In late 1798 Thomas Coen Woodrow and his wife Suma left the Banda Island of Ai for Mexico City. Thomas had finally had enough of his employer, the Vereenigde Oost-Inische Compagnie…a little Dutch company that had done some business in the Spice Islands. Thomas was unhappy with the way the company had been run in all aspects and decided that he would strike out on his own to start his own enterprise.
He arrived in Mexico City in early 1799. (Later that year word would get to him that his former employer had collapsed.) He quickly befriended a local dignitary named Roberto Alonso. Being that Thomas began his employment at VOC his interests were with transportation supply and efficiencies. Thomas and Roberto would speak at length about this topic for years. Thomas sadly died in the summer of 1831, but his passion was not lost on his children.
Daniel Woodrow, Thomas’ oldest son, moved to the booming harbor town of Charleston, South Carolina in April of 1846 in search of his half brother Sneed Wesley who was the successful proprietor/ operator of the Imperial Yacht Club. Daniel wrote to Emmanuel “Manny” Alonso and asked if he would like to join he and Sneed running the operation. Manny arrived in the Fall of 1850. Together they successfully ran the club for a decade. As the tensions began to build in South Carolina and talk of secession gained momentum, Daniel, Manny, and Sneed sold the business and headed west. The day that the party, wives and children in tow, were to pull out of town a most fortuitous event took place. Manny on his way back from the market found a a crate marked “Olivier Bros. Modele Un.” After much conversation he talked Daniel and Sneed into returning and fetching the crate. They returned and tried to lift the crate, but alas it was too heavy. Following a brief search around the proximity of the alley where the crate laid, they incorporated the help of a Morgan Seagraves. He agreed to help them if he could get passage on their wagon train to the next city. They hastily agreed and loaded the crate.
After many years of trials and tribulations many in the group were lost. The trip west did not come without cost, but in 1898 the remaining offspring of the original group arrived in California. Lt. Co. Richard Glen Shaw, Captain Cesar “Cyclo” Chavez, and Commander Timothy Joseph Rand. They had heard of the formation of a small coastal town named Long Beach in southern California. They headed straight to the town and found a bustling yet picturesque community. They decided to stay and make this place their home. The next happening is part of local lore, but it is said that all three having taken decades to master the control of the contents of the questionable crate from Charleston and with an ingrained love for logistics and people moving agreed that they should start a business. The Long Beach Pedaler Society was born atop Signal Hill with a handshake and the enduring line which was shouted from the apex of the hill. With hands cupped Lt. Co. Richard Glen Shaw shouted “Let there be transport for all!”