Centennial eNewsletter | Issue 2 - December 2011
The Buzz this Month!
Welcome to the second edition of the Torrance Centennial eNewsletter! We are very excited to offer you new information each month on activities and events related to the rich history of our great City of Torrance.
Each edition will feature not only little known factoids about Torrance, but what’s happening next in the year-long activities planned to celebrate the first 100 years.
While you’re thinking about what to buy this holiday season, why not consider a Commemorative Personalized Brick? A brand new Torrance Centennial Plaza will be constructed at El Prado Park and you can be part of history! The Plaza incorporates bricks that you can purchase for only $150. Each Brick sale will help fund the building of the Plaza. Don’t be left out, order your Brick today!
Can you believe it? It’s time to Ring in the New Year with Jenna Esposito! The Torrance Cultural Arts Foundation kicks-off the year with three-time MAC (Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs) Award Nominee for Best Female Vocalist, Jenna Esposito for a rare performance in the intimate setting of the Nakano Theatre. The festivities come complete with dinner, champagne and party favors. Click here to purchase tickets!
To keep the party going all year long we’ve updated the list of events and activities on our website at www.TorranceCentennial.Org so be sure to check it out!
Finally, I want to encourage you, your family, friends and neighbors to join us in our year-long celebration. This is a once-in-a-life-time opportunity. To learn more about the Torrance Centennial celebration, visit our website at www.TorranceCentennial.Org where you can discover our events and activities as well as purchase Centennial merchandise.
Torrance's Century Club - Charles Ferguson
Charles Ferguson (103) was born on January 31, 1908 in the Bronx area of New York City. In 1931, as a young man, he drove cross country to California and spent a year living in Long Beach and Yosemite National Park. In 1936, he married Mildred Wright and they moved to the San Fernando Valley area of California. There they raised 2 daughters and 1 son while Charles worked in the aircraft industry.
In 1973, after retiring, he and his wife moved to Torrance to be closer to their children and grandchildren. In retirement, Charles played tennis and golf and is still well known in the Hollywood Riviera area of Torrance for his fantastic garden. He has been a resident of Torrance for the past 38 years. Charles likes Torrance because of the good weather (no smog or heat). He still gets out for a daily walk.
Torrance's Century Club - Martha Hill
Martha Hill (100) was born on October 6, 1911 in Winnipeg, Canada. She married Monte Hill in 1937 and they moved to Los Angeles in the 1940’s to get away from the cold weather of the East Coast. In 1957, they moved to Torrance so their son, Jim could attend Torrance schools. Martha has been a resident of Torrance for the past 54 years.
Her past activities have included volunteering at Torrance Memorial Hospital and singing in several variety shows. Her current interest is playing bingo. Martha likes Torrance because it is a friendly town.
Torrance's Century Club - Eleanor Hoss
Eleanor Hoss (100) was born October 8, 1911 in Scranton, Pennsylvania. She and her husband Dick moved to Southern California in the early 1940’s. In l971, they moved to Torrance to be near family. Eleanor has been a resident of Torrance for the past 40 years.
Her past activities have included weekly playing shuffleboard at the Bartlett Senior Center and making crafts for local shows for over 20 years. She has beautiful flowers and is known for her success with plants. She was a dedicated local baseball fan for many years for the Dodgers but for the past ten or more years is now routing for the Angels. Eleanor likes Torrance because of the weather which is good for growing plants.
Torrance Youth Council / Torrance Centennial Committee
It is a Sunday. It is 8:30 in the morning. It is pouring rain. Despite it all, the Torrance Centennial Dance Crew is up and at ‘em, practicing their moves in the Sam’s Club parking lot. The group is rehearsing for their surprise performance: a flashmob at the 32nd Annual Turkey Trot!
Over the course of two months, I recruited a representative group of nearly one hundred Torrance residents to participate in a flashmob. My goal was to spread awareness of our city’s centennial and involve all ages in the celebration. To that end, the group ranged from age seven to sixty-five, from high school students to elected officials, from competitive dancers to those with two left feet. It was a truly enjoyable community bonding experience. We held a total of five group practices, and the collaborative energy at each one was inspiring. Every person I spoke to while planning the event was extremely supportive and enthusiastic. It was a privilege to work with such a diverse and cooperative group, and witness people from all over the community come together in a tribute to Torrance.
On Thanksgiving Day, the Torrance Centennial Dance Crew was once again up early in the morning at the Sam’s Club parking lot, excited to dance. Thankfully, the rain spared us. We were dispersed throughout the crowd, wearing jackets to cover our commemorative “I Love Torrance” t-shirts before we began to dance. A friend and I started off the flashmob, eliciting a few odd stares as we stomped to the beat of our song. As the dance progressed and more and more people joined in, cameras and phones flipped out to capture the surprise performance. At the end of the three minute routine, the entire group yelled “Happy Birthday Torrance!”
Half an hour later, shortly before the actual fun run began, Mayor Scotto gave a shout out to the flashmob and the many other centennial events yet to come. It was so gratifying to hear the cheers of the crowd and know that all of our hard work had paid off. We had come a long way from our first practice in the beginning of October. This experience was unforgettable; I am so honored to be a part of Torrance’s 100th Birthday celebration!
Contributed by Sheridan Wakimoto,
Senior at South High School
Little Known Torrance Fact…
Did you know that Torrance was once part of a 75,000 acre Spanish land grant given to soldier Juan Jose Dominguez in 1874?
We had no idea about this until we visited the Dominguez Rancho museum last year as part of our Junior Leadership Torrance experience. The museum stands on a part of the original land grant that was bequeathed to Juan Jose Dominguez’s nephew, Manuel. We were able to take a tour of the magnificent adobe, the preserved home of the wealthy Dominguez family. Thought it was a warm day, the interior of the house was quite chilly because of the two-foot-thick walls that serve as natural insulation.
The excursion was fascinating. In addition to learning many fun facts about life on the rancho, we were able to grow closer to our community by learning about its Spanish beginnings. Our favorite tidbit of information was that, upon Manuel Dominguez’s passing, his youngest daughter was given what was then considered to be the least desirable land…a strip of sandy shoreline now known as Redondo Beach.
If you live in Torrance, you are familiar with several names related to the Dominguez family. Sepulveda Boulevard is named after Manuel’s mother. Del Amo Fashion Center takes its name from Gregorio Del Amo, a wealthy Consul General from Spain who married one of Manuel’s daughters. Another daughter married a man with the last name of Carson, now the name of a major thoroughfare in Torrance.
The Dominguez Rancho Adobe Museum is located at 18127 S. Alameda St. in Rancho Dominguez. Tours are offered at 1:00 pm, 2:00 pm and 3:00 pm every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. Please visit dominguezrancho.org for more information.
Contributed by Kenji Nishimura and Sheridan Wakimoto,
Seniors at South High School
Commemorative Centennial Brick
The Torrance Centennial Committee is excited to announce an exclusive opportunity to be part of the past, present, and future of the City of Torrance by purchasing a Commemorative Centennial Brick. Centennial Bricks will be incorporated into the beautifully designed Centennial Plaza at El Prado Park.
There will be a limited number of bricks sold, so hurry and make sure to get yours today! Bricks can be purchased for $150. Your Personalized Centennial Brick can include up to three lines of text, with a total 16 characters in each line. Brick dimensions are 3 5/8” x 7 3/4" and up to four bricks may be purchased in a single transaction.
Torrance City Hall, West Annex
Community Services Department, Registration Office
3031 Torrance Boulevard., Torrance, CA 90503
ATTN: Centennial Committee
(Please remember to include payment with the form to expedite the process)
The Centennial Plaza will be set in historic El Prado Park, which is part of the original Olmsted Brother’s design, and was a driving factor in the selection of the location. The plan includes visual elements of the Southern Pacific Railroad Bridge and adds both a tribute to the City’s rich past while offering a vision of an exciting future. The Plaza provides a unique opportunity for the community to be part of history by purchasing a commemorative brick.
For more information about the Torrance Centennial, events, activities, and how to get involved or make a donation, please visit the Torrance Centennial website at www.TorranceCentennial.Org.
Ring in the New Year with Jenna Esposito
George Nakano Theatre,
3330 Civic Center Drive, Torrance
Sat, 12/31/2011 - 6:30 p.m. & 9:30 p.m.
Three-time Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs nominee for best female vocalist, Jenna Esposito returns for a rare Southern California performance in the intimate Nakano Theatre. Joined by her band, Jenna will perform swingin' sets of standards and pop music, including songs made famous by Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Connie Francis, Paul Anka, Tony Bennett, and others. Also enjoy dinner, champagne and party favors. Please click here for more information.
JANUARY 1, 2012
Torrance Centennial 10K Run & 5K Run/Walk New Year's Day
Sam's Club Parking Lot
Torrance Crossroads Center, Torrance
Sun, 1/1/2012 - 8:00 a.m.
Runners, walkers and sports enthusiasts from Torrance and the South Bay run and walk together to celebrate the City of Torrance's Centennial Celebration. Click here for registration and more information.
JANUARY 2, 2012
Tournament of Roses Parade
Rose Bowl, Pasadena
Mon, 1/2/2012 - 8:00 a.m.
The City of Torrance float in the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade will celebrate the Torrance Centennial through reflection of the City's 100 years. The Rose Parade has been in existence for 122 years and approximately 750,000 people watch it in person with millions more watching on television, including thousands of Torrance residents.