Winter 2015 Message

President’s Message
by Michelle Bernardin, President

Michelle Bernardin, PresidentDear Members,

I hope this note finds you and your family enjoying the wonderful delights and scents of the holidays.

Your Historical Society had a busy 2014, and we continue to acquire more wonderful pieces of our city’s history, catalogue the beautiful costumes collection with the help of awesome volunteers, and celebrate a few movie anniversary milestones! You will see a few photos on the back page from our October General Meeting, which featured noted author Aljean Harmetz, her reflections on the 75th Anniversary of The Wizard of Oz, and a surprise visit from a very wicked witch. Our upcoming January General Meeting will highlight another movie from that grand year of 1939, Gone with the Wind, and our own Marc Wanamaker. I look forward to seeing you there!

An area that I hope we can continue to build on and grow is in the area of content for our website. I announced in our Fall 2014 newsletter that we re-launched our website ( with a new look and new features. Because our organization is over 30 years old, some of our newsletters were printed before the time of Microsoft Word. We want to put as many of those articles on the web, so they can be searched by historians, history buffs, and students alike. This is where we need your help! From wherever you sit at your computer, we can send you a PDF of an article that we need retyped in Word. You type, send it back to us, and we will then put it up on the web! If you would like to assist us with this ongoing project, please email me directly at

Speaking of our newsletter, as you will read below, Judy Stangler has resigned her post as the Society’s longtime editor. I want to personally thank her for 17 years of service. While I have not been with the Historical Society nearly as long, I have truly appreciated her breadth of and enthusiastic zest for our city’s history.

To close, I send you my very best wishes for a happy and prosperous New Year, and as always, thank you for supporting your Culver City Historical Society!

Spring 2012 ARC Update

by Julie Lugo Cerra , Vice President, Museum/ARC and City Historian


First, let me thank all of the folks who have expressed interest in the Museum Committee. We had our first meeting in January with Bill Barnett, Louise Coffey-Webb, Sharon Shore, Michelle Bernardin, Carol Schwab, Steve Rose and David Warshaw joining in a discussion of our goals and available help – and we are open to all suggestions.

Also, we are exploring some added display methods, and have invited bids from those who can help us enhance our display space. If you are interested in volunteering in the ARC on our open days – the first and third Saturday of each month (see Calendar) – or for our work “parties,” please let me know.


Stu Freeman, with some contact assistance from Kevin Lachoff, rescued the large movie photos displayed in the former Mann Theatre, which is being demolished! Some are eight feet tall and up to five parts! Now, where are we going to put them…..stay tuned!


Women’s History MonthMarch is Women’s History Month, so some special pieces will remain on view for everyone to enjoy through April. There is a lovely portrait of Mrs. Harry Culver and her daughter, Patricia. In addition, a book written by Harry Culver’s great grandson, Robert Battle, is on loan for this exhibit, opened to pages on Mrs. Culver.

We will also be showing off some of Harry Culver’s 1929 scrapbook that depicts the Culver family’s travels across the country. Harry Culver was head of the National Real Estate Association and his family joined him on his cross-country trip.


Visitors to the ARC have been numerous and with varied interests. We enjoyed hosting Erin Stennis from the office of our 2nd District County Supervisor, Mark Ridley-Thomas, and had a group of Early Settler descendant genealogists from the Santa Monica area.

Sister City visitors are always a pleasure and we were able to furnish downtown tours in March for the US/Mexico Sister Cities Conference attendees. We have also spent time with the runners from Kaizuka, Japan, here to run in the L.A. Marathon on March 18th, who were visiting last month.

Coming up, CCHS President Louise Coffey-Webb, Jeanne Conklin and I will host a group of Brandeis ladies in early May. They are coming in from “the Valley” to visit the ARC, and afterwards they will stay in town to enjoy lunch in one of our wonderful restaurants.

Some items from our collection were shown off at the recent Rotary Club fundraiser in March. Their theme was “The Yellow Brick Road.” Thanks, Linda and Joel Forman for your help!


Kim Upton from the MTA asked for help on basic history of the city, with an emphasis on “The Heart of Screenland.” Kim took time to visit the ARC twice, first for background information and second with a film crew. We will be featured in their upcoming cable TV piece for the arrival of the EXPO in Culver City, “the Heart of Screenland.” They also visited and taped at Sony Pictures and around town.

And speaking of taking to the road, as City Historian, I visited the Mar Vista Gardens Continuation High School. Many of their students have a fondness for Culver City, its history and strange boundaries. Vitaly, the teacher, arranged for Sue McCabe and I to drop by with a power point presentation and field questions. It was great fun!

We will also participate in El Marino’s tour days in the spring, and La Ballona has also expressed interest in our historic help!


It was nice to get a call from Chris Sedens at KNX Radio, who was interested in Culver City’s history. He did some taping at the ARC, and around town before the March 9th broadcast of their “KNX On Your Corner” program.

They broadcasted live from Culver City at our historic Culver Hotel. Many of our members were taped in advance – others live that day, including Mayor O’Leary and councilmember Jeff Cooper, former mayor and CCHS president Steve Rose, and Dannie Cavanaugh, as well as Kevin Lachoff, Goran Eriksson, John Byers and yours truly.

We have also been working to help a woman in search of her biological father who was stationed at “Fort Roach” during WWII. He was apparently in the First Motion Picture Unit (FMPU) during WWII, and his “barracks” were in the Pacific Military Academy. There is a display of items from the collection of former FMPU combat photographer, Robert Elliott, in the Archives which help to bring back a few memories!

In the meantime, we are very much a part of the Veterans Memorial complex so we stay in touch with PCRS Director Dan Hernandez. The building should be re-opened by the time this arrives!