The effort to save Historic Wintersburg is making national news. And, with a new book that introduces the history of the Wintersburg Village, the continuing work to restore a long-neglected chapter in the pioneer settlement of Huntington Beach and Orange County.
A publication of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Preservation Magazine featured Historic Wintersburg in late February and reported on the mobilization to preserve the pre California Alien Land Law of 1913 property.
Lauren Walser writes in, Racing to Save Japanese-American History at Historic Wintersburg Village, that the Furuta farm and Wintersburg Mission complex "stands as monument to the early immigrant community’s spiritual and social center." Read more at http://blog.preservationnation.org/2014/02/19/race-save-japanese-american-history-historic-wintersburg-village/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Preservationnation+%28PreservationNation%29#.UxT3r4V1Cf5
The Huffington Post picked up the Preservation Magazine feature and published it in their blog, The Race to Save a Rare Slice of Japanese-American History, at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/national-trust-for-historic-preservation/the-race-to-save-a-rare-s_b_4826074.html
The Rafu Shimpo - Los Angeles Japanese Daily News--Southern California's century-old Japanese and English language daily newspaper--reported on the release of the new book on Orange County's Japanese American history.
Historic Wintersburg Chronicled in New Book can be read at http://www.rafu.com/2014/02/historic-wintersburg-chronicled-in-new-book/
A CENTURY AGO: Charles Furuta drives a sugar beet wagon up the steep railroad siding of the Southern Pacific Railroad, circa 1914. Hidden in plain site, this historical railroad line runs through the former Smeltzer and Wintersburg Village, now north Huntington Beach. (Photo courtesy of the Furuta family) © All rights reserved.
Huntington Beach Independent
Author Chris Epting introduced the book, Historic Wintersburg in Huntington Beach, through his weekly Huntington Beach Independent column, In the Pipeline. Epting's own books are tributes to American history, including Huntington Beach history and Orange County baseball.
Epting quotes from the interview, "There are places in this country known as sites of conscience, and this spot in Huntington Beach is one of them...it has been right in front of all of us all of this time. Historic Wintersburg is iconic in American history, Japanese history and civil liberties history."
Read Chris Epting's column, Saving Wintersburg, A page at a time, at http://www.hbindependent.com/opinion/tn-hbi-me-0227-pipeline-20140225,0,1826867.story
O.C. History Roundup
Local historian and archivist with the Orange County Archives, Chris Jepsen, added information about the recent news coverage and book release on his history blog, O.C. History Roundup.
Jepsen covers Southern California history--particularly Orange County--like no one else, and was one of the first to raise the alarm about potential loss of the Furuta farm and Wintersburg Mission after 2004. The Historic Wintersburg effort owes a debt to Jepsen for keeping a watchful eye on the County's precious heritage. Read his blog post at http://ochistorical.blogspot.com/2014/02/photography-scene-painting-wintersburg.html
KCET, LA Letters
Writer Mike Sonksen wrote about Historic Wintersburg in his column, Politics of Preservation: Olvera Street to Huntington Beach, for KCET, the nation's largest independent public television station in November.
Sonksen draws a correlation to historic Olvera Street in Los Angeles and remembers the places lost, "Angelenos can think of hundreds of demolished lost landmarks and neighborhoods, like Bunker Hill, Chavez Ravine, Sugar Hill, the Brown Derby, the Ambassador, Atlantic Richfield Building, the Pike in Long Beach, Pacific Ocean Park; countless other sites and structures now only remembered in photos and memories."
Explaining the history of Japanese immigrant exclusion and Alien Land Laws, Sonksen notes, "The Wintersburg site is a whole other side of Orange County history." Read Mike Sonksen's feature at http://www.kcet.org/socal/departures/columns/la-letters/politics-of-preservation-olvera-street-to-huntington-beach.html
Historic Wintersburg in Huntington Beach, the book, is officially released on March 4, 2014. More information at https://historypress.net/catalogue/bookstore/books/Historic-Wintersburg-in-Huntington-Beach/9781626193116
The first book signing is only a short distance from Historic Wintersburg, in a part of north Huntington Beach once known as Smeltzer, at the Barnes & Noble Booksellers at the Bella Terra, 7881 Edinger Avenue.
A book discussion and signing will be held 2 p.m., Sunday, March 9. Details at http://store-locator.barnesandnoble.com/event/4677942
What was once fields of celery, chili peppers and sugar beets, is now where we remember the remarkable history of the Japanese American pioneers who helped build Orange County.
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