Place:Camarillo, Ventura, California, United States

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NameCamarillo
TypeCity
Coordinates34.226°N 119.032°W
Located inVentura, California, United States
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names


the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Camarillo is a city in Ventura County in the U.S. state of California. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 65,201, an increase of 8,117 from the 57,084 counted in the 2000 Census. The Ventura Freeway (U.S. Route 101) is the city's primary thoroughfare. Camarillo is named for Adolfo and Juan Camarillo, two of the few Californios (pre-1848 California natives of Hispanic ancestry) to preserve the city's heritage after the arrival of Anglo settlers. The railroad coast route came through in 1898 and built a station here. Adolfo Camarillo eventually employed 700 workers growing mainly lima beans. Walnuts and citrus were also grown on the ranch. Adolfo bred Camarillo White Horses in the 1920s through the 1960s and was well known for riding them, dressed in colorful Spanish attire, in parades such as the Fiesta of Santa Barbara.

The city grew slowly prior to World War II but the war effort saw the construction of the Oxnard Army Air Field (later Oxnard Air Force Base in 1951, now Camarillo Airport) to the west of town. The community also grew as the new base along with nearby Naval Air Station Point Mugu and a Seabee base at Port Hueneme brought many workers and their families to the area. The grounds of Camarillo State Hospital, which opened in 1936 south of town, are now the campus of California State University, Channel Islands.

As with most cities in Ventura County, it is noted for its resistance to new development. In 2014, the council voted against an 895-acre project that would have extended development on agricultural lands east towards the Conejo Grade.

Contents

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Pre-colonial period

At the time of European contact in the 18th century, Camarillo had been inhabited by the Chumash Indians for thousands of years. Present day Camarillo and the larger Oxnard Plain were portions of a paramount Chumash capital at the village of Muwu (today’s Point Mugu). Simo'mo (CA-VEN-24), which translates to “the saltbush patch”, was a Chumash village located upstream from Mugu Lagoon near the city of Camarillo. Various ancient American Indian sites can be found near Conejo Grade, including a site used for religious ceremonies dating back to 500 A.D. Various caves with ancient pictographs are located in the area around Conejo Grade, where two Chumash villages were located: Lalimanux (Lalimanuc or Lalimanuh) and Kayɨwɨš or Kayiwish (Kawyis) (CA-VEN-243). The village of Kayɨwɨš (Chumash: “The Head”) was first encountered by Europeans of the first Portola expedition on August 16, 1795.

Mexican independence

By the early 1820s, Mexico had gained independence from Spain, and shortly afterward California allied itself with Mexico. The Mexican land grant system was liberalized in 1824 resulting in many large grants in California and the proliferation of Ranchos north of the border. One grant to José Pedro Ruiz created Rancho Calleguas in 1837, in the area that is now Camarillo. The grant was later sold to Juan Camarillo, who had arrived in 1834 as a member of the Hijar-Padres Expedition; it was his sons Adolfo and Juan that are credited with the founding of the town that was to bear their name. The earlier proposed name of Calleguas was rejected as too difficult to pronounce.

St. John's Seminary

In 1927 Don Juan Camarillo, brother of Adolfo, donated to be used as a seminary to be named in honor of Saint John the Evangelist. The Roman Catholic seminary was opened in 1939 as St. John's Seminary.

Early growth

Camarillo's growth was slow from founding through World War II. In the late 1940s, building lots on Ventura Boulevard, the main downtown street, were being offered for $450 and home lots on the adjoining streets were $250, with few buyers. Travel to and from Los Angeles was difficult, owing to the narrow, tortuous road climbing the Conejo Grade to the east of the city.

The main industry during this period was agriculture, and the area surrounding the small town was blanketed with orange, lemon and walnut groves. The State Mental hospital south of the town was the largest employer. A few houses had sprung up to the north and south of town center. The Oxnard Army Air Field, built during World War II to the west of town, the Naval Air Facility at Point Mugu and the Seabee base at Port Hueneme brought many military personnel to the area, but there was little private industry or other source of non-agricultural employment.

Oxnard AAF closed at the end of World War II, but the Navy facilities remained open, with the airfield upgraded to Naval Air Station Point Mugu and the Seabee base becoming Naval Construction Battalion Center Port Hueneme and Naval Surface Warfare Center Port Hueneme. With the Korean War and associated Cold War tensions, the former Oxnard AAF was reactivated in 1951 as Oxnard Air Force Base, an Air Defense Command / Aerospace Defense Command fighter-interceptor base, that closed again in 1970 and became the present-day Camarillo Airport.

Ventura Freeway (US Route 101)

In the mid-1950s, the Ventura Freeway, which bisects the town, was completed from Los Angeles to points north, making it an easy one-hour trip to Camarillo. The freeway was originally planned to follow the path of Potrero Road, south of Camarillo, which would have completely by-passed the soon-to-be city. However, after much debate, city officials persuaded Caltrans to lay the freeway parallel to Ventura Boulevard, creating the infamously steep descent from the Santa Monica Mountains, known as the Conejo Grade. The grade is about and posted as a 7% grade—which translates as about one thousand feet of elevation change in less than three miles (70 meters per kilometer). There is a California Highway Patrol brake inspection station at the top of the grade and a stop is mandatory for all 18-wheel trucks. The completion of the freeway facilitated the growth that followed. In 1962, the population was 7,500 and 3M began construction for the Mincom and Magnetic Tape Divisions, which would ultimately employ 900 people, becoming the largest local employer. That plant briefly housed a factory for 3M spinoff Imation before being closed in 2008. Housing tracts were built where orchards once stood. House prices were $14,000 to $65,000.

Incorporation in 1964

At this time plans were made for the incorporation of the city to control the rapid expansion. Camarillo became a city in 1964 and soon put into place a General Plan and building codes that were to lead to an attractive city environment. In 1964 the closest traffic signal was from the City center on the road to Point Mugu, and the first shopping center and supermarket were under construction. Because of the late date of city incorporation, the local telephone exchange is still listed as part of Oxnard. Much of the city was expected to be developed to the south of Ventura Blvd, however it was to the north that the new city grew, and the land south of Ventura Blvd remains reserved for agricultural use to this day.

Many of the home buyers during the 1960s were military veterans, who had been stationed at one of the local bases during their service. The temperate climate and the living conditions lured them back. With the establishment of both the Pacific Missile Range at NAS Point Mugu and the Naval Civil Engineering Laboratory at Port Hueneme many found employment that utilized their military training. Other newcomers were those who worked and lived in the San Fernando Valley and were willing to endure the commute for the opportunity to raise their families in a smog-free, semirural environment. Still others relocated here with their employers, like 3M, and Harbor Freight Tools who built facilities in and around the city to take advantage of the large workforce. Technicolor Video Services Inc. is the largest DVD duplicator in the world. The members of the original city council (1964) were Ned Chatfield, Stan Daily, Earl Joseph, Tweedy Rouce & Guy Turner.

Old Town

Around 1910, the area for the original "town site" of Camarillo was beginning to be laid out. The town was centered around St. Mary Magdalen Church, which was to serve as the family chapel for Adolfo Camarillo. Today, this area is known as Old Town and is bisected by the Ventura Freeway. On the northern side of the freeway contains a strip of businesses, churches, schools, and parks to hold events such as farmer's markets and the annual Camarillo Street Fair.

Camarillo State Hospital & CSUCI

Camarillo State Mental Hospital was established near the city in the 1930s so that persons suffering from mental illnesses or tuberculosis could recover in Ventura County's balmy climate. Jazzman Charlie Parker's "Relaxin' at Camarillo," written while he was detoxing from heroin addiction, is a tribute to the facility. The song "Camarillo" by punk outfit Fear is also written about the facility. The band Ambrosia released a song called "Ready for Camarillo" on their 1978 Life Beyond L.A. album. "Ready for Camarillo" also appeared as the single B side of their hit "How Much I Feel." The former hospital is the now the site of California State University, Channel Islands. The University has retained the distinctive Mission Revival Style architecture bell tower in the South quad. The band Brazzaville released a video called "Camarillo" in 2007, with mental hospital-like imagery and lyrics concerning lead singer David Brown's relatives' stay in the institution.

The Camarillo State Hospital was closed in the 1990s and remained vacant until the site was converted into California State University, Channel Islands (CSUCI). CSUCI officially opened in August 2002 and is now accredited by the WASC.

Mission Oaks

Mission Oaks is the name given by developer Pardee Homes to a parcel of land located in the north-eastern portion of the city. This parcel was developed as a planned community over the span of 35 years, and was completed in October 2004. The area developed by Pardee Homes makes up approximately 15% of Camarillo's total land. Due to the decades-long timescale of the project, many residents are unaware of Mission Oaks' proprietary nature, and the area east of Lewis Road (State Route 34), south of Somis and north of the 101 Freeway is generally thought of as Mission Oaks regardless of which company built the buildings in the area.

Camarillo Premium Outlets

In the mid-1990s, multiple large retail centers, including one of California's largest outlet malls and movie theater were built south of US 101 and west of Carmen Drive. These new retail centers have provided a large influx of cash to the city; from 1993 to 1998 sales tax revenues nearly doubled from approximately $3.5 million to approximately $6.5 million. On April 23, 2009, several new shops and restaurants opened at the Camarillo Premium Outlets, designated "The Promenade". The Promenade is , while the Premium Outlets is 454,000. The new center has 45 stores and restaurants, bringing the total to about 160

Camarillo Springs Fire

Beginning 7:02 am. on Thursday, May 2, 2013, a major brush fire began in the Camarillo Springs area and burned throughout the area. The community of Dos Vientos and CSUCI were evacuated due to the proximity of the fire. About 15 houses were damaged, but none burned down. 28,000 acres of land was burned by the fire. Finally, on Sunday, May 5, 2013, rain in the area during the night helped firefighters bring the fire under full control.

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