“Our American Family: The Furutas of Historic Wintersburg” will begin airing on public television stations across the country this spring.
This program shares the history of the Furuta family, from their arrival in America to the post-World War II years. The Furutas were prominent members of the Japanese American community in Wintersburg, located in Huntington Beach, where they had a goldfish farm.
The Historic Wintersburg Preservation Task Force is hosting an advance screening with PBS SoCal and the Japanese American National Museum on Saturday, Feb. 21, at 5 p.m. at JANM’s Tateuchi Democracy Forum following the Day of Remembrance at JANM (2 to 4 p.m.). The museum is located at 100 N. Central Ave. in Little Tokyo. Members of the Furuta family will be present.
“Historic Wintersburg is proud to have provided background, research and assistance with the film production, featuring five generations of oral histories, archival photographs and interviews with the Furuta family, beginning upon the arrival of Charles Furuta in America in 1900,” said Mary Adams Urashima, chair of the task force.
“In addition to the 1982 oral history of Yukiko Furuta, filmmakers utilized research, oral histories, and images provided by Historic Wintersburg, the California State University Fullerton Center for Oral and Public History, one-on-one interviews with Furuta family descendants, and personal photographs from the Furuta family …
“We thank PBS SoCal for assisting with the advance screening. They are the first PBS station in the country to air ‘Our American Family: The Furutas,’ starting in late February 2015. Later this year, PBS stations around the country will begin airing the program. We also thank the Japanese American National Museum for graciously hosting the screening on an important day to remember the history of Japanese Americans.”
The screening is free and open to the public, but seating is limited.
The Historic Wintersburg Preservation Task Force is dedicated to pursuing historic preservation alternatives for the Historic Wintersburg site (Warner-Nichols), a locally designated historic landmark.
The five-acre property, located at the southeast corner of Warner (once Wintersburg) Avenue and Nichols Lane, includes the 1912 home of Charles Mitsuji and Yukiko Furuta, as well as the farm’s barn (circa 1908-1912); the Wintersburg Japanese Presbyterian Mission (1909-1910); the Manse (clergy member home, 1910); and the Wintersburg Japanese Presbyterian Church (1934).
This property is a rare and extant collection of Japanese American pioneer structures, and is the sole remaining parcel in Huntington Beach owned by a Japanese family prior to the Alien Land Law of 1913. All the structures on the property have been noted as potentially eligible for the National Register of Historic Places by the U.S. National Park Service and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
The structures are proposed for demolition by the current property owner. The City Council and the property owner, Rainbow Environmental Services, have agreed to provide an 18-month window to allow the task force time to raise funds to either buy the property should the property owner agree, or move the structures to a new location.
For more information, visit http://historicwintersburg.blogspot.com or www.huntingtonbeachca.gov/i_want_to/give/donation-wintersburg.cfm.