California Japantowns - Exploring the preservation of history, culture, and community...

El Centro

Along the border of California, Arizona, and Mexico, the Imperial Valley's warm climate was ideal for growing produce. The Salinas Valley Exchange, Crown Packing, Pacific Crate Company, and Kubota Transfer were several of the companies established for the packing and shipping of the produce in El Centro. By 1941, El Centro, like its neighbor, Brawley, had a Buddhist and Christian church, 3 Japanese schools, 3 hotels, 4 pool halls, 14 restaurants, 3 drug stores, and several other stores. None of these businesses still operate, although a few structures stand and the Buddhist Church is now home to a Sikh temple. The JACL and Pioneer Museum offer the only trace of the continued historic communities of the Imperial Valley.


Star Laundry

504 Broadway, El Centro

Sunrise Caf

498 Broadway, El Centro

Taniguchi, Dentist

5th and Main corner of, El Centro

Theatre Caf

433 Broadway, El Centro

Union Church

515 Commercial, El Centro

Y. M. C. A.

515 Commercial, El Centro