Summer 2016 Message

Michelle Bernardin, PresidentDear Members and Friends,

Many of you know “Uncle Syd” Kronenthal passed away last October. His contributions to this city and our Historical Society were vast, and his legacy will continue beyond his physical presence. The Historical Society was among a handful of organizations that Syd designated in his will as testamentary beneficiaries. This transformative gift will go far to continue our work that Syd was integral in helping to build.

If scorching temps over previous summers have shown, we will be the coolest place to hang out at Fiesta La Ballona, literally and figuratively. The Archives and Resource Center will be open during the Fiesta from 12:00-4:00 p.m. on Saturday (August 27) and Sunday (August 28).

As you may remember, last year we moved our annual picnic to September, to coincide with the anniversary of the city’s incorporation. Mark your calendar for Sunday afternoon, September 18 for our FOUNDER’S DAY PICNIC! This will be our way to kick off the city’s celebration of our centennial year (begins on September 20), so bring your family and join us in celebrating! The ARC will be open for everyone to explore our city’s first 100 years.

I encourage you to follow us on the various social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter), as we start to share plans for partnerships, events and programs that will celebrate Culver City and its rich history over the coming year. If you are not on social media, we understand. Keep us updated with your email address, so we can update you! (We will not share it with others.)

As always, thank you for supporting your Historical Society!

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May is Historic Preservation Month


May is National Historic Preservation Month. The National Trust for Historic Preservation has themed this year “This Place Matters,” and given that Culver City is about to celebrate our centennial year, we couldn’t agree more!

Please join us in representing the Culver City Historical Society as we accept a proclamation from our City Council designating May as Historic Preservation Month this coming Monday:

Monday, May 23, 2016, 7:00 p.m.
Mike Balkman Council Chambers
City of Culver City – City Hall
9770 Culver Blvd., Culver City, 90232

The presentation is at the top of the agenda, brief with a quick group photo. Showing your presence and passion for preserving our city’s history will go far!

With the upcoming celebration of our city’s centennial year, we are also looking for suggestions for a centennial marking, and members to serve on the committee. To learn more about each site already marked, you can search the marked sites section of our website. The site should be at least 50 years old and hold architectural or cultural significance to the city. Send us an email with your suggestions!

If you’re on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), share your favorite Culver City photos. Use the hashtag #ThisPlaceMatters and tag us!

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Teach, Love, Dig

Charles Rozaire

Dr. Charles Rozaire on Sept. 20, 2007, during the 90th anniversary of the city’s incorporation, which we celebrated with a party for the city at the Culver Hotel.

As a friend of the Historical Society, you have repeatedly heard our important message about the need for support, primarily though membership and volunteerism. Here, we highlight another way to donate – the transformative gift. At the end of 2015, the Society was given a sizable and generous gift by noted anthropologist, archeologist, and Historical Society member Dr. Charles Rozaire. Given in memory of his parents Arthur C. and Esther C. (Caldwell) Rozaire, this is one of the largest one-time gifts by an individual in the Society’s 35-year history.

Dr. Rozaire grew up in Culver City, attended Culver City Grammar School, and received his BA, MA and Ph.D. at UCLA. During his career, Dr. Rozaire served as Curator for the Southwest Museum, Curator of Archeology for the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History; taught courses at UCLA, and participated in fieldwork for museums and universities across America. The author of several volumes focusing on archaeological investigations of early island settlements off the coast of California, his life’s work will continue to teach and feed the research of students and archaeologists for years to come.

In 2012, the Historical Society hosted Dr. Rozaire and fellow Society member Virgie Eskridge in a conversation about their early recollections of growing up as friends and schoolmates in Culver City. He also personally assisted the Society with our general research on Native Americans, some of which also was used in our displays. Currently writing his memoir, he has built a legacy that reflects his passion for archaeology, his family and roots in Culver City, and his philanthropic and pioneering spirit.

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Notes From Your City Historian: Spring 2016


The festive marking of the site of La Ballona School, now in its third structure. Did you know that La Ballona just celebrated its 150th anniversary?

The first “historic marker” to commemorate a historic site in Culver City, was placed on the colonnade entry of Thomas Ince’s first studio (now Sony Pictures) by the Native Daughters of the Golden West.  Our own Clarita Marquez Young was a part of that, years before our historical society was established. The next marking took place in Victory, now Dr. Paul Carlson Park, a Culver City Chamber of Commerce action to commemorate the Early Settler Families.

Our society’s marking process calls for identification of historic sites or structures  in Culver City that are at least fifty years old.  The society’s bylaws recognizes a Historic Sites Committee, which submits sites, with justification, to the board for action, with approval by the property owner for placement and wording for a bronze plaque.  Some are placed on a building, while others are mounted in concrete.  The committee orders the marker, within the funds budgeted.  Cost is a function of the size and number of words. From the beginning, our historical society used the opportunity to tell the story of the site.

After our society formed, Charles R. Lugo served as the first historic sites chair.  At that time, the city did not have an historic preservation ordinance, so it was a new venture for all of us.

The Historic Sites Committee plans the unveiling of the marker while the plaque is in production.  Invitations and publicity are sent by the society.  The program is a cooperative effort of the society and property owner.  Although the event itself is a festive occasion, the goal of preserving local history is met over time.

With the upcoming celebration of our city’s centennial year, we are looking for suggestions for a centennial marking, and members to serve on the committee.

To learn more about each site already marked, you can search here.  This is a list of sites we have marked to date:

#1   City Hall

#2   The Hull Building

#3   St. Augustine Church

#4   The Citizen Building

#5    The Legion Building

#6    Main Street

 #7   Ince Studio#2

#8    Lugo Ranch

#9    The Helms Building

#10  La Ballona School

#11  Camp Latham

#12  Culver City’s first park (Carlson)

#13  Veterans Memorial Building

To learn more about the sites marked, volunteer for the Historic Sites committee or offer a suggestion for a Centennial marking, please contact the society!

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