Fall 2018 Message

Dear Members and Friends,

Hope ParrishHere comes fall, and I am glad it is finally cooling off! We spent June cleaning up around the ARC–(re)organizing storage sections of the collection, recording objects into the database, and installing new exhibits for you to enjoy. Check out some of the photos!

You, our Historical Society members, know that our museum is a special place. What you may not know is there are two other museums that are just as special in walking distance from the ARC. Thanks to help from the Culver City Cultural Affairs Foundation, the Mayme A. Clayton Library & Museum, the Wende Museum and the Culver City Historical Society Archives & Resource Center (ARC) will form the first ever Culver City Cultural Corridor! On Friday, November 9, all three museums will be open to the public for an exciting day. See the enclosed flyer for more information, and join us as we walk the Cultural Corridor together for the first time.

We have a new addition to our volunteers: David Voncannon is our new video editor! With his help and keen skills, we are quickly adding more videos of our recent programs to our YouTube channel.

There are also ways for YOU to get involved! We are looking for a new Government Affairs Liaison, Vice President of the Museum and Archives, and Communications Chair. Every week we receive questions about Culver City history, which are always fun to research and answer. We need more researchers to help answer the influx. We need docents and volunteers for our open hours and tours that come through the Archives. We will train you! These are enriching opportunities to work with your Society and help us continue to grow. I am happy to talk to you about any of these positions. Please email me at hope@culvercityhistoricalsociety.org.

Lastly, if you buy from Amazon or Ralph’s, visit the front page of our website and we explain how to link a percentage of your total purchases to support the Society. At no additional cost to you, these are easy ways that go to support our work.

We can’t do this without you!

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Marking the Rollerdrome Site

Newly built Culver City Rollerdrome

Newly built Culver City Rollerdrome

Located on a portion of Rancho La Ballona, the Rollerdrome was the earliest significant structure on that site. That area had been a part of Culver City’s Annexation #4, known as the 1924 “Bohemia Annexation.” The Rollerdrome, a very popular roller-skating rink, was dedicated in the late 1920s by Mayor Reve Houck. It was a wooden skating rink, equipped with an organ. The space was also used for competitive skating events.

Culver City Rollerdrome patch used on skate case. (CCHS Collection)

Culver City Rollerdrome patch used on skate case. (CCHS Collection)

The Rollerdrome became a well-known recreational facility that appealed to skaters of all ages. Many people, like our own Virgie Eskridge, have shared their memories of time spent at this popular roller skating rink. Virgie remembers Mr. Osterloh, who served as the early organist. Another Society Founder, Ethel Ashby, often spoke of this historic site and its social significance to our community. She liked to point out the “strict dress code” precluded anyone from wearing “blue jeans!” It was a favored place to meet family and friends, celebrate birthdays, or enjoy a date. Skating options like “Regular Skate,” “All Women,” “Couples,” “Solitary” (interpreted as “solo time to show off”), were announced, along with the “All Men” call, which Ethel pointed out “made all men race like a bunch of whippets.

Early map of the area with several important recognizable local sites: Rollerdrome (centered), Kennel  Club, Stern’s Barbecue, Fox Hills Country Club, Loyola University, Sebastian’s Cotton Club, etc.

Early map of the area with several important recognizable local sites: Rollerdrome (centered), Kennel Club, Stern’s Barbecue, Fox Hills Country Club, Loyola University, Sebastian’s Cotton Club, etc.

”When the Rollerdrome was no longer viable as a skating rink, it was razed to make way for another recreational venue, a city park. It was named for Michael Tellefson, who served as a city employee, (Chief Administrative Officer and City Attorney), and as an elected Councilmember and Mayor (1930-34). Many remember Tellefson Park became an official 1976 U.S. Bicentennial dedication. Mike Tellefson advocated for other city-owned facilities, like the Veterans Memorial Building (1950), and he negotiated important contracts, like our sewer contract with Hyperion in 1951. His portrait hangs in the Mike Balkman Council Chambers at City Hall, and a Culver City street is named Tellefson. Mr. Tellefson and his wife lived on Irving Place.

Culver City Mayor Reve Houck, is pictured seated in the light suit during the ceremony to celebrate construction of our historic Rollerdrome in the late 1920s. Houck was also an advocate for Victory Park, Culver City’s first park, and the financing of the first city bus, which led the way to establish Culver City’s bus system, the second oldest in the state.

Culver City Mayor Reve Houck, is pictured seated in the light suit during the ceremony to celebrate construction of our historic Rollerdrome in the late 1920s. Houck was also an advocate for Victory Park, Culver City’s first park, and the financing of the first city bus, which led the way to establish Culver City’s bus system, the second oldest in the state.

We look forward to marking the Rollerdrome site as the Society’s Historic Site #14. Watch for an announcement of the marking date soon!

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Summer 2018 Message

Happy Summer, everyone!

Hope ParrishI would like to begin this letter by applauding our Programs VP, Ryan Vincent, for inviting LA84’s Wayne Wilson to present a wonderful program about our city’s involvement with the 1932 and 1984 Olympic Games. If you missed it, you will be able to view it on our website soon, under “View Our Videos on YouTube.”

Since the Installation of Officers, we have received some very generous items into the Society’s collection. Many of you remember the large city photos on the walls in Roll n’ Rye. We now have three of them. If you were a student at Culver High from 1962-1982, you may remember our drama teacher,Sandford Bodger. His collection of photos, programs, and posters from the Fall productions and Spring musicals are now part of our collection. How many of you remember hearing about the Egyptian House? To date, there has only been one photo that I have ever seen. That all changed when longtime resident Steve Peden left instructions to his family to donate his entire Egyptian House collection to the Society. We now have many photos, newspaper articles and, most significantly, two beautiful wood columns that once adorned the walls inside the house. May was National Historic Preservation month. With all our newly acquired gifts, we are doing our part in preserving our history.

Our Museum and Costumes committees have been doing lots of Spring cleaning! Art and Ellen Litman’s Museum Committee is doing such a great job getting our collection files organized! Denice Renteria and I are looking forward to the new shelving that will support our costume collection.

None of this would be possible without all of you. I look forward to seeing you soon at our July 18 General Meeting and Program!

Until then, remember: history is fun!

Hope

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3 Reasons Why Culver City Should Be Your Home

One of the great joys of being your city historian is the ability to share items like this vintage pamphlet. Many gifts to the Society bring our history into focus with pictures, which is “painless education” at its best! These scans from an early Culver City Chamber of Commerce brochure offer a look back to the 1928 City Hall, first Fire Station in Downtown Culver City, Culver CityBus, other transportation, Main Street, and a “group of new homes.” It also illustrates the point that our entry to the current City Hall honors the facade of its 1928 predecessor on the same site. We see our Culver City Police Department interacting with children, and we are reminded of the Helms Bakeries history, which included supplying bread to the nearby 1932 Olympic Village. Picnics in Victory Park, now Dr. Paul Carlson Park, are a long-standing tradition. If you can identify the street where the “group of new homes” are show below, please email the Society, to my attention!

Photo credit: Courtesy of Robert Battle, great-grandson of Harry Culver, from the Culver-Battle Collection. (Thank you, as always!)

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Please Pardon Our Dust!

Please, pardon our dust! We will use the month of June to do some organizational work in our permanent collection storage area, and we need a little wiggle room to do this, so we’ll be spreading out into our museum space.

Because of all this, we will unfortunately NOT open the ARC during our June public open hours — this coming Sunday, June 3 and Sunday, June 17 (and happy early Father’s Day to all the dads!).

We wish we could install an observation area for our visitors!

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