Little Known Wonders

Did you know?

  • The Camulos Adobe in Piru was used by Helen Hunt Jackson as a model for the book Ramona. The silent picture Ramona was filmed there staring Mary Pickford.
  • Mission San Buenaventura is the only mission in the United States with bells made of wood. The reason is still a mystery.
  • The last military action of California’s Mexican American War was fought at Saticoy on January 6, 1847. The small bloodless skirmish took place near the site where a Japanese balloon bomb fell in January 1945.
  • Mission San Buenaventura once had the longest aqueduct in Old California. Part of the seven-mile long system still stands at Canada Larga.
  • The first train powered by oil, rather than wood or coal, ran from Santa Paula to Ventura.
  • Erle Stanley Gardner wrote his first two Perry Mason Novels in Ventura.
  • The world’s first oil tanker burned at the Ventura pier in the 1880s. It was only two years old.
  • “Leo the Lion” is buried under the Thousand Oaks Performing Arts Center?? the site of Jungleland.
  • The silent classic film, “The Sheik,” was filmed on the beach at Oxnard’s Silver Strand.
  • General George Patton was a visitor at Port Hueneme’s Bard Mansion, which is now the officer’s club.
  • A lost gold mine is said to be located up the Piru Creek. After rain storms, people still claim to find “color” in Piru Creek.
  • The first murder solved using DNA was in Ventura on February 24, 1988. The crime occurred at The Top Hat hotdog stand.
  • Dr. Bard was the first patient admitted to his own hospital in 1902. He was the first person to die there.
  • In the 1870s, Ventura held bullfights on Main Street.
  • From 1866 to 1876 all laws in Ventura were written in both English and Spanish.
  • Both Ventura and Oxnard had large Chinatowns in the last years of the 19th and early 20th centuries.
  • Oxnard was the first city in the United States to elect a Chinese mayor. Mayor Bill SooHoo was also the first Oxnard Mayor born in Oxnard.
  • The Oxnard Chinese community had its own fire Company in the 1890s. The fire cart was recently re-discovered in Oxnard.
  • A great party was held at the Olvias Adobe when President Grant was elected in 1869. Olivas was a republican and helped to elect Grant.
  • Movies made in Santa Paula in the 1900s predated Hollywood. One movie from that era still exists.
  • Ventura’s historic Olivas and Ortega adobes from the Mexican occupation are now museums. The Ortega Adobe is known as the birthplace of the Ortega Famous Green Chiles.
  • Ventura grew substantially in the 1920s when it operated one of the top producing oil fields in the nation.

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