Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Announcement: Collaboration with Heritage Museum of Orange County!

 ABOVE: An exhibit installed by Historic Wintersburg at Heritage Museum of Orange County for the Smithsonian Institute traveling exhibit "Hometown Teams." The display focused on Japanese American sports in early 1900s Orange County, including the first Japanese American baseball team in Orange County circa 1920s and Orange County Japanese Americans participating with martial arts demonstrations at the Xth Olympiad in 1932 in Los Angeles. (Photo, M. Urashima, August 19, 2017) © All rights reserved.

   Historic Wintersburg is pleased to announce our formal partnership with a longtime collaborator Heritage Museum of Orange County (HMOC). We will work together on the future preservation of the Furuta farm and Wintersburg Japanese Mission at Historic Wintersburg.

   HMOC has been a cultural and natural history center in Southern California for three decades. The Museum property covers 12 acres, with a historic plaza featuring several buildings from the 1890s set amid extensive floral gardens and citrus groves. The Gospel Swamp Farm at HMOC is maintained by local high school and college volunteers. They are an established 501c3 nonprofit and will be the umbrella nonprofit organization for donations to the Historic Wintersburg preservation project.

RIGHT: The Kellog House at the Heritage Museum of Orange County. This favorite of school groups is one of several historic structures on the 12-acre property. (Photo, Heritage Museum of Orange County)

   Importantly, HMOC's board of directors is committed to honoring and sharing the diversity of Orange County history and actively working with the neighborhoods and communities where history lives. HMOC also has taken a stand against rising hate crimes and incidents targeting Asian Americans. "As a cultural museum, we celebrate and cherish the beautiful diversity that exists around us. And, as a community museum, we provide support through provision of services and resources."

   They're excited about working with Historic Wintersburg and the neighborhood around the property, as well as Huntington Beach's civic, education and arts leaders. And, we're excited about working with HMOC. As a county museum with a large acreage and multiple historic structures, HMOC is a working model for the future of Historic Wintersburg.

LEFT: The 29-year-old taiko collegiate group Jodaiko, with University of California, Irvine, joined Historic Wintersburg at Heritage Museum of Orange County in 2014 for the Smithsonian Institute traveling exhibit Journey Stories. Historic Wintersburg's exhibit shared the journey stories of Japanese Americans. (Photo, M. Urashima, October 25, 2014) © All rights reserved.

   There will be future updates on the progress of discussions with Republic Services regarding the sale of the Historic Wintersburg property for preservation, as well as on our collaborative vision with HMOC and Historic Wintersburg's neighbors and schools.

   Meanwhile, take a stroll through the 12-acre HMOC's website to learn more about them.  Join the Historic Wintersburg Facebook page and also the Facebook page for HMOC. If you would like to support the Historic Wintersburg preservation effort, you can contact HMOC at and your donation can be sent to: Heritage Museum of Orange County, 3101 W. Harvard St. Santa Ana, CA 92704, with a notation in the subject line for "Historic Wintersburg Preservation." 

ABOVE: Film and television actor Derek Mio--a Huntington Beach High School alumnus--and Academy Award-winning director and actor Chris Tashima, at an outdoor screening of their film, Day of Independence, with Historic Wintersburg at Heritage Museum of Orange County during the Smithsonian Institute traveling exhibit, Hometown Teams. (Photo, M. Urashima, 2017) © All rights reserved.

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