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  • Writer's pictureCourtney Cummings

Carpenter House: Making History Known

Updated: Mar 20, 2023

The city of Bellflower, founded in 1906, is filled with rich history and significant monuments. One such piece of history is the Carpenter House. This House— located at Caruthers Park, 10500 E. Flora Vista St– originally belonged to Mr. Fred B. Carpenter when he moved to Bellflower in 1928. Fred Carpenter, born October 22, 1890, spent the first half of his life in Minnesota working as a teacher, farm advisor, rabbit raising, poultry raising, and dairy farming after graduating from the University of Minnesota in the field of farm management. He married his wife, Ruth, the same day as his college graduation and they spent 53 wonderful years together spending their time tending to their farm and raising children. The house that they lived in acted as a home and a dairy with 100 cows. Carpenter was a beloved member of the Bellflower community and acted as a member of the bellflower Kiwanis club, becoming president in 1938. The street that the Carpenters lived on was named after the Spanish translation of their name– Carpintero Avenue– and remains that way to this day. After Fred’s death in 1982, the family sold the land and donated the house to the City of Bellflower to be used as a museum. However, the house hasn’t been used as a museum in ages and has been sitting, untouched, as a dumping ground for historical documents since the move. The Mayfair High School History Club saw this Historical Monument and decided to do something about the lost history inside the walls of the Carpenter House.

A few months ago, an “Elite Team of Historians” from the MHS History Club visited the retired museum and scouted out the materials in the location. This group– consisting of the Club Advisor, Mrs. Garvin, U.S History professor, Mr. Garvin, and student leaders from the club– are in the process of making a plan to organize and digitize all the historical documents in the Carpenter House. This may include newspaper articles, pictures, furniture, and original decor from Bellflower’s past. As of now, menial information is provided via the Bellflower website. With this project, History Club hopes to make local history easily available to the public.

History Club’s president, Alyssa Kline has had a major role in leading this project to success. Alyssa took the initiative to get the project running with the students and the city. She created the action plan which organized this idea and made it a reality. Additionally, she has been responsible for taking the project to “new heights” by bringing in new creative vision and problems solving skills. She made the proposal to move the documents in the house to a more comfortable location in order to upload them onto the website.

Another important person involved with this project is Christopher Mendoza. Mendoza is the student board representative for the Bellflower Unified School District and therefore is very involved and knowledgeable in regards to legal steps for this project. He has been an important acting associate with the club who has greatly improved their ability and strategies in moving forward. Mendoza is passionate about the Carpenter House Project and values the possibility that this could be an opportunity for “Bellflower residents to learn about their city’s history” and be proud of its heritage.

Once the Elite Team of Historians is able to organize all of the house’s historic material, volunteers from History Club and beyond will be able to help in scanning important documents so that the material can be published onto the official website. Keep a sharp eye on this website and follow the progress that Mayfair’s students will be making for their community!

Images Provided via Mrs. Garvin, History Club Advisor

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