Harry S. Watanabe

Harry S. Watanabe (HM17JQ)

Location: Coalinga, CA 93210 Fresno County
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Country: United States of America
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N 36° 9.227', W 120° 21.236'

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(1896 - 1987)

Harry Watanabe was 19 years old when he came to Coalinga from Japan in 1915. Watanabe first worked at Ayers Drug Store and the Sullivan Hotel. It was in 1928 that Watanabe found his niche in life and the vocation that left his mark on Coalinga. Watanabe had a natural instinct for gardening and was destined to play a considerable part in making Coalinga a gem - an oasis in what was nearly a hostile desert. The first settlers were faced with a brackish, hard water from local wells and planted chinaberry, salt cedar and cottonwood trees for shade, the only trees that would grow.

Watanabe had a different vision, he started a nursery and began experimenting. From his discoveries he helped the city gradually change from a dusty, wild west frontier town to a community of shade. He helped landscape nearly every early public building, including schools, hospital and City Hall. His work as a professional nurseryman lasted from 1928 until the mid-1960s. His valued advice was sought by all those who needed gardening assistance. In 1942 the Watanabe family joined others of Japanese descent who were interned in Arkansas for the duration of World War II. The Watanabes returned to Coalinga in 1946 and reopened their nursery business.

In 1972, Watanabe and his wife Yoshino, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. Watanabe passed away January 7, 1987, in Hanford at the age of 91.

In remembrance of Harry Watanabe, the Coalinga City Council dedicated this wildlife habitat and named it Watanabe Natural Science Park on April 17, 1997.
HM NumberHM17JQ
Year Placed1997
Placed ByCoalinga City Council
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, September 10th, 2014 at 8:41am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)10S E 738045 N 4004249
Decimal Degrees36.15378333, -120.35393333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 36° 9.227', W 120° 21.236'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds36° 9' 13.62" N, 120° 21' 14.16" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)559
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 401-403 E Elm Ave, Coalinga CA 93210, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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