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Events in 2010

'Twas the Night Before Christmas

Date: Sunday, December 12, 2010
Time: 4:00 p.m. - Please come on time. Event lasts less than one hour.
Cost: Free - donations accepted
Questions: Call (310) 328-5392
No Reservations Required

Children of all ages and adults who are young at heart, are invited to the Torrance Historical Society & Museum for a reading of the holiday classic, 'Twas the Night Before Christmas.

Former Torrance City Councilman, Paul Nowatka, will cozy down in an antique wingback chair and delight listeners with this magical tale.

There will be a surprise visit by Santa.

Each guest will leave with a treat, compliments of COSTCO, and one lucky winner will go home with a copy of the book - 'Twas the Night before Christmas"! Guests also have an opportunity to win a teddy bear.

This event is free, open to the public, and requires no reservations, so bring a friend -- or two!

Torrance Historical Society Hosts Original Fall Tour of Historic Homes
Tour the Interiors of a Half Dozen Homes in Old Torrance

The Torrance Historical Society & Museum and the Rotary Club of Del Amo are hosting the Original Fall Tour of Historic Homes in Old Torrance Saturday and Sunday, October 9th - 10th, 2010, from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM, both days. This biennial event is open to the general public.

For an $18 donation, you can tour the inside of a half dozen homes, and will see how others have renovated, updated and decorated their historic homes to accommodate today's life-style, yet managed to preserve the charming architecture and characteristics of the past.

The homes on the tour reflect an eclectic mix - from Spanish Colonial Revival to California Hybrid Bungalow - which characterize and add to the charm of Old Torrance - founded 1912. Homes on the Tour were built between 1919 and 1943. Each home will have an antique car parked in front of it courtesy of South Bay Touring A's.

Our feature home was once the "honeymoon home" of Judge John Ashton Shidler and his bride Rosemary DeCamp of radio, film and the early years of TV. Another home has been featured in both Cottages & Bungalows (June & October 2010) and This Old House (Summer 2010) Magazines. Also, one of the homeowners is an artist and her decorative art in acrylics and canvas art in oils has appeared in Cottages & Bungalows, The Country Register, and Romantic Homes magazines, and will be on display during the Home Tour.

Tickets for the Original Fall Tour may be purchased directly from the Museum (1345 Post Avenue) either day of the tour - no advance ticket purchase is necessary. For every ticket purchased, you will be entered into a drawing to receive a night's stay package at the Torrance Marriott South Bay.

Members of the Woman's Club will be on hand to serve complimentary Torrance Bakery cookies and Costco lemonade at the Torrance Woman's Club, a local historical landmark (circa 1925).

The self-guided Original Fall Tour of Historic Homes begin at the Torrance Historical Society & Museum located at 1345 Post Avenue. Proceeds from the fund-raiser directly benefit the Museum - archiving activities, historical discoveries, research projects, special programs, its operation and exhibits. For additional information, please call the Museum directly at 310.328.5392.

For more info or any questions please fill out the form on our website on the contact us link or call (310) 328-5392.

Neighborhood Clean-up - Thursday, July 15th - for Rock Around the Block

Please join the Old Torrance Neighborhood Association, (OTNA) to clean-up around the Museum the morning of "Rock Around the Block."

When: Thursday, July 15th, 9:00 AM - ?
Location: Rendezvous at Torrance Historical Society & Museum, 1345 Post Avenue at Cravens, 9:00AM.
RSVP: (preferred, but not required) with Charles Payne - 310-328-7549, or sign up online regarding Events on the Contact Us page.
Clean-up Area: Clean-up will focus on the half block or so on the N, S and E streets of the Museum of Cravens and Post. This is to ensure the area looks good for Rock Around the Block.
What to Wear: Old clothes, sturdy, comfortable shoes, gloves and sunscreen

On June 7th, 2007 OTNA was recognized by the Environmental Quality Control Commission with a Green Pride in Torrance Award for our clean-up efforts in the City -- a "Pay it Forward" challenge set forth by Mayor Frank Scotto in 2006. Once again, acting upon the Mayor's challenge, OTNA will host another Neighborhood Clean-up Day!

The Torrance Historical Society Rocks Around the Block
in Celebration of the All-America City Award

When: Thursday, July 15th, 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Location: Torrance Historical Society & Museum, 1345 Post Avenue
Cost: Free and open to the public - minimal fee for food and beverage
Info: If you have any questions or would like additional information, please visit or call the Museum at (310) 328-5392.

On Thursday, July 15th, from 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM the Torrance Historical Society is hosting the sixth annual 1950s-style family summer event in celebration of Torrance's All-America City Award -- one of America's original and most prestigious community recognition awards. The City received this award for "Growth without strain" back in the 1956 when Albert Isen was Mayor of Torrance.

This free event, sponsored by Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center Torrance, is open to the public and will be held in front of the Museum (1345 Post Avenue). Post Avenue will be blocked off from Cravens to Sartori, so guests can . . .

View vintage cars on display along Post Avenue, courtesy of Cruisin' 50s Car Club, local car owners Bop to 50s music

Munch on burgers from the IN-N-OUT burger wagon (burgers served from 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM, nominal fee for food & beverages)

See special exhibits featuring the original congratulatory telegram from President Eisenhower, along with the All-America City button & logo

Slurp milk shakes made with vintage machines by real "soda jerks"

Check-out high school yearbooks -- the Torrance Historical Society has the largest collection

Donate blood in the Providence Little Co. of Mary Medical Center's Bloodmobile from 3:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Enter the hula hoop, bubble gum blowin', cake walk and pie eating contests - there are prizes!

The Bartlett Senior (over 50) Center will also be hosting an Open House this same night -- you can dine on their patio and listen to The South Bay Strummers (ukulele group)! The Torrance Woman's Club will also have their 1950s Club scrapbook available for viewing. Also, the Torrelles -- a group of City employees who sing 50s and 60s songs in a cappella, will entertain guests.

This FREE 1950s-style family event is hosted in partnership with the City of Torrance, CitiCABLE 3, Costco, Torrance Bakery, Old Torrance Neighborhood Assoc., and is sponsored by Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center Torrance.

If you have any questions or would like additional information, please call the Museum at (310) 328-5392 or visit

Saving the Day: Being a Family Photograph Hero

Do you want or need to learn how to best archive your photos? Join the Torrance Historical Society and the Torrance Public Library for Saving the Day: Being a Family Photograph Hero Presented by Tom Philo Archivist/Cataloger, University Library, California State University, Dominguez Hills

Goldmine: The Living Value of Family Photographs
The Bad Guys: Light, Temperature, Humidity
Crime in Progress: Killing Photos with Kindness
Which Way Did They Go?: Save the Photo or Save the Image?
Riding to the Rescue: Proper Preservation of Photographs
Cleanin' Up Dodge: Scanners, Digital Photography, Home Printing

Family photographs are among our most prized possessions, but they are under constant attack by environmental factors, and often by our own attempts to save them. This short program looks at some of the reasons photographs get damaged, and how you can take a few simple steps to make sure your photographs remain family treasures for generations to come. We'll look at common types of photographs, the most frequent problems you may have, techniques you should follow to preserve photos - and things you definitely should NOT do. Finally, we'll look at preserving photographs in our digital age.

Here are the details:

What: Photo Archiving Program - Saving the Day: Being a Family Photograph Hero
When: Wednesday, June 9th, 2010
Where: Katy Geissert Civic Center Library - Community Meeting Room - 3301 Torrance Blvd., Torrance
Time: 7:00 PM
Cost: Free!
Info: 310.618.5959 or or

History of a Hospital - Torrance Memorial Medical Center

THS Annual Meeting & Installation of Officers

Upon his death, Jared Sidney Torrance bequeathed $100,000 to fund a hospital in the town in which he founded. Mrs. Helena C. Torrance kept his dream alive for many years as a silent donor.

Join the Torrance Historical Society for lunch, an oral history by Carolyn Wolf, and stroll through the Historical Photo Gallery in the West Corridor - pictures, clippings and captions highlight the hospital's beginnings and growth while paralleling world events.

When: Sunday, June 6, 2010
Where: Torrance Memorial Medical Center, 3330 Lomita Blvd., Torrance - West Tower
Time: 11:30 AM Sharp
Cost: $15 - Members, $20 - Non-members - Reservations are limited -
we'll call and confirm your reservation upon receipt of your check payable to "Torrance Historical Society"
Attire: Casual Dress
RSVP: Thursday, June 3rd - mail check to:

 Torrance Historical Society
 1345 Post Avenue
 Torrance, CA  90501
Info: 310.328.5392

2010 Works in Progress Series Begins

Single tickets to the 2010 Works in Progress series Enduring Spirit are now available at Torrance Cultural Arts Center Box Office (310) 781-7171. Seats are limited. Call now to ensure that you and your friends are served.

You can choose to see one or more of these brand new plays by Chinese American writers telling thoroughly American stories. Each work is presented in the intimate Nakano Theatre (one time only!) and followed by a Q&A with the artists and a free reception.

Please visit to view the entire series and explore each play in more depth by clicking on the dates or artists' photos.

Show Schedule

  • Saturday, February 20th - 7:00 PM
    Long Story Short -- The Story of Larry and Trudie Long, a popular husband-and-wife nightclub act of the 1940s and '50s (film by Christine Choy written by Jodi Long) Special FREE event for Works In Progress Subscribers. Call Box Office to subscribe and attend this VIP presentation and reception.
  • Wednesday, February 24th - 7:00 PM
    Uncle Toisan by Charlie Chin -- Enjoy this favorite uncle, as he shared stories of arriving and striving in America
  • Wednesday, March 31st - 7:00 PM
    American Bamboo by Cherylene Lee -- Experience how a real life family copes with loss in the midst of the Great Depression
  • Wednesday, April 28th - 7:00 PM
    English Only by Annette Lee -- Engage with a community finding their way from on heritage into another one
  • Wednesday, May 26th - 7:00 PM
    In Ten Years by Damon Chua -- Erupt in laughter as newly reunited family members reach across the Pacific Ocean

In celebration of Women's History Month, the Torrance Historical Society is teaming with the Torrance Public Library to present 5000 Years of Uppity Women with Vicki Leon.

We invite you to take an entertaining journey through time with author and historical detective, Vicki Leon, as she introduces female iconoclasts you have never heard of -- power brokers, poisoners, plumbers, philanthropists, and more.

Here are the details:

When: Saturday, March 13, 2010
Where: Katy Geissert Civic Center Library - 3301 Torrance Blvd, Torrance, CA 90503
Time: 2:00 PM
Cost: Free
Info: 310.618.5959 or www.Library.TorranceCA.Gov

Grounded -- Meet the Author

John Bogert, veteran award-winning Daily Breeze news columnist, has finally compiled a book of his best work for Donegal Publishing. Culled from over 6,000 columns, "Grounded" is just that, stories about the things that ground us literally and figuratively. Children, pets, marriage and life itself are the things that endure, the things that we all identify with and - best of all - the things that make for great reading.

John will be at the Torrance Historical Society & Museum on Sunday, February 21st, from 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM to sign books with a portion of each sale going to the Torrance Historical Society.

Light refreshments will be served. No reservations are required. This presentation is free, and open to the public, but seating is limited, so arrive early. Come and meet the author.

Past Events

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