(Originally Posted December 2008; Updated December 2011)
Ed Lawrence chronicled the growth of the Conejo Valley from 1958 to 2003 over a time that the population grew from 2,000 to 130,000. Ed's work provides an amazing perspective on what this area was like 50 years ago to today. In June 2011, Ed sold his collection to the Thousand Oaks Library and other local community entities to preserve, digitize and make his work available for generations to come.
I was fortunate to chat with Ed in person tonight at a dinner hosted by Ventura County Supervisor Linda Parks. He is 87 years old and looks great. He is currently in town working on organizing his photo collection. In his presentation, Ed included his very first photo in the Conejo Valley, a shot of Moorpark Road in 1958. Let's just say it looked nothing like Moorpark Road looks today!
The picture below shows a whole lot of sheep on Moorpark Road near the intersection of Thousand Oaks Boulevard in 1965. I'm pretty sure what is taking place is that they are flocking to Starbucks. I could be wrong.
Below is another of Ed's most well known shots. A shot of the Albertson Ranch that eventually became Westlake Village. The lone oak seen in the bottom right, around 350 years old at the time of the photo, was recently cut down because it was about to collapse.
We look forward to seeing much more of Ed Lawrence's work soon at the Thousand Oaks Library.