SANTA ANA — Historic Wintersburg will be part of the Smithsonian Institution program “Journey Stories” on Saturday, Oct. 25, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Heritage Museum of Orange County, 3101 W. Harvard St., Santa Ana.

Walk the beautiful 12-acre grounds and explore the historic buildings at the Heritage Museum to see displays from the Smithsonian and local historical groups, representing the stories of Orange County’s pre history — the first Californians — and of the diverse pioneer journeys.

Detail of 1912 photo of Shinyo Maru by Charles Furuta. (Courtesy Historic Wintersburg and Furuta family)
Detail of 1912 photo of Shinyo Maru by Charles Furuta. (Courtesy Historic Wintersburg and Furuta family)

Listen to migration stories of the OC’s multiethnic residents as they share their tales of moving from their motherland and of assimilation to their new surroundings. Enjoy the cultural atmosphere as the diversity in Orange County is celebrated through special performances, demonstrations and presentations particular to each community, all brought to Orange County via different modes of transportation.

Look for Historic Wintersburg’s display in the Rose Garden Lawn, and for a discussion by Mary Urashima of the Historic Wintersburg Preservation Task Force about Orange County’s Japanese pioneers on the steps of the historic Maag Farmhouse at 1:30 p.m., preceded by a drumming performance by Jodaiko from UC Irvine at 1 p.m.

The task force is seeking to preserve and rehabilitate historic buildings in Huntington Beach, some of which predate the Alien Land Law of 1913. The buildings, which include a Presbyterian mission and the Furuta family house and barn, represent the period when Wintersburg was the hub of the Japanese American community in Orange County.

Items on display will include a promotional ticket for the Shinyo Maru’s Toyo Kisen-Kaisha ship line. When Charles Furuta first traveled to America in 1900, his ship, the SS Glenogle, was disinfected to kill rats, its passengers’ baggage steamed to avoid contagion. Upon arrival in Hawaii, his original destination, passengers were not allowed to disembark due to the black plague. He continued on to the U.S. mainland.

There is also a 1912 photo of the Shinyo Maru by Furuta, who documented his voyage back to Japan to meet his bride, Yukiko Yajima. Furuta had been in America for 12 years, had acquired the property in Wintersburg Village, and felt he could now support a wife. The couple returned to America on the same ship line.

For more information on Historic Wintersburg, visit Find the Indiegogo campaign for preservation of the buildings at

Admission is $8 general, $5 for children 12 and under. For more information on the museum, call (714) 540-0404 or visit

“Journey Stories” is brought to Heritage Museum of Orange County by Smithsonian Institution and Exhibit Envoy, and is part of Museum on Main Street, a collaboration between the Smithsonian and state humanities councils nationwide. Support for Museum on Main Street has been provided by the U.S. Congress.

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