By Willie Hjorth

Marina del Rey Historical Society

New directors joining the Society have initiated work-in- progress projects to revamp and upgrade our website and social media presence. As we all know, technology innovation is speeding at ever faster rates, and MdRHS has a goal to make our collections available on line for public access. It’s definitely a challenge! Now that the sheer volume of collection data and images has enlarged mega-fold, we are seeking help from various sources for advice as to best ways to store the physical artifacts
as well as on line storage. MdRHS has attended several historical societies seminars. We are seeking interns to assist in computer digital archiving. We welcome any and all of you who have expertise in any of these subjects to please join our efforts to create a modern and streamlined archive. Since most of our events were in the last half of this year, we have combined two issues of our newsletter to bring you our reports. Normally we publish three times a year.


LA’s MarinaFest 2016

The annual festival in Burton Chace Park in June consisted of a boat show on the guest docks, classic cars, pop concert, display booths for businesses and non-profits, as well as a “Wine & Beer” garden. Marina del Rey Historical Society (MdRHS) set up its tent display of pictorial history of photographs as well as merchandise from its Fisherman’s Village Gallery. Water taxis ferried attendees between apartment complexes, yacht clubs and seaside eateries. MARINAFEST gave MdRHS great public exposure, especially promotion of our Gallery and the chance to add revenue to our treasury.

Old Fashioned Day in the Park

Our “roving booth history exhibit” went on display for the annual July free admission “Old Fashioned Day in the Park:’ Classic yachts and cars were placed at Burton Chace Park in festival­like setting for the public to view and visit. The vintage Greg Wenger/ Marina Chamber of Commerce publication of 1998 with historical pictures of the Marina, “A Photographic Collection;’was distributed to visitors. Gift and souvenir items from our Fisherman’s Village Gallery were on display as well as our published pictorial history book,”IMAGES OF AMERICA – MARINA DEL REY:’

Discover Marina del Rey

Again our “roving booth exhibit” was visited by several hundred Burton Chace Park attendees at the”Discover Marina del Rey Day” in October. The annual event is very popular with families and has become a big “must-attend” outing. Inflatable “bouncy play-worlds” pepper the Park, drawing multitudes of children. The sheer numbers ensure the future of Marina del Rey activity as a wonderful playground destination. The event is sponsored by the County Department of Beaches and Harbors. Gallery merchandise is displayed for promotion purposes, but cannot be sold to the public at this event.

USC/California Archives Bazaar

A modified MdRHS exhibit, manned by four volunteers, was set up at the University of Southern California Archives Bazaar on October 15. Many California historical societies and supporting businesses gather at the USC Doheny Library to exchange information, learn latest technology advances in caring for archival material as well as research into areas of growing interest, such as Marina del Rey. As a man-made area reclaimed from swampland, Marina history reflects advances in engineering techniques, government funding co-operation, private interest development, as well as Los Angeles County Regional Planning vision over the decades. Fascinating stuff for many archivists, we have learned. This event has become a “must go to” learning session for MdRHS where we have connected with vital university library/archive programs.

Catalina Yacht Association

Part of what the Marina del Rey Historical Society does is to give presentations to various groups about the history and formation of Marina del Rey. Our slide shows are varied and tailored to a specific audience. [For example, at the request of the Ritz Carlton-Marina del Rey Hotel, we gave a PowerPoint show to their visitors who were interested specifically in the unique history of Marina del Rey, not just tourist information.The Catalina Yacht Association boat owners were very attentive to the program we prepared. Their interest in history enhanced their sense of boat ownership in an area which never existed as a natural open ocean waterway.


Continued progress on our archives, website and social media is foremost. Our Speakers’ Series, Members Reception, and presentations will be scheduled. In March, Opening Days at the yacht clubs will celebrate the onset of the boating season; MdRHS will present to the Del Rey Yacht Club in March; and we will hope to have our website update operational asap. It is vital to the strength and growth of the Society that we increase membership and have interested volunteers become Marina del Rey historians to assist in educational presentations, especially to our area schools. We welcome your help and need your assistance. Together we can grow the appreciation for the magnificent engineering enterprise called “Marina del Rey:’

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