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Culver City Chronicles

Culver City Chronicles

by Julie Lugo Cerra


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Culver City has rivaled Hollywood for nearly a century as the Heart of Screenland"—a center of the movie and television trades. Here, the giant Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer evolved into Sony Pictures, and the Ince and Selznick movie empires became today's Culver Studios. But the same lands along Ballona Creek had been a wilderness traversed by Native Americans and settled by hardy Spanish pioneers named Machado, Talamantes and Higuera. Union soldiers occupied the area's Civil War-era Camp Latham. By 1910, visionary Harry H. Culver saw possibilities for these ranchlands and led Culver City to incorporate in 1917. Join official city historian Julie Lugo Cerra, a descendant of early settlers, as she relates the fascinating stories of how and why Culver City grew and prospered."

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781609497774
Publisher: History Press, The
Publication date: 04/30/2013
Pages: 160
Sales rank: 1,146,204
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Julie Lugo Cerra is a sixth-generation Californian, and a Culver City native who enjoys being called the accidental historian."? She was appointed official City historian by the Culver City Council in 1996. Julie, a past president of the Culver City Historical Society, wrote hundreds of articles about her hometown's past in the Culver City News."

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements 7

Introduction 9

1 The Early Times

Our Native Americans 11

The Early Settlers 14

Recollections from the Author 17

Life on the Old Ranchos 20

Ballona Creek 24

Saenz Store 25

Statehood and Camp Latham 26

First School and Church 28

Baldwin Hills 31

Ivy Substation 32

2 Culver City Takes Shape

Enter Harry Culver 35

Harry Culver's Dream: The 1913 Speech 37

A Fork in the Road: Palms and Culver City 40

Pacific Military Academy 44

Culver's Lasting Influence 47

Culver City Government 50

City Halls 52

Culver City Police Department 54

Culver City Fire Department 58

Culver City Bus Department 60

City Streets 61

Parks 64

Annexations 69

Post Offices 77

3 The Business of Building and Development

Culver Hotel 79

Adams Hotel 81

Citizen Building 83

Hull Building 85

Washington Building 87

Legion Building 88

Helms Bakeries 90

Shopping 92

Downtown Culver City 93

Culver Center 94

Hayden Tract 96

4 The Movie Studios

The First Major Studio 99

Studio Tours: Recollections of a Tour Guide 102

More on the Backlots 105

Ince's Second Studio 106

Hal Roach Studios 109

Smaller Studios 109

The Heart of Screenland 111

The Oscars 111

5 Education

Elementary Schools 113

Culver City Unified School District: Secondary Schools 119

6 Entertainment, Cultural Resources and More Lasting Memories

Nightclubs 127

Theaters in Culver City, the Heart of Screenland 131

Racetracks 137

Culver City Airport: The Early Years 138

Joe Petrelli's Airport Cafe 140

Stern's Famous Barbecue 141

The Rollerdrome 142

The Egyptian House 143

Piccadilly's and Drag Racing 145

Fiesta La Ballona 147

Rose Parade Floats 151

Other Resources: Organizations, Service Clubs and Sister Cities 153

Libraries 155

Gone but Not Forgotten: The Culver City Redevlopment Agency 156

Historic Sites 158

About the Author 159

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