When city founder Harry Culver identified this location to establish a community, he began his marketing campaign. There were two levels of ads, one aimed at investors and the other to entice families to settle here.
Culver was known for his ability to draw people to Culver City, using a variety of marketing tools, including events like marathons, and bus trips. When Harry Culver ran his bus trips to Culver City, the Gales were amongst those who took advantage of that free ride and lunch.
In 1996, Verna Gale sat on a panel to discuss personal local history. Verna, one of the ‘grand dames’ of Culver City, brought her recollections in written form as well. She stated that she “came to Culver City in 1930, from Washington State. I first had a job at Winn’s Drug Store at the corner of Washington Boulevard and Helms Ave. (across the street from Helms Bakery.) That is where I met my husband, George Gale, who at that time was a mailman.”
“George’s family were really the Culver pioneers. George’s mother, Clara Gale, and Aunt, Martha Holt, lived with their families in Huntington Park. After arriving from Lowell, Mass. They loved to go to Clifton’s Cafeteria each Sunday for lunch. One particular Sunday there was a big sign in front of Clifton’s “Free Ride to Culver City And Back..LUNCH INCLUDED.” So they decided to take the ride. It turned out to be one of Harry Culver’s promotion deals. This was in 1917. When they arrived in C.C. they were met by Real Estate people connected with Harry Culver and were given a tour of the area. They picked out two lots on Duquesne Ave. and went home and told their husbands they were all moving to Culver City. In early 1918 the houses were completed and they moved to C.C.- the Gales at 4161 and the Holts at 4165 Duquesne Ave. The Gale house at 4161 still stands. George and I lived there 21 years before moving here to Westwood Blvd.”
“George was 10 years old when they moved here to C.C. and entered 4th grade at Culver Grammar School. His sister, Gladys Uebele Kotvasz, who still lives in Culver City on Keystone Ave., was in the 8th Grade. She tells me there were only 68 students in the entire school at the time. I have been told that George loved to hang out at the Post Office….which originally was a small building on Main St. (across from Steller Bros). The Post Mistress took a liking to him and gave him the job of raising the flag up each morning and taking it down, emptying the waste baskets, filling ink wells, etc., later he got to take the mail to the train (Red Car), then Special Deliveries, Mailman, Supt of Mails and finally Asst. Post Master. He was given 41 years retirement credit by the Postal Department.”
Verna went on to say how she worked at the drug store until the Winns sold, and lived with the owners on Helms Ave. for two years. Winns were apparently good friends with Frank Sebastian, who owned the Cotton Club, which she mentioned, along with other places that had gambling, like Fatty Arbuckle’s Plantation across from La Ballona School. She also talked about her mother-in-law’s job.
“George’s mother worked many years in the wardrobe department at Hal Roach Studios. She made most of the clothes for the Our Gang Kids. I used to go with her at times and watch them make movies. Also was the time of the Keystone Cops.”