Saturday, March 2, 2013

The gift of E.H. Darling

The face of generosity: E.H. "Eddie" Darling (far right) in  the Halsell Drug Company pharmacy on Main Street, Huntington Beach, circa 1910. Darling also owned "Darling's Pharmacy" on Euclid Avenue in Garden Grove. (Photo, City of Huntington Beach archives)

   In the archives of the present-day Wintersburg Presbyterian Church is held a letter from a donor to the Wintersburg Japanese Presbyterian Mission in 1911.  Signed "E.H. Darling," the donation of five dollars (over $120.00 value today) was offered with a note to Reverend Joseph Kenichi Inazawa that it was "not very much and trust tho that you will get a number of such offers."  The above photograph of E.H. Darling was found recently in the City of Huntington Beach historical archives.

   Founded in 1904, the Wintersburg Japanese Presbyterian Mission supporters embarked on a county-wide fundraising effort to raise $1,500.00 for the original Mission building, which still stands today in north Huntington Beach (see Why Orange County's Japanese community built a church in Wintersburg

   In rural Orange County, not many had a lot to give, but many gave what they could.  Meeting their goal, the Mission construction began in 1909 on the developing gold fish and flower farm of Charles Mitsuji Furuta.  By 1910, the first services were held with Reverend Joseph Kenichi Inazawa presiding (see The marriage that made headlines,

    By 1911--when E.H.Darling made his contribution--the manse (clergy home) also had been constructed and the Japanese community had made Wintersburg Village the heart of their new home in Orange County.  A photograph six months later in 1912 shows Wintersburg's Japanese community meeting with Huntington Beach leaders at the Huntington Inn (see Wintersburg and the birth of a County   

   The shared enthusiasm about a new life in California brought people together, whether to build a Mission, raise a barn, or rebuild the Huntington Beach pier washed out once again by the Pacific.

The 102-year-old letter to Reverend Joseph Inazawa of the Wintersburg Japanese Presbyterian Mission from E.H. Darling, November 21, 1911. (Image courtesy of Wintersburg Presbyterian Church)

   Over a century later, we again reach out to the larger community to support and preserve the pioneer vision that began in Wintersburg Village.

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The Historic Wintersburg blog focuses on an overlooked history in Huntington Beach, Orange County, California, in the interest of saving a historic property from demolition. The author and publisher reserves the right not to publish comments. Please no promotional or political commentary. Zero tolerance for hate rhetoric. Comments with embedded commercial / advertising links or promoting other projects, books, or publications may not be published. If you have an interesting anecdote, question or comment about one of our features, it will be published.