Notes From Your City Historian
by Julie Lugo Cerra
The quest for knowledge is great fun!
• Let me tell my Historical Society friends first, that we have finally pinned down the reason Blair Hills was named “Blair”. I was able to determine through city maps and records that the developers, Stone and Stone, first recorded that name as a street, Blairstone. Since the Stones listed on the maps were Edward and Leo, Anne and Gloria, my feeling was that Blair must have been another family member. In my weekly newspaper column, I was able to get the history to that point, but even calling on the Pitti family (Mickey and Carl, Paul and Shirley), former CC Mayor Ron Perkins, Dorothy Steiner and others, I fell short of the full answer.
After the column rain in the CC News, however, I got a call from Lois Soter, an original resident, and I also spoke with Mim Shapiro. Blair was a grandchild of the Stones. I further learned that the homeowners association, as it was forming, wanted the area to have identification. The two names offered in a vote were Blair Hills and Stonehenge. Blair Hills was the winner, and so it remains today. Thank you Mim and Lois!
I mentioned calling Ron Perkins, who is now serving his second term on the council in La Quinta. He and Barbara extend their best to all their CC friends. Rom reminded me that for the past 50+ years, there has been a Perkins on the CCPD! (Ron, Barbara, and now son, Ron).
• Special thanks to Bill Hahn, who answered my call for help to find out more about submarines reportedly surfacing along our coast during WWII. He not only knew about the incident, he provided a copy of a 1922 Daily Breeze newspaper article, which reported the story of a Japanese submarine surfacing along the Santa Barbara Coast of February 23, 1942. Blackouts occurred along the coast from Monterey south, in response.
• It was my pleasure to revise this year’s tour of the city for the Fiesta. Special thanks to Culver City Bus for their annual partnership with the Society, which enables us to offer the bus tours free to the public, and to Sony Pictures for access through their historic studio lot. We also added a new docent, Sandy Burton, to our seasoned crew of Susan Berg, Michele Cerra, her mom, and Hal Horne. Thank you all!
• On Saturday of the Fiesta, it was a pleasure to spend time with Pat Culver Battle and playwright Ain Gordon, who has a grant to write about Culver City and its development. Pat helped Ain get an understanding of her father, our city’s founder Harry Culver, who will be integral to his play.
History on tour:
• It was great fun to take Mrs. Gallegos and her third graders at El Rincon School on a tour of the city recently. They shared wonderfully related projects and we took time to do rubbings of historic markers as well.
• The Homeowners Association and the Lions Club requested information on the city’s history. I was proud to take them on a visual tour via slides from old to new. Did you know that Harry Culver was a Lion?