Boyle Heights Project — "Russian flats"


Jumper COs and sailors
at UMCA on Utah St., 1943.
See Patapoff display 
case, photo #4
.
Boyle Heights: The Power of Place   
6-month exhibit
open from September 8, 2002 to February 23, 2003.

47 items showing American Molokans and Jumpers
(39 photos, 5 texts, 2 videos, 1 CD singing)

Japanese American National Museum
369 E First St (corner of Alameda)
Los Angeles, California
Phone:  213-625-0414


Hours: 10 am to 5 pm daily, except Thursdays 10 am to 8 pm.
Cost: $6 adults, $5 seniors, $3 kids, under 5 free — All-day self-paid parking: $2.50

This exhibit supported in partnership with: The International Institute, Jewish Historical Society of Southern California, Theodore Roosevelt Senior High School, Self-Help Graphics & Art; and with donations from 9 foundations, 100s of members, the UMCA (United Molokan Christian Association) and many American Molokan/Jumpers who grew up in the "Russian flats" and Boyle Heights.

See Alphabetical Index of 76 Molokans, Jumpers and families in this exhibit.
See book: Images of America: Los Angeles's Boyle Heights.
See the Boyle Heights Project website.

Touring the Exhibit

45 items about American Molokans/Jumpers (38 photos, 5 texts, 2 videos, 1 CD singing)
What are Molokan-Jumpers?  Where is Boyle Heights?

Below is the exhibit room layout — a map. 
Click on any Room Area to see what was on display there during the exhibit.


See Alphabetical Index of 76 Amercian Molokans, Jumpers and families in this exhibit.
See book: Images of America: Los Angeles's Boyle Heights.
See the Boyle Heights Project website.

Click to ENLARGEArea #0: Website: Boyle Heights Project: The Power of Place
The Project website was created after the museum exhibit, originally with it's own URL: www.BoyleHeightsProgect.org. Later the project URL was abandoned, but the content with minor changes remains within the Japanese American National Museum website. http://www.janm.org/exhibits/bh/

The only item on the website about Molokans/Jumpers not in the museum exhibit is a photo of George Kornoff, caption: "Roosevelt High School A and B football team captains George Kornoff (right) and George Fujino (left), 1937. Gift of George Kornoff (2000.409.3)" See entire Kornoff photo on Project website.

Area #1: "Boyle heights: A Los Angeles Intersection"

Click to ENLARGEPhoto #1: "The Uraines en-route to the Prochladnoye Molokan Church to their wedding, Lanfranco Street, ca. 1960." (Photo from James Tolmasoff) (See it on the website exhibit.)

Timeline: 1930's Photo of 6 Jumpers in original clothes:
"1904 Russian Molokans, a dissenting sect of the Russian Orthodox Church, flee Russia due to persecution and mandatory conscription during Russo-Japanese war. Many settle in "the flats" of Boyle Heights."

On a table of photo albums, brochures, and flyers, see the Photo Album showing Boyle Heights Project Events and lists of contributors:

Boyle Heights Project Goals

Project Advisors: Kate Bolotin, Annie & Paul Zolnekoff

Reference list includes:
A Stroll Through Russia Town, by George W. Mohoff and Jack P. Valoff
Pilgrims of Russia Town, by Pauline Young
[See 2 excellent online articles below about Molokans and Jumpers in "The Flates" not listed in this exhibit.]

Special Thanks to Andy Conovaloff

Project Partners websites

See Alphabetical Index of 76 Amercian Molokans, Jumpers and families in this exhibit.
See book: Images of America: Los Angeles's Boyle Heights.
See the Boyle Heights Project website.


Area #2: "East of the LA River"

Envelope Histories at Mission Rd. sign
[over 1000 donated images in large glassine envelopes cover the exhibit walls]
"Over 250 people, most of whom are past or present residents of Boyle Heights, were involved in the development of this exhibition/ The loaned artwork, photography, and artifacts. They shared their personal stories. They participated in oral histories. They helped determine exhibition themes and develop educational materials. The shared the insights of their experience, expertise, and research."

"The Flats" at Boyle Ave sign
"Rail yards, ware houses, factories, and auto salvage yards dominate Mission Road. This part of the neighborhood called 'the flats'; old timers know it as "the Russian flats" because it was home to many Russian immigrants. Housing policies and freeway construction has kept the flats in flex.

"In the early 1940s, hundreds of people lost their homes when the Santa Ana Freeway was routed through the flats. During this same period, in an effort to create affordable housing and eliminate "slum" conditions in the area, more than 400 homes were demolished and replaced by two public housing projects, Aliso Village and Pico Gardens."

Two photos showing many unnamed Molokans, and a quote:

See Alphabetical Index of 76 Amercian Molokans, Jumpers and families in this exhibit.
See book: Images of America: Los Angeles's Boyle Heights.
See the Boyle Heights Project website.
Area #3: "East Side Greetings, We Welcome All"

"Hollenbeck Park"
Large photo:  "Bill and Mary Bolotin, Nick and Nellie Eropkin, John Seminoff, Pauline Stupin, in Hollenbeck Park, 1935."

See Alphabetical Index of 76 Amercian Molokans and Jumpers and families in this exhibit.
See the Boyle Heights Project website.


Area #4: "Faith in Community—Religion" at the Breed St. Wall

"Religion"  (100s of people on the street)
"A traditional Molokan [Jumper] procession through the flats, ca. 1935."
Click to ENLARGE"Typically, mourners proceeded with the casket to First Street to catch the funeral streetcar on the P-line towards the Molokan [Jumper] Cemetery on Second Street and Eastern Avenue." [Note the wooden grave marker is carried in front of the casket.] (from UMCA collection) [Photo in Mohoff and Valov, A Stroll Through Russia Town, page 158, as funeral of leader Phillip M. Shubin on January 3*, 1932.]  [*Correction on date from George "Grishka" Bolderoff:  "SHUBIN  PHILLIP"   Initial of Spouse: "A"   Age: "67"   d: Los Angeles County, ("70") "1/9/32"   Reported to State: "32"   State File #: 1434]

"Funeral" (100s of people on the street, in photo from the UMCA collection)
"Molokan [Jumper] church gathering, in the flats ca. 1935. There were at least 6 Molokan [Jumper] Churches in the flats named for the different villages from which the congregations had immigrated." [Note the white casket in the center and white lid to the right.] [Photo in Mohoff and Valov, A Stroll Through Russia Town, page 159, as "Alex W. Nevaroff funeral held on March 17, 1932."] 

See Alphabetical Index of 76 Amercian Molokans, Jumpers and families in this exhibit.
See book: Images of America: Los Angeles's Boyle Heights.
See the Boyle Heights Project website.


Area #6: "World War II: …to Solve the World's Problems."

Photo #4 on panel shows 7 Jumper faces, first babushka on left is Martha Lukianova Conovaloff-Papin.
"Russian Molokan residents of the flats are fingerprinted for the 'Alien Registration' process, ca. 1940."
"With the war in Europe underway, the United States launched this program requiring unnaturalized immigrant over the age of 14 to register with the government by being finger printed and completing a form that recorded personal data and inquired about involvement in 'foreign' governments." (UMCA photo) [In Mohoff and Valov, A Stroll Through Russia Town, is one of three photos on page 243. "Alien Registration Act of 1940…750 Russians were registered, fingerprinted, and allowed to state their case before the court." The photos were taken at the UMCA on Utah Street, and first published in the Molokan Review.]

See Alphabetical Index of 76 Amercian Molokans, Jumpers and families in this exhibit.
See book: Images of America: Los Angeles's Boyle Heights.
See the Boyle Heights Project website.


Area #7: "Growing Up on the Eastside"

Video and display cases at Brooklyn St. wall with 3 continuous videos on TV near Mathews St wall:

Patapoff Display case:
"Paul and Andy Patapoff (Roosevelt High School class of 1941 and 1943) are Russian Molokan [Jumper] brothers who faced a difficult decision during the war; whether or not to enlist in the armed services. Molokans believe that serving in he the military violates biblical teaching, and many fled Russia in order to avoid conscription into the Russian Army. Nevertheless, young Molokan [and Jumper] men, including the Patapoff brothers, did serve in the United States Military. Despite his request for non-combatant duty, Andy was assigned to a tank destroyer battalion and served in the Pacific Theater. Paul served in the navy. Some Molokans [and Jumpers], like their friends Alex Shubin and John Pavloff, were designated CO by the draft board and wen to civilian public service camps. Others who were denied CO status were send to prison for refusing to serve in the war effort."

Item 1—book: "Round up", the Roosevelt High School annual 1941 cover shows Andy Patapoff and Betty Sexton pictured on the cover.

Item 2—photo: "The UMCA choir, Utah Street, ca 1938" showing 8 youth, including Andy Patapoff, and John Pavloff.

Item 3—photo: "The Patapoff Family 1943" showing 6 members.

Item 4—photo: "A gathering of both Molokan CO and servicemen at the UMCA, Utah Street, 1943." 9 faces: "Bill Haproff, John Paveloff, Al Romanoff*, Alex Shubin, John Mendrin* (back row, left to right); Andy Patapoff, Eddie Leigh [Leige/Lidyoff] [in uniform], Paul Vedenoff*, Paul Patapoff* [in uniform], (front row, right to left)."  [*This circular photo from the website shows 5 of the 9 fellows.]

Item 5—photo: "COs at the Kings Canyon Camp operated by the Mennonites, Northern California, 1944."
"John Wren and Alex Shubin (back row, left to right); J.P. [John Pete] Tolmachoff and John Pavloff (front row, left to right)."

XX display case:
1941 Roosevelt High School annual opened:

Page 90, Top—
Row 1: Sara Golobiff, Vera Nazaroff,
Row 2: Mary Lidyoff, Paula Kudoff,
Row 3: Kate Shubin, Katherin Tolstoy, Dolly Seleznoff,
Row 4: Arthur Kazarian, Sam Kaseroff, Bill Samarin,
Row 5: Mike Telegin.

Page 90, Bottom—
Row 1: Vera Novekoff, Katherine Partnoff,
Row 2: Vera Golubef
Row 3: Nadia Tolstoy, Jane Kurnoff, Anabelle Sissov, Mary Patapoff, Mary Moiseve
Row 4: Alan Kobzeff
Row 5: Edward Samarin, Peter Novakoff, Dave Samarin.

Page 91, Top—
Row 2: Pearl Treglazoff.

Page 91, Bottom—
Row 3: Paul Shubin,
Row 5: Andy Uren, John Bogdanoff

John Tanaka display case:
Roosevelt High School annual, showing football team photos. Team members: Don Kardashian and Peter Novikoff, who signs: "Best of luck to your Flyed[?]. I really miss you guys, a friend—Peter Novikoff"

Photo on wall:
"Roosevelt High School students leaning out of classroom window, 1943." 4 faces in photo by James Tolmasov.

Fred Okrand display case:
This immigration advocate mentions the track team in his biography, team member Alex Atanasoff.

See Alphabetical Index of 76 Amercian Molokans, Jumpers and families in this exhibit.
See book: Images of America: Los Angeles's Boyle Heights.
See the Boyle Heights Project website.


Area #8: 4 Music CDs at Mott St wall:

"Land of 1000 Dances" has a music excerpt of 50 seconds of Molokan singers.
CD #1, selection #11: Molokan [Jumper] Singers. "The Bride Adorned for the Bridegroom."
(Choral Music) (Traditonal)(1975)
"In the Molokan [Jumper] Church, congregational singing is a fundamental part of religious life functioning as a means of communicating with God. This selection #307 from the Russian Molokan Pesenek [Pessenik] ([Jumper] songbook) is traditionally sung at wedding and is from Rev. 21:1-7. This recording was made in 1975 when [American Jumper] singers [from the UMCA on Lorena Street] were invited to participate in the Smithsonian Institute 9th annual Folklife Festival in Washington D.C."  [This is one of 37 recorded items on 4 CDs.]

See Alphabetical Index of 76 Amercian Molokans, Jumpers and families in this exhibit.
See book: Images of America: Los Angeles's Boyle Heights.
See the Boyle Heights Project website.


Area #11: "Boyle Heights Oral History Project"

A 28-minute video of oral history interviews and photos collected over the past two years, shown in the Orientation Theater. Includes several photos (Shubin's Market [Same photo on video in Area #7 above, and in Mohoff and Valov, A Stroll Through Russia Town, page 56, showing Shubins David J., Pete J., and Jack M.], Bill and Mary Bolotin, Nick and Nellie Eropkin, John Seminoff, Pauline Stupin, Hollenbeck Park in 1935 [Same photo shown in Area #3 above.]) and references to the Russians.

See Alphabetical Index of 76 Amercian Molokans, Jumpers and families in this exhibit.
See book: Images of America: Los Angeles's Boyle Heights.
See the Boyle Heights Project website.


Further Reading:

Book: Images of America: Los Angeles's Boyle Heights

  Molokane, Pryguny and Dukh-i-zhzniki Around the World