Ventura, California

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Ventura
City
City of San Buenaventura
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Ventura, California, viewed from the northwest (Oil fields in foreground)
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Seal
Nickname(s): Shisholop
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Location in Ventura County
Location in California
Coordinates: 34°16′30″N 119°13′40″W / 34.27500°N 119.22778°W / 34.27500; -119.22778Coordinates: 34°16′30″N 119°13′40″W / 34.27500°N 119.22778°W / 34.27500; -119.22778
Country United States
State California
County Ventura
Government
 • Mayor Cheryl Heitmann
 • City Manager Mark Watkins
 • Senate Hannah-Beth Jackson (D)
 • Assembly Das Williams (D)
 • U.S. Congress CA-23: Lois Capps (D)
CA-24: Julia Brownley (D)
Area[1]
 • Total 32.095 sq mi (83.124 km2)
 • Land 21.655 sq mi (56.085 km2)
 • Water 10.440 sq mi (27.039 km2)  32.53%
Population (2010)
 • Total 106,433
 • Rank 4th in Ventura County
56th in California
250th in the United States
 • Density 3,300/sq mi (1,300/km2)
 • Demonym Venturan
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC-7)
ZIP code 93001-93007, 93009
Area code(s) 805
Website cityofventura.net

Ventura (officially the City of San Buenaventura; commonly called San Buenaventura before 1891,[2] or Shisholop in Chumash[3]) is the county seat of Ventura County, California, United States, incorporated in 1866. The population was 106,433 at the 2010 census, up from 100,916 at the 2000 census. Ventura is accessible via U.S. Route 101, State Route 33, and State Route 126.

History

The original inhabitants of the area were native Chumash people, who called it Shisholop ("In the mud") in the Chumash language.[3][4]

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July 4 celebration in Ventura, 1874. Parade Marshall is Thomas R. Bard.
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Statue of Father Junípero Serra; founder of Mission San Buenaventura in 1782.

Archaeological research demonstrates that the Chumash have deep roots in central and southern coastal regions of California, and has revealed artifacts from their culture dating back two thousand to over ten thousand years.[5] 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 canoes called tomol bringing shell bead money and chert in trade.[4][6]

In 1769, the Spanish Portola expedition, first recorded European visitors to inland areas of California, came down the 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 travelling 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."[7]

Father Junípero Serra, first leader of the Franciscans in California, founded Mission San Buenaventura in 1782,[8] forming the basis of what would become the city. The mission was named for St. Bonaventure, a Thirteenth Century Franciscan saint and a Doctor of the Church. 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.[9] On July 6, 1841, Governor Juan Bautista Alvarado granted Rancho San Miguel to Felipe Lorenzana and Raymundo Olivas,[10] whose Olivas Adobe on the banks of the Santa Clara River was the most magnificent hacienda south of Monterey.

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 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 as such, 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.

Bard is often regarded as the Father of Ventura County and his descendants have been prominently identified with the growth of the county. The Union Oil Company was organized with Bard as President in 1890, and has offices in Santa Paula. The large Ventura Oil Field was first drilled in 1919 and at its peak produced 90,000 barrels per day (14,000 m3/d). The city is located between the Ventura River and the Santa Clara River, leading to soil so fertile that citrus grew better here than anywhere else in the state. The citrus farmers formed Sunkist Growers, Incorporated, the world's largest organization of citrus production.

On March 12, 1928, the St. Francis Dam, 54 mi (87 km) inland, failed catastrophically, taking over 600 lives. The resulting flood reached Montalvo about 5:30 a.m., almost two miles (3 km) wide and traveling at a speed of 5 mph (8.0 km/h) per hour.

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 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.[11]

Inland, Ventura was hemmed in by (what is now) the Los Padres National Forest, composed of mountainous country and deep canyons. This route became passable with the completion of the Maricopa Highway (Hwy 33) in the 1930s.

Since then, Ventura has grown 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.

Transportation

The major road through Ventura is the Ventura Freeway (U.S. Route 101), connecting the California Central Coast and San Francisco to the north, and Los Angeles to the south. State Route 33, the Ojai Freeway, heads north to Ojai. State Route 126 and State Route 118 head east to Santa Clarita and Simi Valley, respectively.

The East Ventura Station serves as the western terminus of the Ventura County Line of the Metrolink commuter rail system, which extends to Los Angeles' Union Station. The Ventura Amtrak Station is served by Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner from San Luis Obispo to San Diego.

Local bus services are provided by Gold Coast Transit and VISTA.

The Downtown - Harbor Trolley began its free service on July 3rd, 2013. The Trolley makes roughly 45-minute loops from Downtown to the Harbor Village. Running 11am-11pm Wednesday – Sunday. The Trolley runs on Mondays that fall on major holidays. Go to venturatrolley.com for pick up locations.

Geography

Ventura is located northwest of Los Angeles on the California coast and at 34°16′30″N 119°13′40″W / 34.27500°N 119.22778°W / 34.27500; -119.22778 (34.275242, -119.228048).[12] The Ventura River is at its western boundary and the Santa Clara River at its southern edge.

According to the United States Census Bureau, Ventura has a total area of 32.1 square miles (83 km2), of which 21.7 square miles (56 km2) is land and 10.4 square miles (27 km2) (32.53%) is water.

Climate

Ventura has a Mediterranean climate, typical of most coastal California cities, with the sea breeze off the Pacific Ocean moderating temperatures. It is not uncommon for the city to be affected by Santa Ana winds off the Transverse Ranges on occasion, which increase temperatures dramatically.

Climate data for Ventura, California
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 88
(31)
91
(33)
94
(34)
100
(38)
98
(37)
102
(39)
94
(34)
97
(36)
103
(39)
103
(39)
98
(37)
96
(36)
103
(39)
Average high °F (°C) 66
(19)
66
(19)
65
(18)
68
(20)
68
(20)
70
(21)
73
(23)
74
(23)
74
(23)
73
(23)
70
(21)
66
(19)
69
(21)
Average low °F (°C) 45
(7)
47
(8)
48
(9)
50
(10)
53
(12)
56
(13)
59
(15)
60
(16)
59
(15)
55
(13)
49
(9)
45
(7)
48
(9)
Record low °F (°C) 29
(−2)
28
(−2)
31
(−1)
35
(2)
39
(4)
42
(6)
44
(7)
46
(8)
42
(6)
37
(3)
33
(1)
29
(−2)
28
(−2)
Rainfall inches (mm) 3.41
(86.6)
3.90
(99.1)
3.04
(77.2)
0.72
(18.3)
0.21
(5.3)
0.05
(1.3)
0.02
(0.5)
0.07
(1.8)
0.36
(9.1)
0.36
(9.1)
1.37
(34.8)
2.11
(53.6)
15.62
(396.7)
Source: http://www.weather.com/outlook/travel/businesstraveler/wxclimatology/monthly/graph/USCA1193

Demographics

2010

The 2010 United States Census[13] reported that Ventura had a population of 106,433. The population density was 3,316.2 people per square mile (1,280.4/km²). The racial makeup of Ventura was 76.6% White, 1.6% African American, 1.2% Native American, 3.4% Asian (0.9% Filipino, 0.6% Chinese, 0.4% Indian, 0.4% Korean, 0.4% Japanese, 0.3% Vietnamese, 0.5% Other), 0.2% Pacific Islander, 5.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 31.8% of the population.

The Census reported that 103,940 people (97.7% of the population) lived in households, 755 (0.7%) lived in non-institutionalized group quarters, and 1,738 (1.6%) were institutionalized.

There were 40,438 households, out of which 13,014 (32.2%) had children under the age of 18 living in them, 18,907 (46.8%) were opposite-sex married couples living together, 4,936 (12.2%) had a female householder with no husband present, 2,153 (5.3%) had a male householder with no wife present. There were 2,621 (6.5%) unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, and 371 (0.9%) same-sex married couples or partnerships. 10,959 households (27.1%) were made up of individuals and 4,271 (10.6%) had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.57. There were 25,996 families (64.3% of all households); the average family size was 3.14.

The population was spread out with 23,918 people (22.5%) under the age of 18, 9,581 people (9.0%) aged 18 to 24, 28,814 people (27.1%) aged 25 to 44, 29,957 people (28.1%) aged 45 to 64, and 14,163 people (13.3%) who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39.0 years. For every 100 females there were 97.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.6 males.

There were 42,827 housing units at an average density of 1,334.4 per square mile (515.2/km²), of which 22,600 (55.9%) were owner-occupied, and 17,838 (44.1%) were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 1.3%; the rental vacancy rate was 5.5%. 59,330 people (55.7% of the population) lived in owner-occupied housing units and 44,610 people (41.9%) lived in rental housing units.

2000

As of the census[14] of 2000, there were 100,916 people, 38,524 households, and 25,233 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,790.6 inhabitants per square mile (1,849.3/km²). There were 39,803 housing units at an average density of 1,889.5 per square mile (729.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 78.8% White, 1.4% African American, 1.2% Native American, 3.0% Asian, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 11.1% from other races, and 4.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 30.4% of the population.

There were 38,524 households out of which 32.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.2% were married couples living together, 11.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.5% were non-families. 26.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.56 and the average family size was 3.12.

In the city the population was spread out with 25.0% under the age of 18, 7.8% from 18 to 24, 31.5% from 25 to 44, 22.8% from 45 to 64, and 12.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 96.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $52,297, and the median income for a family was $60,466. Males had a median income of $43,828 versus $31,793 for females. The per capita income for the city was $25,065. About 6.4% of families and 9.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.2% of those under age 18 and 5.3% of those age 65 or over.


Economy

Patagonia is based in Ventura.[15]

Top employers

According to the City's 2011 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[16] the top employers in the city are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 County of Ventura 7,991
2 Ventura County Health Care Agency 2,493
3 Ventura Unified School District 1,916
4 Ventura College 1,913
5 Community Memorial Hospital 1,881
6 Argon ST 990
7 City of San Buenaventura 595
8 Employer's Depot 550
9 MediTech Health Services 400
10 Judicial Council of California 370

Incubator

In 2009 the City of Ventura created Ventura Ventures Technology Center, a business incubator with a high-tech focus. Ventura Ventures Technology Center was created as an economic engine to develop jobs and companies locally, as well as attract entrepreneurs to the area.

Education

Ventura hosts five college campuses, the Brooks Institute of Photography, Ventura College of Law, Southern California Institute of Law, Santa Barbara Business College and Ventura College. Ventura College is a community college, part of the Ventura County Community College District [1]. The Ventura College of Law is a non-profit law school founded in 1969.

Public school students from kindergarten through 12th grade attend schools in the Ventura Unified School District. The district has two high schools: Ventura High in the midtown area, and Buena High in east Ventura. Students from throughout the district may attend Foothill Technology High School, a magnet school focusing on technology and health careers or El Camino High School (Ventura), an independent study school located on the Ventura College campus. Private schools include St. Bonaventure High School, a Catholic school, Ventura County Christian School, an evangelical Christian school, and Holy Cross School, Sacred Heart, and Our Lady of the Assumption, Roman Catholic schools for grades Pre-K-8. [2]

Libraries

Public Libraries: Ventura County Library - There are three branches in the City of Ventura: E.P. Foster Library on Main Street, Avenue Library on the Avenue, and Saticoy Library in the unincorporated area of Saticoy. H.P. Wright Library was closed on November 30, 2009 due to lack of funding. All books from the H.P. Wright Library were integrated into the E.P. Foster Library in March 2010.

Academic Library: Ventura College

Other: Ventura County Law Library

Points of interest

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The restored Mission San Buenaventura.

Ventura is famed for the quality and frequency of the surfing conditions at spots such as Surfer's Point at Ventura County Fairgrounds.

Downtown Ventura is home to the Mission San Buenaventura, museums, galleries, dining, and shopping. Primary areas of activity include California Street and Main Street between Ventura Avenue and Fir Street. Located in downtown is the historic Ortega Adobe, once home to the Ortega family, now famous for their chili products. Numerous thrift stores contrast with high-end shops and restaurants. Downtown Ventura is home to Ventura's ornate city hall with its statue of Junipero Serra.[17] Downtown now features numerous restaurants, winebars and the internationally acclaimed Rubicon Theatre Company.

The 4,300-square-foot (400 m2) Ventura Visitors Center, at 101 South California Street, has exhibits on the Heritage Valley, Channel Islands National park, the local arts scene, and maps and brochures about the area.

Downtown's Majestic Ventura Theater is an early 20th-century landmark. A venue for concerts, it has seen performances from legendary artists such as The Doors, Pearl Jam, Van Halen, X, Ray Charles, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Social Distortion, Bad Religion, Fugazi, Incubus, Tom Petty, They Might Be Giants, and Johnny Cash, as well as some of the city's most successful homegrown artists like Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and Army of Freshmen.

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An early-morning fisherman at Ventura Pier, 2008.

One of the most recognizable landmarks in Ventura is "Two Trees" which are two prominent lone trees on a hilltop, visible from most of Ventura. Access to the hill is private property. Signs at the bottom of the trails and at the trees themselves warn trespassers.[18]

In Plaza Park (Chestnut and Santa Clara Streets, downtown) stands one of the nation's largest Moreton Bay Fig Trees. Across the street, the main post office has Works Projects Administration murals on interior walls.[19]

The Ventura Harbor has fishing boats, seafood restaurants and a retail center, the Ventura Harbor Village. The Channel Islands National Park Headquarters is also located in the harbor, and boats to the Channel Islands depart from there daily.

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The Ventura Fairgrounds during the Ventura County Fair.

The Westside of Ventura is a large Subdivision of neighborhoods, along Ventura Avenue. The area is home to Ventura's first public housing projects. The area is known for a large transient population due to its proximity to the Ventura River.

Pierpont Bay (Pierpont) is a residential neighborhood in the one-mile stretch between the Ventura Harbor and San Buenaventura State Beach. Reclaimed marshland was subdivided in 1925 and houses were built in fits of development interrupted by years of economic depression, war, and coastal floods (in 1937 and 1962). Long a hodge-podge of rental dwellings, weekend cottages and vacant lots, it was transformed by successive California real estate booms into a fashionable but eclectic mix of newer large homes and older modest beach cottages, now mostly owner-occupied. Piecemeal development, not overly burdened by planning efforts or regulatory attentions, left Pierpont with widely varying architectural styles, a spotty retail district Seaward Avenue, newer residents' demands for increased municipal maintenance, and continuing disputes about the proper regulation of the neighborhood's public beaches. Recently plans have been announced for high-density development on some streets, and state authorities have begun to more actively manage beaches that were mostly self-regulated for eighty years.

The Ventura County Fairgrounds is the home of the annual Ventura County Fair, and over the years has hosted such acts as Jimi Hendrix, The Grateful Dead, Smokey Robinson, and All American Rejects.

The Derby Club at the Ventura County Fairgrounds offers Horse Racing Live via Satellite, and full service bars and restaurants.

The Ventura County Fairgrounds is also the home of Ventura Raceway, "The best little dirt track in America".[20][21]

The Ventura County Fairgrounds also serves as a Train Station for Amtrak's Pacific Surfliner route

The Vans Warped Tour also stops yearly at the Ventura County Fairgrounds with line ups including bands such as Yellowcard, Pepper and Avenged Sevenfold.

The Olivas Adobe, one of the early California Rancho homes, is operated today as a museum and performing arts venue. Located adjacent to the Olivas Park Golf Course, the home is one of the most visited historic sites on the central coast. Living history reinactments, demonstrations of Rancho life, and wonderful ghost stories abound. A summer music series of performances held in the old home's courtyard feature an eclectic assortment of artists from blues to jazz to country.

Perry Mason creator Erle Stanley Gardner had a law practice and did much of his early writing in Downtown Ventura. The building where his law offices were housed, at California and Main Street bears his name on a historical marker.

The Ventura Film Festival shows over 200 films each year. The films Swordfish, Little Miss Sunshine, Chinatown, Erin Brockovich, The Aviator, and The Rock were partly filmed in Ventura, and most of the 2011 release Bellflower was shot in Ventura.[22]

The headquarters for outdoor clothing manufacturer Patagonia is located downtown. The eco-designer Stewart+Brown has their factory just a few blocks from the ocean. Diaper bag manufacturer Petunia Pickle Bottom is headquartered near downtown Ventura. Ventura is a course in Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2. It was called 'Skatestreet Ventura'.

Notable locations

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Surfer rides a wave off of Point Mugu during a Ventura surf contest.

Parks

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Boat entering Ventura Harbor.

See also

Notes

  1. ^ U.S. Census
  2. ^ Erwin G. Gudde, California Place Names: The Origin and Etymology of Current Geographical Names, 4th ed., rev. and enlarged by William Bright (University of California Press, 1998), p. 410.
  3. ^ a b McCall, Lynne; Perry, Rosalind (2002). California’s Chumash Indians : a project of the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Education Center (Revised edition ed.). San Luis Obispo, Calif: EZ Nature Books. p. 36. ISBN 0936784156. 
  4. ^ a b Anderson, John (1999). "The Chumash Indians Who Live in Ventura County California: The Ventura Chumash". Retrieved 2013-05-07. 
  5. ^ McCall, p. 11
  6. ^ "Santa Cruz Island - Channel Islands National Park". National Park Service. Retrieved 2013-04-26. 
  7. ^ Bolton, Herbert E. (1927). Fray Juan Crespi: Missionary Explorer on the Pacific Coast, 1769-1774. HathiTrust Digital Library. pp. 159–160. Retrieved April 2014. 
  8. ^ Murphy, Arnold L. (ed.) (1979). A Comprehensive Story of Ventura County, California. Oxnard, CA: M & N Printing. p. 8. 
  9. ^ Hogle, Gene NAC Green Book of Pacific Coast Touring (1931) National Automobile Club p.25
  10. ^ "Spanish and Mexican Land Grants". Ventura County Genealogical Society. Retrieved 2007-03-17. 
  11. ^ Gyllstrom, Paul. "Rincon Sea-Level Road Soon Completed" Motor Age, Volume XXII, 17 October 1912, p. 25
  12. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  13. ^ All data are derived from the United States Census Bureau reports from the 2010 United States Census, and are accessible on-line here. The data on unmarried partnerships and same-sex married couples are from the Census report DEC_10_SF1_PCT15. All other housing and population data are from Census report DEC_10_DP_DPDP1. Both reports are viewable online or downloadable in a zip file containing a comma-delimited data file. The area data, from which densities are calculated, are available on-line here. Percentage totals may not add to 100% due to rounding. The Census Bureau defines families as a household containing one or more people related to the householder by birth, opposite-sex marriage, or adoption. People living in group quarters are tabulated by the Census Bureau as neither owners nor renters. For further details, see the text files accompanying the data files containing the Census reports mentioned above.
  14. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  15. ^ "Patagonia", Accessed 5 July 2011
  16. ^ City of San Buenaventura CAFR
  17. ^ Department of Geography, University of California, Berkeley "Father Junipero Serra” Sculpture – Ventura CA"Living New Deal Accessed 3 March 2014
  18. ^ Martinez, Arlene "Two Trees: Look but don't touch (or hike near)" Ventura County Star (November 20, 2013) Retrieved 2014-01-25
  19. ^ Department of Geography, University of California, Berkeley "Ventura Post Office “Agriculture and Industries of Ventura” – Ventura CA"Living New Deal Accessed 3 March 2014
  20. ^ Grey Wolf Photos
  21. ^ Ventura Raceway Channel
  22. ^ Johnson, Brett. "Can-do movie crew: Ventura County amateurs' 'no budget' film 'Bellflower' earns slot at Sundance Film Festival". Ventura County Star (Jan. 15, 2011). Retrieved 2013-05-07. 

References

  1. Anderson, John (1999). "The Chumash Indians Who Live in Ventura County California: The Ventura Chumash". Retrieved 2013-05-07. 

External links