Historic calendar: Mizutani Market

The 2018 Kingsburg Historical Society Calendar features a photo of the interior of the second Mizutani Market. The market was owned by the first Japanese family to arrive in Kingsburg 115 years ago.

KINGSBURG – Local historian Ron Bergman has again produced a calendar featuring Kingsburg’s history. This upcoming year’s 2018 Kingsburg Historical Society Calendar features the inside of the second Mizutani Market.

The market was owned by the Mizutani family who were the first Japanese family to arrive in Kingsburg 115 years ago. Theirs was the first Japanese business in Kingsburg. Built in 1902, the market also served as a noodle house and a boarding house for Japanese laborers.

The Mizutani family has lived in Kingsburg for five generations and operated Kingsburg’s longest running family-owned business from 1902 until 1983.

The release of the calendar coincides with the featuring of local Japanese-Americans’ experiences in a national exhibit entitled “Courage and Compassion: Our Shared Story of the Japanese American WWII Experience.” The free exhibit will be Jan. 6 through Feb. 4 at the Kingsburg Historical Park.

The 2018 calendar includes 13 frame-ready photographs of Kingsburg’s historic landmarks, buildings and community. Each also has a caption detailing the photos.

Bergman produced the first Kingsburg Historical Calendar in October 2006. That edition featured the Hotel Stone from circa 1913 on its cover from when it sat next to the Southern Pacific Depot. Bergman personally selects photos for the cover, and each month of the calendar, based on its clarity, detail and historical significance.

The historic photos may be framed and displayed in homes and businesses. Diane’s Village Bakery and Café is among local businesses that have such historic photos on display.

The calendars are $10 each and are available by calling Ron Bergman at 859-3148, or from any Kingsburg Historical Society Board members. Calendars are also at the following locations: Kady’s Kitchen, Kingsburg Chamber of Commerce, Viking Barber Shop, The Historic Kingsburg Depot, Kingsburg First Baptist Church and the Kingsburg Historical Park.

By month, the calendar features:

January: The Skeleton Club Gang which started as a men’s athletic club but became a social club for families as its members married and had children.

February: Ray and Eula Gonzalez established The Valley Inn which became famous for its fine food. It was a Chinese restaurant beforehand.

March: A church that was under construction in 1914 which eventually housed 600 worshipers and unified several churches into one.

April: A 1913 photo of the Kingsburg Bank building, Johnson Brothers Offices, N.M. Johnson Jewelry Store and Johnson’s Drug Store.

May: The P. G. ‘Peter’ Hero home was built in 1906 when 14th Avenue was still named Hero Street.

June: A majestic view of the Hotel Stone before the colonnades were filled in and when Draper Street featured those distinctive electrolier-style street lights.

July: Kingsburg Ice and Cold Storage in the mid-1930s. The history of Kingsburg’s first commercial ice company alone is interesting and auto enthusiasts will appreciate the three great photos of period delivery vehicles.

August: Architect and builder Anton Johnson driving his 1911 Model T makes this a great month for the vintage auto enthusiasts. Compare it to April’s photo to see the similarities.

September: The 1946 Kingsburg Class A (Varsity) football team gave a valiant effort and almost clinched the league championship.

October: Nelson’s Leghorn Breeding Farm. Raymond Nelson and grand sire K-546 are featured.

November: The 1923 Salvation Army home was previously a shoe store, but not on Smith Street. Now it has been converted to an apartment building across from the church featured in the March calendar.

December: The construction of the Masonic Building on Draper is featured. Notice the buildings in the background and the depth of the basement under the old Masonic Building.

The reporter can be reached at 583-2427 or lbrown@selmaenterprise.com.

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