by Visit Ventura
header image Publisher Museum of Ventura County
Yes, Main Street looks different to us all now, with restaurants and shops out in the street in an attempt to move activities outside for the safety of all. But imagine if you made the same stroll in, say, 1875. Yes, there are locally-owned businesses, but deliveries (note left side of photo) were less Amazon-like, as, no doubt, was the pace of life. Landscaping wasn’t a priority; traffic not given a whit of a consideration. But, fall into this picture, and you can still smell the sea and (barely) see the folded hills and know you are heading toward the San Buenaventura Mission, likely on an errand far different than today.
No date accompanies this photo of the beautiful and grand Hotel De Leon on the corner of Chestnut and Main Street, but it doesn’t take much imagination to conjure the ocean view. If you’ve lived in Ventura for a bit, you might also recognize this corner as home to another Ventura icon. From inside the tiny confines of The Top Hat Hot Dog Stand, miracle cooks served up dogs and burgers for over 60 years. If you’re smiling now, well we know you were part of that history, and maybe have a mustard-stained t-shirt somewhere.