Place:Ventura, Ventura, California, United States

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NameVentura
Alt namesSan Buena Venturasource: Family History Library Catalog
San Buenaventurasource: Wikipedia
TypeCity
Coordinates34.275°N 119.228°W
Located inVentura, California, United States     (1700 - )
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog


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

Ventura, officially the City of San Buenaventura, is the county seat of Ventura County, California, United States. The coastal site, set against undeveloped hills and flanked by two free-flowing rivers, has been inhabited for thousands of years. European explorers encountered a Chumash village, referred to as Shisholop, here while traveling along the Pacific coast.[1] They witnessed the ocean navigation skill of the native people and their use of the abundant local resources from sea and land. The eponymous Mission San Buenaventura was founded nearby in 1782 where it benefitted from the water of the Ventura River. The town grew around the mission compound and incorporated in 1866. The development of nearby oil fields in the 1920s and the age of automobile travel created a major real estate boom during which many designated landmark buildings were constructed. The mission and these buildings are at the center of a downtown that has become a cultural, retail, and residential district and visitor destination.

Ventura lies along U.S. Route 101 between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, which was one of the original U.S. Routes. The highway is now known as the Ventura Freeway, but the original route through the town along Main Street has been designated El Camino Real, the historic pathway connecting the California missions. During the post–World War II economic expansion, the community grew easterly, building detached single-family homes over the rich agricultural land created by the Santa Clara River at the edge of the Oxnard Plain. The population was 106,433 at the 2010 census, up from 100,916 at the 2000 census with the median age being 39. Ventura is part of the Los Angeles metropolitan area.

Contents

History

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

Prehistory and indigenous peoples

Archaeological discoveries in the area suggest that humans have populated the region for at least 10,000-12,000 years. Archaeological research demonstrates that the Chumash people have deep roots in central and southern coastal regions of California, and has revealed artifacts from their culture.[2] Shisholop Village, designated Historic Point of Interest #18 by the city at the foot of nearby Figueroa Street, was the site of a Chumash village. The Ventura band (Mitskanaka), which was in residence at the time of the arrival of the Spanish, had contact with the Limu band on Santa Cruz Island, who traveled in seagoing Tomols, plank-built boats, bringing shell bead money and chert in trade.

Spanish period (1769–1822)

In 1769, the Spanish Portolà expedition, first recorded European visitors to inland areas of California, came down the Santa Clara River Valley from the previous night's encampment near today's Saticoy and camped near the outlet of the Ventura River on August 14. Fray Juan Crespi, a Franciscan missionary traveling with the expedition, noted that "we saw a regular town, the most populous and best laid-out of all that we had seen on the journey up to the present time." Archaeological records found that the Chumash village they encountered was settled sometime around 1000 A.D.

Junípero Serra, first leader of the Franciscans in California, founded Mission San Buenaventura in 1782 as his ninth and last mission establish near the Chumash village as part of Spain's colonization of Alta California. The mission was named for St. Bonaventure, a Thirteenth Century Franciscan saint and a Doctor of the Church. San Miguel Chapel was the first outpost and center of operations while the first Mission San Buenaventura was being constructed. The first mission burned in 1801 and a replacement building of brick and stone was completed in 1809. The bell tower and facade of the new mission was destroyed by an 1812 earthquake. The Mission was rebuilt and functions as a parish church. Historic tours of downtown include the mission compound.

Mexican period (1822–1848)

The Mexican secularization act of 1833 was passed twelve years after Mexico won independence from Spain in 1821. Mission land was sold or given away in large grants called ranchos. Rancho Ex-Mission San Buenaventura was a grant that included downtown Ventura. Governor Juan Bautista Alvarado granted Rancho San Miguel to Felipe Lorenzana and Raymundo Olivas whose Olivas Adobe on the banks of the Santa Clara River was the most magnificent hacienda south of Monterey. Fernando Tico also received a Mexican land grant for Ojai and a lot near the river in downtown Ventura.

Early agricultural development (1848–1919)

California became a territory of the United States in 1848 and the 31st state in the Union in 1850. After the American Civil War, settlers came to the area, buying land from the Mexicans, or simply as squatters. Vast holdings were later acquired by Easterners, including the railroad magnate, Thomas A. Scott. He was impressed by one of the young employees, Thomas R. Bard, who had been in charge of train supplies to Union troops, and Bard was sent west to handle Scott's property. Not easily accessible, Ventura was not a target of immigrants, and remained quiet and rural. For most of the century which followed the incorporation of Ventura in 1866, it remained isolated from the rest of the state.

Ventura had a flourishing Chinese settlement in the early 1880s. The largest concentration of activity, known as China Alley, was just across Main Street from the Mission San Buenaventura. China Alley was parallel with Main Street and extended easterly off Figueroa Street between Main and Santa Clara Streets. The city council has designated the China Alley Historic Area a Point of Interest in the downtown business district.

Ventura Pier was built in 1872 at a cost of $45,000 and was the longest wooden Pier in California. In 1914 a ship severed the pier. It was rebuilt to a length of by 1917. An active wharf for 64 years, it was reinforced with steel pilings after of the pier was destroyed by a storm in 1995.

Oil and development boom (1920–1945)

The Union Oil Company was organized with Bard as President in 1890, and had offices in Santa Paula. The large Ventura Oil Field was first drilled in 1919 and at its peak produced . The development of the oil fields in the 1920s, along with the building of better roads to Los Angeles and the affordability of automobiles, enabled a major real estate boom. Contemporary downtown Ventura is defined by extant buildings from this period. In this bustling oil boom town Ventura Theatre opened in 1928. During this decade, many other buildings were constructed: the Hobson Brothers Meat Packing Company (1923), the First National Bank of Ventura (1926) (commonly called the Earl Stanley Gardner), the Ventura Hotel (1926), the First Baptist Church of Ventura (1926), the Elks Lodge - B. P. 0. E. #1430 (1928), the Mission Theater (1928), the Hotel Washington (1928), the Swift & Company Building (1928), and the Masonic Temple (1929).[3]

Located between the Ventura River and the Santa Clara River, the soil is so fertile that town boosters claimed that citrus grew better here than anywhere else in the state. The citrus farmers joined the Sunkist Growers, Incorporated, the world's largest organization of citrus production. On March 12, 1928, the St. Francis Dam, inland, failed catastrophically, taking over 600 lives as it flowed down the Santa Clara River to the ocean. The resulting flood reached Montalvo (a settlement that is now a neighborhood of Ventura) about 5:30 a.m., almost two miles (3 km) wide and traveling at a speed of per hour.

Postwar years and the 1950s boom (1946–present)

From the south, travel by auto was slow and hazardous, until the completion of a four-lane freeway (US Highway 101) over the Conejo Grade in 1959. This route, now further widened and improved by 1969, is known as the Ventura Freeway, which directly links Ventura with the rest of the Los Angeles metropolitan area. Another route, US Highway 101 ALT (now the Pacific Coast Highway) traveled along the coast from Santa Monica via Oxnard, but was not heavily used.

From the north, entrance was by way of a single road along the beach and stagecoach passengers either had to wait until low tide when the horses could cross on the exposed wet sand, or go up the Ventura River Valley and then cross over the mountains to Santa Barbara via Casitas Pass, a long and difficult trip. In 1913, the Rincon Sea Level Road and the Ventura River Bridge opened; motoring tourists no longer had to fear coming through here.

Inland, Ventura was hemmed in by the mountainous country and deep canyons of the Los Padres National Forest. This route became passable with the completion of the Maricopa Highway (U.S. 399, now state highway 33) in the 1930s, connecting Ventura and Ojai with the San Joaquin Valley.

Ventura continued to grow steadily. In 1920 there were 4,156 people. In 1930 the population had increased to 11,603, by 1950 the population reached 16,643, by 1970 the population was 57,964, and in 1980 the population had increased to 73,774. In the last three decades it has increased to approximately 107,000. To minimize outward growth onto the agricultural land that surrounds the existing community, the city is pursuing a strategy of "in-fill first" with the 2005 General Plan which means growth will focus inward to certain "Districts, Corridors, and Neighborhood Centers" that will become more intensely populated.

Thomas Fire (2017)

Following a late-fall Santa Ana winds event, a fire was sparked about north of Ventura in Santa Paula, California, at around 6:30 PM on December 4, 2017. Winds had peaked in the overnight hours causing major spreading of the fire over thousands of acres in a short time. Early on December 5 the fire had quickly spread through the western portion of Ventura County causing mass evacuations and power outages. The winds swept through the Ventura area causing the fire to spread through the downtown area nearing California State Route 1 causing major delays on the highways as well the destruction of homes and buildings. The Thomas Fire is part of a series of fires during this prolonged wind event causing at least four major fires in the area. Mass evacuation orders were prompted and US Route 101 was shut down. The fire burned over 281,000 acres in total.

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