Civil Rights Landmark (1/21)

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Harada House: A Family’s Story

Thursday, January 21 • 6– 7:30 pm

RSVP required:

Why is Harada House a National Historic Landmark?

Learn the remarkable story behind the Harada family’s early 20th-century immigrant experience, their proud place in Riverside history, and how the fight for one family’s house on Lemon Street found its way through the court system – and triumphed as a symbol of dignity and racial justice.

This event is co-hosted by Inlandia Institute and the Museum of Riverside, and will feature presenters Lisa Masengale, Curator of Historic Structures for the Museum of Riverside, and Robyn G. Peterson, Museum Director for the Museum of Riverside. 

Jukichi Harada emigrated from Japan to the U.S. around 1900 and was soon joined by his wife and son. The family settled in Riverside, had several more children, and operated a successful restaurant and rooming house on what is now University Avenue. In 1915, the Haradas decided to move their family away from the crowded rooming house and into a home on nearby Lemon Street. They were aware of California’s Alien Land Law of 1913, and purchased the residence in the names of their three youngest – and American-born – children. As the sale neared completion, however, white neighbors rose in protest against the transaction because of the Haradas’ Japanese ancestry.

Lisa Masengale

Lisa Masengale is the Curator of Historic Structures for the City of Riverside’s Museum Department. She earned her BA in Archaeology and MA in the Archaeology of Buildings at the University of York, United Kingdom. She is a specialist in historic preservation of museum buildings, preventive conservation and curatorial housekeeping, and creative pest management for historic sites.

Robyn Peterson

Robyn G. Peterson is a museum professional who has curated dozens of exhibitions and major projects during her three decades in the field. She is the author, editor and/or contributor to more than 30 publications, and has lectured on topics as diverse as ecological art, Burning Man, printmaking history and technology, Golden Age Illustration, photography and nineteenth-century painting.

About the Museum of Riverside:

The Museum of Riverside, a department of the city of Riverside, holds a large multi-disciplinary collection relevant to the history, culture, and natural science of the region. Sites include the downtown Riverside main museum, Heritage House, Harada House, and Robinson House. All sites are temporarily closed for renovation, rehabilitation, or in response to COVID-19. The Museum has a history of exhibitions, programs, and publications foregrounding local and regional achievement.  

About the Harada House Foundation:

In 1916 in Riverside, Japanese immigrant Jukichi Harada was criminally prosecuted in a racially motivated attempt to deny the Harada family their own home. The Harada House Foundation raises funds for the rehabilitation of Harada House so that it may be opened to the public as a civil rights monument and historic house museum. The Foundation also pursues funding to support Harada House-related interpretation and programming, and aims to establish an endowment for long-term stewardship of the house.

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