In the early 1900’s, a man by the name of Abbot Kinney dreamed up a grand dream for a plot of swamp land just off Los Angeles’ Pacific Coast. His dream was to transform the land in to a whimsical world of fun and entertainment right by the Pacific Ocean. He would call it “Venice of America” inspired by Venice, Italy.

It was in 1905, Arthur L. Reese came to Venice from New Orleans, Louisiana. Mr. Reese was an inventor, designer and businessman who built all sorts of businesses for the the city of Venice. His primary job was to decorate the city and design all sorts of masks, floats, gondolas, and color for the town. People called Mr. Reese “The Wizard”.

Arthur was a passionate man who built a friendly business relationship with Abbot Kinney during this time. With his passion brought success, as Mr. Reese became head of the first African-American family to live and work in Venice, California.


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