The C.M. Furuta Gold Fish Farm at Historic Wintersburg--the former Wintersburg Village--is a rare, pre-1913 Japanese pioneer-owned property listed as one of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places in 2014 and designated as a National Treasure in 2015 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
The currently endangered property is noted as eligible for the California Register of Historical Places and the National Register of Historic Places by the City of Huntington Beach.
The 1912 bungalow-style home of Charles Mitsuji and Yukiko Yajima Furuta at Historic Wintersburg tells the story of Japanese pioneers who settled the American West. Three generations of Japanese American experience are represented: immigration of the Issei in the late 19th century, exclusion and the prohibition of property ownership with the Alien Land Laws of the early 20th Century, World War II incarceration of Americans of Japanese descent, and the return to California from World War II confinement in 1945.
The property's modern history dates to the land purchase by Japanese
immigrant pioneers in 1908, as part of the former land holdings of the Rancho Las Bolsas. The property's pre history includes centuries of occupation by the Tongva, a native people of California. The National Trust for Historic Preservation,
Washington, D.C., named Historic Wintersburg a National Treasure in
October 2015, stating that the Furuta farm is among the only surviving Japanese-American properties
acquired before California passed anti-immigrant land laws in 1913 and
1920. Further, as the entire Wintersburg community was incarcerated
during World War II, the site is iconic of our nation’s civil rights
history and a reminder of the struggle for social justice that many
immigrant communities continue to face today.Preservationists have been working with the current property owner with a goal of historic preservation as a permanent heritage site with public park uses.