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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Signal Hill in Los Angeles County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Japanese Farming on the Hill

Part of the “Memory Necklace”

 

—A Series of Historical Panels Located in the Hilltop Loop Trail —

 
Japanese Farming on the Hill Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael Kindig, November 24, 2016
1. Japanese Farming on the Hill Marker
Inscription. Signal Hill was home to fruit, flower and vegetable farms beginning in the early 1900s. In addition to the backyard gardens of hill residents, land was leased by Japanese “truck farmers” who grew produce and flowers to sell commercially at the old farmer’s market in Long Beach. The north and south farm fields of Signal Hill were exclusively devoted to flowers such as zinnias, chrysanthemums and gladiolas. The southeast corner of Willow and Temple (to the right of the view shed) was home to one of the last gardens, which comprised 10 to 12 acres of flower fields. Cucumbers, under cover of hot houses, and watermelons were widely grown as well.

Zinnias once grew so profusely that the were an easy choice for the official city flower in 1984. The City of Signal Hill designated the flower and honored Japanese families who once farmed the area. A zinnia garden with a memorial plaque was dedicated at Signal Hill Park.

Many of the farmers’ land leases were bought out with the oil boom in the 1920s. One farmer recalled that her garden turned black every time a new oil well was discovered. Some farms persisted into the 1940s, but the Japanese internment period during WWII ended the truck farming era. (Marker Number 3.)
 
Location. 33° 48.004′ 
Japanese Farming on the Hill Marker image. Click for full size.
By Michael Kindig, November 24, 2016
2. Japanese Farming on the Hill Marker
N, 118° 9.664′ W. Marker is in Signal Hill, California, in Los Angeles County. Marker is on Panorama Drive, on the right when traveling west. Click for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2635-2637 Panorama Drive, Signal Hill CA 90755, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Early Aviation on the Hill (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Car Climbs on the Hill (about 800 feet away); "Unity Monument" (approx. 0.2 miles away); Broadcasting and Music on the Hill (approx. 0.2 miles away); Discovery of Oil on the Hill (approx. 0.2 miles away); “Tribute to the Roughnecks” (approx. 0.2 miles away); Oil Fires on the Hill (approx. 0.2 miles away); Hilltop Park (approx. ¼ mile away). Click for a list of all markers in Signal Hill.
 
Categories. AgricultureAsian Americans
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Michael Kindig of Long Beach, California. This page has been viewed 165 times since then and 50 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Michael Kindig of Long Beach, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on December 16, 2016.
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