Posted: Thursday, Jul 16th, 2020

By Visit Ventura

Ventura: A Fun Glimpse of the Not-Entirely-Distant Past

header image Publisher Museum of Ventura County



Yes, Main Street looks different to us all now, with restaurants and shops out in the street. 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.


Photo published by: Museum of Ventura County; Hotel De Leon, Date Unknown

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.


Bard hospital then and now

The photo on the left published by: Museum of Ventura County; Bard Hospital 1901


Photo on the left published by: Museum of Ventura County, California Street 1940

Vintage photo publisher: Museum of Ventura County; Oak St 1887

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