can save this historic place that tells a story of California Japanese American history. This place matters. Thinking of it turned into rows of storage units brings tears to my eyes again. I’ll do what I can, as will others, many of whom have multiple preservation priorities. The question of whether it will be enough rings in my ears."

Read Arianne Wing's column, Preservation Noodles, at: http://hanfordsentinel.com/features/local/hanford-gourmet-preservation-noodles/article_338c718e-d233-506d-baaa-4ba50556ec50.html#tracking-source=home-latest-1 

Read about China Alley on the National Trust for Historic Preservation website at: https://savingplaces.org/places/china-alley#.Wnudt-dG2M8

 © All rights reserved.  No part of the Historic Wintersburg blog may be reproduced or duplicated without prior written permission from the author and publisher, M. Adams Urashima.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Historic Wintersburg: Preservation or erasure of endangered National Treasure

ABOVE: An aerial from 1962 shows the location of the Furuta farm and Wintersburg Japanese Mission complex at Historic Wintersburg.  The Furuta farm's former goldfish ponds are visible; by 1962 they were used for commercial water lily farming. Across from the Mission, off dirt road that is now Nichols Lane is the Nichols family farm.  The roadway running east to west in the center of the image is Warner Avenue (formerly Wintersburg Road). The Southern Pacific Railroad tracks run north to south in the center of the image, parallel to what is now Gothard Street, and at the center the Warner Avenue Drive In. (Photograph, County of Orange; 1962: Calisphere; annotated work) © ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
    
   Historic Wintersburg was informed on January 26, 2018, that Phoenix, Arizona-based Republic Services, Inc.--the waste management company that owns the Historic Wintersburg property--plans to sell the National Treasure historic property to Glendale, California-based Public Storage for development as self storage. 

   In 2014, the six structures at Historic Wintersburg received a 3S / 5S1 classification in the City of Huntington Beach historical survey for the General Plan Historic / Cultural Resources Element (2014). Volume 3, Appendix D, pages 162 - 163, Context and Criteria: Religion and Cultural History.  This classification means the structures are considered eligible for the California Register of Historical Resources and for the National Register of Historic Places.


   This further documents the local historic designations, the first of which was noted 45 years ago in 1973 in the City Open Space / Conservation Report prepared for City of Huntington Beach General Plan, Figure 2-41, “Important Historical – Cultural Landmarks”.  

ABOVE: An aerial from 2014, reveals the density and urbanization in the former Wintersburg Village. Three sides of the Furuta farm and Wintersburg Japanese Mission are near residential neighborhoods, a preschool and elementary school to the south, a Church and school to the north, and the waste transfer operations of Republic Services, Inc. to the west. Preservationists believe historic preservation and environmental conservation, and re-greening of the remaining open space as a public historical park, will save significant American history and provide community benefit. (Photo courtesy of Fred Emmert, AirViews.com) © ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
   This was followed in 1983--35 years ago-- with an analysis by Scientific Resource Surveys, Inc. for PRC Toups Corporation while conducting a historic resource survey for Caltrans’ "Warner Avenue widening and reconstruction project".The report determines structures associated with the Furuta farm and Wintersburg Japanese Mission are "potentially eligible for the National Register of Historic Places".  

   The report noted, "Without question all of these structures need to have their integrity safeguarded. There are very few remaining community structures of comparable importance still standing. Orange County, since 1950, has undergone such a transmogrification as to virtually wipe out all vestiges of what was a vital prewar Japanese community in Wintersburg and elsewhere, throughout the County.”

LEFT: Letter supporting the preservation of Historic Wintersburg from Kanji Sahara, an advisor to the Historic Wintersburg Preservation Task Force. He also is a member of the board of directors of the Tuna Canyon Coalition, the Japanese American Citizens League and the Nikkei for Civil Rights and Redress. © ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
 
LEFT: Letter supporting the preservation of Historic Wintersburg from former California State Assemblyman Warren Furutani, January 30, 2018. © ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

  The Japanese American Council of Orange County confirmed the significance to Japanese American heritage in 1986, when they published the Historic Building Survey, with the Bowers Museum, which included the Furuta farm and the Wintersburg Japanese Mission. The majority of the structures noted in that County-wide survey are now gone.

   In 1996--more than two decades ago--the City of Huntington Beach General Plan listed “Furuta House” and “Japanese Church” as Local Landmarks in Historic Resources Cultural Element

RIGHT: Letter supporting the preservation of Historic Wintersburg from the Japanese American National Museum, January 30, 2018. © ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

   By state law, demolition or removal of a designated landmark or known significant cultural resources require the preparation of an Environmental Impact Report, per the California Environmental Quality Act.

  In 2009, Galvin Preservation Associates was contracted by City of Huntington Beach to conduct a citywide historical resources survey, with a stated goal to look for properties of historic significance that may meet established criteria for state or national registry.  This report was received by the Huntington Beach City Council in 2014, including the documentation that upgraded the classification for the structures at Historic Wintersburg as eligible for the California Register of Historical Resources and for the National Register of Historic Places.

LEFT: Letter supporting the preservation of Historic Wintersburg from the Little Tokyo Historical Society, January 29, 2018.  The Little Tokyo Historical Society is one of the earliest and longest supporters of the preservation of Historic Wintersburg, with historical connections between the two communities dating to circa 1900. © ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

   In 2014, Historic Wintersburg was named one of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places and in 2015, it was designated a National Treasure.  In 2017, Preserve Orange County named Historic Wintersburg to their "Most Endangered" list.

   Historic Wintersburg has been working to purchase the property from Republic Services since they purchased it in October 2014, working with each new general manager of the Huntington Beach office for the past three years. There were assurances in 2016 and 2017 that there would be a cooperative and collaborative effort to achieve this, also reported in local and regional media.  We still wish to work with them in a collaborative and positive land purchase to save and preserve Historic Wintersburg.

   Recent media reports: 
 
 RIGHT: Letter supporting the preservation of Historic Wintersburg from Huntington Beach resident Toni Shewell, whose family has a long connection with the former Wintersburg Village. © ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

   On January 26, that Republic Services, Inc.---the waste management company that owns the Historic Wintersburg property---has made a deal to sell the National Treasure Historic Wintersburg property to Public Storage for development as self storage.  

   The current effort is to bring together all parties to work toward and allow the purchase for historic preservation, rather than self storage. We believe a National Treasure historic property--representing more than a century of Japanese American history and significant American civil liberties history--is worth saving in its entirety.
LEFT: Letter supporting the preservation of Historic Wintersburg from Nancy Kyoko Oda, President, TunaCanyon.org. Historic Wintersburg has a direct connection to the Tuna Canyon Detention Station, where Charles Furuta, Elder Kyutaro Ishii, and others connected to Historic Wintersburg were imprisoned in 1941 and 1942.  The Los Angeles City Council unanimously approved the Tuna Canyon Detention Station Historic Cultural Monument #1039 in 2013. More recently, a new entity falsely using the Tuna Canyon name has proposed moving the monument from its historic location, to allow Texas-based Snowball West to build a residential development on the land. © ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

   We are receiving letters, emails, and contact from those supporting the preservation of Historic Wintersburg as a National Treasure historic place, from Huntington Beach, Orange County, California, as well as nationally. We will continue to share their messages. Our deep appreciation to those who are coming forward to be a voice for this chapter of American history, increasingly endangered and erased in California.
 
© All rights reserved.  No part of the Historic Wintersburg blog may be reproduced or duplicated without prior written permission from the author and publisher, M. Adams Urashima.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Endangered National Treasure: Republic Services selling Historic Wintersburg for self storage

ABOVE: Members of the Little Tokyo Historical Society inspect Historic Wintersburg during a briefing in April 2017. Among them was the son of Reverend Sohei Kowta, who had lived on the property as clergy for the Wintersburg Japanese Mission from 1938 to 1942. (Photo, M. Urashima, April 8, 2017) © ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

   Historic Wintersburg was informed late Friday afternoon, January 26, that Republic Services, Inc.---the waste management company that owns the Historic Wintersburg property---has made a deal to sell the National Treasure Historic Wintersburg property to Public Storage for development as self storage.

LEFT: Members of the California Preservation Foundation inspect Historic Wintersurg in May 2013, as part of a half day workshop on the history and preservation effort.  They are standing in front of the 1912 Furuta bungalow. (Photo, Chris Jepsen, May 3, 2013) © ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
 
    Historic Wintersburg has been working in good faith with Republic Services to purchase the property, in partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation and th
e Trust for Public Land. Republic Services told us during these discussions--with city council members and the city attorney present--that they are open to our purchase and have no plans to develop the property.  Republic Services has now demonstrated they are a willing seller--providing an appraisal or entering purchase discussions with Public Storage--but it does not appear they have been dealing with the community preservation group in good faith.

   
   A self storage project would require a zone change and would cause the destruction of significant and rare historic resources considered eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.  This proposed project also would place a commercial development adjacent to the preschool and elementary school in the Oak View neighborhood, home to Historic Wintersburg in Huntington Beach.

  
Historic Wintersburg has been waiting since May 2017 for Republic Services to obtain an appraisal of the current market value of the property, as stated during our televised presentation to the city council on July 17, 2017, with the Trust for Public Land (available for viewing at https://www.huntingtonbeachca.gov/government/agendas/council/). 

RIGHT: Visitors learning about National Treasure Historic Wintersburg have included Academy Award winner Chris Tashima and best-selling author Jamie Ford.  Property owner Charles Furuta was interrogated by the FBI in the sun porch behind them, prior to his arrest in February 1942. (Photo, M. Urashima, March 22, 2017) © ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

  Historic Wintersburg has been vetted by the National Park Service, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the Trust for Public Land. The preservation effort has been support by organizations from around the country and it has received both national and international media coverage.

LEFT: A delegation from Huntington Beach Sister City Anjo, Japan, visited Historic Wintersburg in 2015. This past year, Huntington Beach city council members and other leaders visited Anjo. Representatives from Anjo will be at the annual Huntington Beach Cherry Blossom Festival in March. (Photo, September 11, 2015) © ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
 
    Huntington Beach has a decades-long friendship with our Sister City Anjo, Japan, with whom we celebrate an annual Cherry Blossom Festival in Central Park each spring.  There is an annual high school student exchange with students from Anjo, as well as visits by officials and community leaders.  In 1992, Anjo contributed over $90,000 to support the rebuilding of the Huntington Beach pier and has presented countless works of art to the City over the years.

 
RIGHT: Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, toured Historic Wintersburg in 2015, prior to its designation as a National Treasure. (Photo, M. Urashima, January 6, 2015) © ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

   Historic Wintersburg is a National Treasure historic site representing Japanese pioneer history, Japanese American history, and important chapters for our country's national history, as well as being a connection for our international Sister City relationship. 

   The land was purchased prior to California's Alien Land Law of 1913, after which Japanese were prohibited from owning property. The fact that everyone associated with Historic Wintersburg was forcibly removed from California and confined during World War II due solely to their ancestry makes this a place to learn about civil liberties.  More about why Historic Wintersburg is a National Treasure can be found on the National Trust for Historic Preservation website here: https://savingplaces.org/places/historic-wintersburg#.WmzrsDdG2M9 and on our Wikipedia page here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historic_Wintersburg_in_Huntington_Beach,_California#Preservation_of_Historic_Wintersburg

LEFT: Tadashi Kowta talks about his life living in the manse (parsonage) at Historic Wintersburg as a child, from 1938 to 1942.  He attended the Ocean View Grammar School. His father, Reverend Sohei Kowta, was interrogated by the FBI in the 1934 Wintersburg Japanese Church, prior to his family's departure for confinement at the Colorado River Relocation Center, Poston, Arizona. Tadashi remembers his teacher and classmates coming to say goodbye. (Photo, M. Urashima, April 8, 2017)

   Erasing rare American history for a self storage project, when there is an opportunity to leave a lasting legacy by working with the community to save a National Treasure historic place.  This is one of the last Japanese pioneer historic places in Orange County and a rare historic property for California. The six extant historic structures on the property tell the story of more than a century. There remains archaeological work to uncover both the modern and the ancient history of the Tongva, for which archaeologists from California State University Long Beach wish to facilitate.

   PLEASE CONTACT City of Huntington Beach city council members and City management to urge them to save the only National Treasure historic place in Orange County and one of the rare historic properties for Japanese American history.  Ask them to use their leadership and work with Republic Services to save Historic Wintersburg on the land where the history occurred.

Mayor Michael Posey, mike.posey@surfcity-hb.org
Mayor Pro Tem Erik Peterson, erik.peterson@surfcity-hb.org
Council Member Jill Hardy, jill.hardy@surfcity-hb.org
Council Member Lyn Semeta, lyn.semeta@surfcity-hb.org
Council Member Patrick Brenden, patrick.brenden@surfcity-hb.org
Council Member Billy O'Connell, billy.oconnell@surfcity-hb.org
Council Member Barbara Delgleize, barbara.delgleize@surfcity-hb.org
(All seven can be emailed at once with city.council@surfcity-hb.org)
City Manager Fred Wilson, fred.wilson@surfcity-hb.org

  PLEASE CONTACT Republic Services and ask them to help save American history and not allow for the destruction of significant cultural and historic resources.  The Trust for Public Land stands by to negotiate the purchase for historic preservation and help with technical planning of a public park with historic structures.  The National Trust for Historic Preservation stands by to guide expert historic preservation. We will work with Republic Services.

General Manager, Huntington Beach, Chris Kentopp, ckentopp@republicservices.com
Regional Vice President, Dave Hauser, dhauser3@republicservices.com 
Southwest Area Director, Operations, Alberto Guardado, AGuardado@republicservices.com

© All rights reserved.  No part of the Historic Wintersburg blog may be reproduced or duplicated without prior written permission from the author and publisher, M. Adams Urashima.