Notes From Your City Historian
by Julie Lugo Cerra
Culver City’s website offers a great deal of information on the history of the city (go to “City Information,” then “History”). New to the website is an opportunity to “Ask the Historian” questions. One of the first inquiries came from someone doing research on a small studio, the Romayne Studios. I was lucky to find a 1920 Culver City Call newspaper that even carried a photo of the Romayne Studios. It is now posted on the website with the answer. In the last week alone, I have received 29 inquiries!
THE EXCHANGE CLUB
Speaking at the Exchange Club is always fun, and it’s a bonus to see old friends like George Newhouse, Earl Eskridge and Red Gallman. In the last quarter, I have spoken on Rancho Life, where I even taught them to milk a Spanish cow! (For the record, it’s best accomplished by tying her back legs together with her tail!)
In December, I shared some of Harry Culver’s own words with the club. After finding Culver’s California Club speech reprinted in a 1914 Culver City Call newspaper, it has become a terrific tool for learning about our founder and his thinking.
BEACON LAUNDRY ARTWORK
It was a pleasure to see the Beacon Laundry Artwork “unveiled.” It has certain historic references and I encourage everyone to visit and take a look. The mural includes local landmarks and there is a fountain below with the fabrication of the back of a Helms Coach.
For three generations, the Marks family has been well-known for producing quality projects, but this adds a new component. I think Wally Marks might have used yet another historic building and we could coin a new phrase to describe it: “adaptive reuse with a sense of humor!”
I get a lot of questions as City Historian and some of them are personal in nature. One young woman is trying to find her father, Leland Leek, who attended Venice High in the 1960s. If anyone knows of him or his family, please call me so we can help her. I am looking for a 1967 Venice High Yearbook, where his photo might appear as a Junior.
As a Cultural Affairs Commissioner, let me remind you that the Cultural Plan for Culver City, which includes Public Art and Historic Preservation, comes to the commission in its final draft form in January 2003. Please join us in support. You can see it on the city website or check with the Cultural Affairs office in Parks, Recreation and Community Services. The next step will be to go to City Council. This will be an amazing accomplishment, and just another validation of the importance of HISTORY.