Stoutenburgh-Teller Family Association > Articles > Jacobus & Margaret’s Descendants > Fireworks Factory Explosion on Stoutenborough Lane

Fireworks Factory Explosion on Stoutenborough Lane

Here’s a reprint from one of our annual newsletters that shows that a lead to family history can show up almost anywhere–if you keep your eyes open for it.

Golden State Fireworks Explosion
Golden State Fireworks Explosion

STFA Annual Newsletter
by Lanaii Kline

I came across an article printed in 1940 about an explosion at The Golden State Fireworks & Display Company on Stoutenborough Lane in Redondo Beach, California. It was the largest pyrotechnic plant in the West. The explosion leveled the plant and caused considerable damage throughout the area.

Stoutenborough Lane isn’t on any current map as it and Kruttschnitt Lane were renamed in 1949. It appears that the city felt that the names of these two streets were too long and difficult to pronounce.

Hill Lane, Rodondo Beach, CaliforniaThe street is only two blocks long and is now called Hill Lane. The earliest reference to Stoutenborough that I found was in a voter registration list of 1924. The street did not appear in the 1920 census enumeration of Redondo Beach.

I found no evidence that anyone named Stoutenborough lived in or near Redondo Beach until after 1940. So for whom was Stoutenborough Lane named?

The clue was found by looking at the names of all the streets in Redondo Beach. The area in which Stoutenborough Lane existed is filled with streets named after 19th Century industrialists and investors.

It turns out that that a Charles Henry Stoutenborough was a wealthy investor who lived in San Francisco until his death in 1906. He arrived in San Francisco at age 18 on July 1, 1849. Unlike many who came to look for gold, Charles settled in San Francisco and was employed in financial occupations.

Julius Kruttschnitt, a railroad executive, and Charles travelled in the same circles when Kruttschnitt lived in San Francisco. Charles’ nephew, Alexander Baldwin, Jr., was also a railroad executive. Many of the streets in Redondo Beach are named for people involved with the railroad.

Charles Henry Stoutenborough, a bachelor, was one of six children born to Alfred Stoutenborough and Mary Griffiths. He was the first member of his family to leave New Jersey for California. His sisters, Elizabeth and Margaret, later moved to San Francisco.

Elizabeth married Alexander Baldwin who was a partner in business with Charles. Margaret married Robert Beardsley. After his death, she joined her siblings in California.

Brothers, William and Alfred, joined their father in the dry goods business in Patterson, NJ. The youngest child, Martha, remained in the east and married Brigadier General George Washington Terriberry, MD. They’re son, Colonel William Stoutenborough Terriberry, MD, devoted his life to the US Army Medical Corps.