Opp Street

The former J Street was renamed Opp Street in 1935 in memory of banker, realtor, and Wilmington booster Erhard Opp (1852-1929). Born in Bavaria, Opp and his family emigrated to the U.S. in 1871 and settled in Nebraska, where they worked as farmers. Along the way, Opp got into banking, and in 1898 he became president of Citizens Bank of Stuart (population: 382). Opp left Nebraska for Redlands in 1903, then moved to Wilmington two years later and was joined by his brothers John and Christoph. (Of the three, only John married; he died in 1906 while removing a beehive from a tree and his widow and daughter moved in with Erhard.) Opp reportedly organized the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce and was a major player in its consolidation into the City of Los Angeles in 1909. Along with his real estate business, Opp was president of the Wilmington Mutual Building & Loan Association from its inception in 1921 until his death. Also remembered for leading the charge in developing Avalon Boulevard, Opp was run over by a car at Avalon and K Street. That latter road, by the way, was renamed Denni Street in honor of Opp’s successor Louis Denni – who would also die from a car accident.