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Events in 2018

Visit With a Veteran

Veterans Day is an important day for showing appreciation to members of our military -- a celebration to honor America's Veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.

The Torrance Historical Society invites you, your family, and friends to join them in honoring our Veterans. Pulluup a chair and visit with a Veteran: World War II, Korean War, Vietnam, Gulf War, Iraq, Afghanistan

What: Visit with a Veteran
When: Sunday,November 11th, 2018
Time: 2:00 - 4:00 PM
Where: Torrance Historical Society & Museum - 1345 Post Avenue, (at Cravens), Old Torrance
No RSVP and No Charge: Please come, honor our Veterans and learn something new!
Info: 310.328.5392 or visit:

"Wars may be fought with weapons, but they are won by men. It is the spirit of men who follow and of the man who leads that gains the victory." -- George S. Patton

Purchase Opportunity Tickets for Gourmet Progressive Dinner Until November 8, 2018

What: Gourmet Progressive Dinner for Six We'll be serving a Farm-to-Table Menu in three Historic Homes -- all within a three-block radius between Engracia Ave. & El Prado Ave in downtown, Historic Old Torrance.

When is the Drawing? Thursday, November 8, 2018. You need not be present to win. You will be contacted if you are the winner.

How much are the opportunity tickets? $10 each or 3 for $25 - Only cash or check (payable to "Torrance Historical Society") Tickets are available for purchase in the Museum until November 8th.

Hours of the Museum: Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays - 1:00 - 4:00pm Torrance Historical Society & Museum 1345 Post Ave (at Cravens, across the street from Rudy's and The Flower Shop) Downtown, Historic Torrance 310-328-5392

Dinner Date: Dinner will be served Saturday, January 19th, 2019

Sips & Nips: You'll start with "swanky" appetizers prepared with Torrance Farmers' Market ingredients served fireside in a 1927 Spanish Colonial Revival home where former Mayor Eisen once dined. Beer (compliments of the Red Car) and wine provided will be served.

Main Course: Six of you will sit down to a Farm-to-Table dinner in 1936 Spanish Colonial Revival home where Margaret May Massie, Torrance pioneer, civic leader and sponsor of the Torrance Junior Woman's Club used to host bridge games benefiting the Torrance Woman's Club.

Dessert: After dinner, we'll walk two blocks to where you'll enjoy homemade dessert in a 1939 white Spanish Colonial Revival home where Torrance Rotary Anns once held meetings in the very rooms in which you'll be sipping Kona coffee and after-dinner liquors.

Walking Tours of Downtown Torrance

Every fourth Sunday of the month, May, June, July, August, September, and October.

Tour leaves promptly at 1:30 p.m. from the steps of the Museum and lasts approximately 90 minutes. Wear comfortable walking shoes. The tour covers about eight blocks. Free - donations accepted.

The docent led tour begins at the Torrance Historical Society & Museum (1345 Post Avenue) at 1:30 PM, and will point out many of the historic sites and landmarks of Old Torrance. Guests will also learn about:

  • What's in the Torrance Memorial Time capsule (located in the Museum)
  • What three Torrance properties are on the National Register of Historic Places
  • Where the new Centennial Time Capsule Plaza is placed
  • The original street names of "Torrance Boulevard" and "Post Avenue"
  • What famous artist was commissioned to paint a mural on the side of the Employment Development Department building
  • About the explosion that helped start Torrance
  • Why the first homes built for the executives were rented, not sold
  • What building was originally intended for the site where Torrance High School now stands
  • How Torrance broke away from the Los Angeles Unified School District
  • Why Torrance does not have a cemetery

The tour is an easy, but brisk walk covering eight blocks - the walk is approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes. It's open to the public, requires no reservations, and is hosted on the fourth Sunday of every month, May - October. Comfortable walking shoes are recommended. You're invited to bring your camera, and a friend.

Original Fall Tour of Historic Homes

Date: Saturday & Sunday, October 13th & 14th
Time: 11:00AM - 4:00PM (Museum opens at 10:30AM)
Fee: $25.00 per person - Cash, check, or Paypal. Paypal option only available until 9:00pm Friday, October 12th
Where & How to Purchase: Tickets can be purchased either via Paypal (see info on how to order via Paypal below) OR they can be purchased via cash or check at the Museum on either day of the Home Tour. The only way to purchase tickets via a credit or debit card or to purchase in advance is via Paypal. Paypal option is only available until 9:00pm, Friday, October 12th. Credit cards, debit cards and Paypal can not be processed in person at the museum. PayPal tickets will be available for pick-up at the Museum's ticket desk.
Location to begin Historic Home Tour:
Torrance Historical Society & Museum
1345 Post Ave (at Cravens)
downtown Torrance
Disclaimers: No photos are to be taken inside the homes, no spike heels, no baby strollers. Home Tour is recommended for those 18 years of age, and older. Tickets provide a one-time entry into the homes, (no re-admittance) Fundraiser Benefits:Proceeds from the fundraiser directly benefit the Museum - archiving activities, historical discoveries, research projects, special programs, its operation and exhibits.
Sponsor: The Van Lingen Group
Refreshments: Complimentary lemonade and Torrance Bakery Cookies will be served at the historic 1925 Torrance Woman's Club, (1422 Engracia Ave Torrance, CA 90501 with an added bonus of Views of Torrance art by the Artists of Torrance Artist Guild, and Destination: Art, and the Torrance Rose Float Association's - Floating Through the Decades -- large framed photos of all the city of Torrance's winning Tournament of Roses Parade entries -- being on display

The primary fund-raiser and signature event for the Torrance Historical Society & Museum is its biennial Tour of Historic Homes - a long standing tradition in the City of Torrance since 1980. This event is held on even years the second weekend in October. The Torrance Historical Society & Museum is hosting the Original Fall Tour of Historic Homes in Old Torrance (the original footprint of the City) Saturday and Sunday, October 13th - 14th, 2018, from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM, both days. This biennial, self guided event is open to the general public and begins at the Torrance Historical Society & Museum.

You will 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 - which characterize and add to the charm of Old Torrance -- founded 1912. The homes range from a Spanish Colonial Revival to Craftsman Bungalow to Mission Revival. The houses on the the tour were built between 1918 and 1936. Each home will have a Model A car parked in front of it courtesy of South Bay Touring A's.

Additional elements of the Home Tour include ...

  • You'll stroll the tree-lined streets of Old Torrance
  • Special display of Hometown Hero, Louis Zamperini (in Museum)
  • Opportunity to win a Progressive Dinner for six in three Historic Homes - drawing to be held in November 2018 (winner will be notified). Tickets are $10 each or 3 for $25. Dinner will be Saturday, Jan 19, 2019.

The homes may be viewed in any order, on either day as a one-time entry into each home and all are within walking distance from the Museum. The furthest home is six blocks from the Museum. Local restaurants will be offering Home Tour Specials.

Paypal option is only available until 9:00pm, Friday, October 12th.

The Home Tour Poster is available here.

Summer Stroll

What: 7th Annual Summer Stroll - docent-led walking tour of Old Torrance Historic Buildings and a taste of what is inside.

You will tour some of the hip restaurants in Old Torrance for a sip & a snack, and a peek into the past behind the brick and mortar.

When Torrance was founded 100 years ago, business began to build. Downtown Torrance, which was in the center of the original footprint of the City, soon became the heartbeat of the town. A century later, many a business has come and gone through those old buildings - they each have a story to tell.

Not only will you learn the building's history, we'll show you old photos of the "before", as you stand in the "now." The buildings on tour to be announced.

When: Thursday August 9th, 6:00PM SHARP! - You must be on time!
Location: Meet at Torrance Historical Society & Museum, 1345 Post Avenue, at Cravens.
Who: Adults, 21 years and older ONLY.
Cost: $35 per person (reservations required, adults only). Space is limited. No refunds. See info under "RSVP". Make checks payable to: "Torrance Historical Society" No credit / debit cards nor Paypal accepted.

Mail to:
Torrance Historical Society
1345 Post Ave.
Torrance, CA 90501

Buildings on Tour: The buildings on the tour include the Museum, Red Car Brewery & Restaurant, Tortilla Cantina, Kech Cafe, Depot, Local Kitchen, Keegans, Restoration Kitchen & Wine and Torrance Bakery.

RSVP: 310.328.5392 or email Debbie Hays: Reservations honored on a first come/first-served basis. Payment must be received within 48 hours of reservation in order to hold your spot. This has been a sold-out event each year.

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

All money raised will be used to fund programs and projects for the Torrance Historical Society & Museum.

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

When: Thursday July 19, 2018, 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Location: Torrance Historical Society & Museum, 1345 Post Avenue
Cost: Free and open to the public - donations accepted. Nominal fee for food and beverage ($9.50 for combo (Burger or cheese sandwich) with soft drink and chips)
Info: If you have any questions or would like additional information, please visit or call the Museum at (310) 328-5392.

This is a fund raiser for the Torrance Historical Society & Museum.

The Torrance Historical Society and our sponsors will host this 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 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:

  • Bop to 50s music - by DJ Ozzie
  • Munch on burgers from the IN-N-OUT burger wagon (burgers served from 5:00 PM - 7:30 PM, AMT TBA for food & beverages; see below)
  • See special exhibits featuring the original congratulatory telegram from President Eisenhower, along with the All-America City button & logo
  • Check-out high school yearbooks -- the Torrance Historical Society has the largest collection
  • Enter the Wham-O, hula hoop, bubble gum blowin', cake walk and pie eating contests - there are prizes!
  • View vintage cars on display along Post Avenue, courtesy of Cruisin' 50s Car Club, Touring A's and local car owners
  • Alex Hattori, world-renowned yo-yo champ, will also be on stage amazing the crowd with his award winning tricks and will do a live demo for those who want to learn the skill of yo-yo-ing.
  • Guests will also have the opportunity to learn hands-on CPR from the Torrance Fire Dept. to the Bee Gees' tune "Stayin' Alive."

Tickets for the IN-N-OUT burger wagon can be purchased at the "burger desk" on the Museum lawn during the event. Cash or personal check, made payable to the Torrance Historical Society will be accepted. Sorry no credit/debit cards nor paypal are accepted. Exact change is appreciated and please, no large bills.

Burgers or grilled cheese, chips and a fountain drink will be available for $9.50 until 7:30 p.m. or until sold out. Please arrive early due limited availability.

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 sponsored by the Sares-Regis Group, Wham-O, and hosted in partnership with the City of Torrance, Old Torrance Neighborhood Association, CitiCABLE 3, Torrance Bakery, DJ Ozzie, and Downtown Torrance Association (DTA).

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

Downtown Torrance Art Walk

What: Outstanding local artists from the South Bay will be showcased in over a dozen venues including the Torrance Historical Society & Museum.
When: TBA - usually the last Saturday in June, 4:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Where: Starts at APC Fine Arts Gallery - 1621 Cabrillo Ave., Old Torrance
Cost: Free

Annual Meeting & Installation of Officers
Marsh Madness at Madrona Marsh and Preserve

What: Annual Meeting & installation of Officers.
Marsh Madness - at Madrona Marsh.
In addition to the election and installation of THS Officers, there will be a program and video about the murals in the Madrona Marsh Center. This will be followed by an optional tour of the Madrona Marsh led by Naturalist Tracy Drake.
When:Sunday, June 3rd, 11:30AM
Cost: $22.00 per person - Torrance Bakery Boxed lunch and program included. No credit card, debit cards. Paypal is accepted. Either mail in a check or bring cash or check when the Museum is open. If paying cash, exact change appreciated. please no $50 or $100 bills.
Mail checks to: Torrance Historical Society
1345 Post Ave.
Torrance, CA 90501
Include the name, email address, and phone number of each person in your group, and mail to Torrance Historical Society, 1345 Post Ave., Torrance, CA 90501.
Make checks payable to "Torrance Historical Society"
Where: Madrona Marsh and Preserve 3201 Plaza del Amo, Torrance, CA 90503 (310) 782-3989 - call THS Museum for info about this event, not the Marsh Center
RSVP: 310.328.5392 or email Debbie Hays:
Info: If you have any questions or would like additional information, please visit or call the Museum at (310) 328-5392.
Attire: Dress casual, walking shoes recommended if you plan to participate in optional walking tour of Madrona Marsh with Naturalist Tracy Drake.

Names on the Wall Remembrance

The Torrance Historical Society will conduct a memorial service for Torrance service personnel who gave their lives in U. S. military actions. The program will include the reading of the 146 Names on the Wall. Those names include war losses from World War I to those in the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars.

What: Names on the Wall Remembrance
When: Memorial Day - Monday, May 28th, 2018, 2:00 PM (see location)
Location: City of Torrance Veterans' Memorial Wall at Memorial Plaza, Torrance Blvd. at Maple at 2:00PM
Cost: Free and open to the public
Info: If you have any questions or would like additional information, please visit Torrance Historical & Society and Museum, or call the Museum at (310) 328-5392.

"On Monday, we will be grateful for the gift of those who never came home. We will remember -- every day is Memorial Day. We will pray that we may never add another name to that cold, black wall," noted Jerry Ronan, Torrance Historical Society Board Member and WWII Veteran.

THS Lifetime member and Councilwoman Emeritus Maureen O'Donnell Presents a Program on Irish American Women in the 1900s

In celebration of Women's History Month and Irish -- American Heritage Month, we've invited Councilwoman Emeritus Maureen O'Donnell to discuss Irish Women in 1900s America. Men were leaving Ireland in droves, so there were no husbands to be had. It was the 1900s, and both the USA and England were offering servants works. Slipping into the USA was cheaper if you went through Canada, first -- the largest group of foreign women working in America, at the time, were Irish. They had an edge -- they spoke English. Your social status was determined by the wealth of the family for whom you worked, so many of the Irish women remained unmarried (and childless) as the money they made as a servant was their own, they were given the owner's cast-off clothing, had a nice place to live, and they were off on Sundays. Often, a portion of the money earned was given to churches, sent back to Ireland, and used to educate their nieces and nephews.

As a former history teacher, Miss O'Donnell has much more to share on this interesting point-in-time of American history. See more about Councilman Emeritus Maureen O'Donnell below.

What: THS lifetime member and former Torrance City Councilwoman, Maureen O'Donnell, will present a program on Irish American Women in the 1900s
When: Sunday, March 18th
Time: 2:00 PM
Location: The Torrance Historical Society & Museum
Cost: No Charge - Donations accepted.
More info: Call the museum at (310) 328-5392

Seating is limited and will be available on a first-come/first-served basis. No reservations required. Light refreshments will be served.

March is National Women's History Month and Irish-American Heritage Month

In 1987, Congress declared March as National Women's History Month in perpetuity. A special Presidential Proclamation is issued every year which honors the extraordinary achievements of American women.

Irish-American Heritage Month is celebrated by proclamation of the President and Congress in the United States to honor the achievements and contributions of Irish immigrants and their descendants living in the United States. It was first celebrated in 1991. The heritage month is in March to coincide with Saint Patrick's Day, the Irish national holiday on March 17. Heritage Months are usually proclaimed by nations to celebrate centuries of contributions by a group to a country.

Maureen O'Donnell spent eight years on the Torrance City Council and has also served on the governing bodies of the Torrance Unified School District and El Camino Community College District.

She has volunteered for numerous civic and community organizations over the years, co-founded the Old Torrance Neighborhood Association and was presented with the Presidential Achievement Award for outstanding community service by President Ronald Reagan.

She received the prestigious Jared Sidney Torrance Award in recognition of her sustained service to the community in 2014.

(source: The Daily Breeze, September 6, 2017)

Meet the Author and Book Signing
Sunday, March 11th

Author Alice Duarte Solis will discuss and sign her new book entitled, Mexican Americans in Torrance.

About the Author: Alice Duarte Solis is the daughter of immigrants Artemio and Dolores Duarte and is the oldest of nine children. Solis graduated from Torrance High School, attended cosmetology school, and then owned and operated a beauty salon in Torrance for 46 years. La Rana ("The Frog") is two street blocks located between Crenshaw Blvd. and Van Ness Ave. in Torrance, California. La Rana has a colorful history of immigrants who settled in 1908 from various parts of Mexico with the following surnames: Torres, Ordaz, Grajeda, Flores, Alvarez, Duarte, and Solis. These families fled the Mexican Revolution and religious persecution in search of a brighter future for their children. They attended Torrance schools, such as Torrance Elementary, Nativity Catholic School, Torrance High School, and El Camino College. They earned degrees of higher education from a variety of schools like the University of California, Santa Barbara; California State University Long Beach; Loyola Marymount; the University of Arizona; and American InterContinental University.

Today, those progenies include Devin Molina, an anthropologist; James Yanes, a medical doctor specializing in infectious diseases; Eddie Solis, an anesthesiologist; and Maria Dolores White, a nurse practitioner. Other professions include lawyers, nurses, teachers, police officers, accountants, professional baseball players, and a fire chief, as well as many business owners. Their stories are told through vintage photographs gathered from personal collections and commentary from friends and neighbors of the lives they led and the dreams they shared.

What: Book Signing with Alice Duarte Solis and her book Mexican Americans in Torrance
When: Sunday, March 11, 2018
Time: 2:00 PM
Location: The Torrance Historical Society & Museum
Cost: No Charge for event - Donations accepted.
Her book, Mexican Americans in Torrance, can be purchased at the museum with cash or check for $20.00, no credit/debit cards and no Paypal. All proceeds from book sales on this day, (Sunday, March 11, 2018), will be directly donated to the Torrance Historical Society & Museum
More info: (310) 328-5392

Seating is limited and will be available on a first-come / first-served basis. No reservations required. Light refreshments will be served This event is free and open to the public.

Vintage Typewriter Display & Event

Do you remember the clack of the typewriter key, the ding of the carriage return, and the smell of the ribbon? Starting Sunday, January 21st, the Torrance Historical Society will have over a dozen vintage typewriters on display in the Museum, including . . .

  • 1912 Corona folding typewriter
  • 1920's Remington Standard #12 (red keys)
  • Early 1900's Ideal S&N (made in Germany)
  • 1930's maroon Corona portable
  • 1950's Remington "Quiet Riter" portable with green keys
  • and . . . more!

The typewriters will be on display from Sunday, January 21st - Sunday, February 18th, 2018 on Sundays, Wednesdays & Thursdays. The collection is from the Museum's archives, and Torrance Street Faire Antiques - some are for sale.

On Sunday, January 28th, from 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM you will have the rare opportunity to sit before one of the vintage typewriters, type a note, or . . . get reacquainted with the old-fashioned keys by typing "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" -- a pangram (a sentence that uses every letter in the alphabet at least once). You will be provided with a practice piece of paper, and then a nice piece of stationery to type a special note.

On Sunday, January 28th, typewriter instructions will be given by long-time business/typing teacher (El Camino), and Torrance Historical Society Member, Maxine Trevethan. This event is free and open to the public, but the typing opportunity is for adults only.

What & When: Typewriter Display and a Typewriter Event
Typewriter Display: Sunday, January 21st - Sunday, February 18th, (Museum open Sundays, Wednesdays & Thursdays 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM)
Typewriter Event (free): Sunday, January 28th - 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM - NOTE: typing on vintage typewriters is for adults only

Where: Torrance Historical Society & Museum, 1345 Post Avenue, Old Torrance, 90501
Museum Hours: Sundays, Wednesdays & Thursdays - 1:00 - 4:00 PM No RSVP and No Charge: Free event. No reservations. Donations accepted.
Info: 310.328.5392 or visit

Tea at Two - a Valentine's Day Tea and Program

The Torrance Historical Society & Museum is hosting Tea at Two - a Valentine's Day Tea and Program at Chado Tea Room in downtown Torrance. The pleasure of your company is requested for this afternoon of tea, delicious delicacies and history!

Proceeds from this fund-raiser directly benefit the Museum - archiving activities, historical discoveries, research projects, special programs, its operation and exhibits.

When: Saturday, February 11th, 2018
Where: Chado Tea Room - 1303 El Prado, Old Torrance - NOTE: New location for 2018
Time: 2:00 - 400 PM, doors open at 1:45 PM
Cost: $30 per person -- seating is limited, reservations are required and will be taken on a first come/first served basis. See RSVP info below.
Checks made payable to "Torrance Historical Society" are to be mailed to:
Torrance Historical Society
1345 Post Avenue, Torrance, CA 90501
RSVP: 310.328.5392 to the Torrance Historical Society. RSVP no later than Friday, February 2nd. Reservations are taken on a first come/first served basis.

Each year, this is a sold-out event and seats are not guaranteed to be available until February 2nd so get your reservations and checks in early.

Checks must be received within 48 hours of making reservation to hold your spot. Checks must be mailed to, or delivered to the Torrance Historical Society - NOT to the Chado Tea Room
Additional Info: 310.328.5392
Attire: Tea attire -- hats and gloves optional
Parking: Free on-street parking is available.

This year your afternoon will include:

  • Sampling ten varieties of Chado's freshly-steeped loose leaf teas
  • Sumptuous tea sandwiches
  • Freshly baked scones with Chado's famous cream
  • Assorted delicious desserts
  • Opportunity to win fabulous gift baskets

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