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Historical Conejo Valley Pictures From Ed Lawrence

Ed Lawrence on December 16, 2011Ed 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 in 2011. 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.

Photo courtesy of Ed Lawrence

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.

Photo courtesy of Ed Lawrence and Thousand Oaks Library FoundationSee more of Ed's work at edlawrencephoto.com. Also, in 2015, the new Mendocino Farms Sandwich Market in Westlake Village opened, prominently featuring the iconic sheep photo on a wall.

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Reader Comments (14)

Photos are fantastic - never knew there were so many darn sheep in Conejo Valley!!!!!

September 25, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterCarmela

I remember the sheep. Thousands of them would dot the hill sides. I have wonderful memories of the Conejo Valley in the 60's and 70's.

January 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLaurie

My dad's cousin (I guess my second cousin) is Arthur Gardner. He is the producer of the Rifleman and Big Valley and is turning 100 in June. For his 90th, I gave him a big print of the Rifleman set with sheep grazing that Ed Lawrence took. He broke down in tears of joy and that photo hangs to this day in his home in Beverly Hills. At the same time I bought a areal photo of my neighborhood before my house was built in 1967. I wanted to buy another photo for this 100th, but cannot find a place to buy one. I'm a long time resident of TO and own a business here as well. Wouldn't it be great if Mr. Lawrence's photos could be viewed and purchased on the web? If he is interested in setting up such site, I would love to help. Those photos are really wonderful and should be available for more people to enjoy.

David Grant

May 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDavid Grant

how do i get ahold of Ed?? Please advise!!!!

July 5, 2010 | Unregistered Commentersuje

I have been told that Ed has made a book of his photos, if so how do I purchase one?

August 27, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBruce Cameron

Hi Bruce - I am not aware of a book. Perhaps if you contact the City of Thousand Oaks or the library that is purchasing his collection, they may know.

August 27, 2011 | Registered CommenterConejo Joe

My Dad, Gerald Davis is the cowboy in the picture riding down the middle of Dodge City, and on the horse under the oak tree at the Rifleman movie set. We were so surprised to see these pictures on here, two of the pictures hang on my parent's wall. I would love to see a site that displays all of his photos, they bring back so many happy memories. I have a photo of Ed Lawrence and my Dad and some more snapshots Mr. Lawrence took that same day.

November 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDarla Davis Davenport

My Father Victor Silveria learned photography from Ed, last I heard he SOLD ALL RIGHTS to his photos to Thousand Oaks Library, maybe they can give some info if there is a book out there to purchase. He is a real nice man...

December 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTim Silveria

I grew up in T.O. My grand parents were Art and Charollet Meade. They owned Jocket Meades restarunt. Later my uncles built Meadowbrook Plunge. It was a wonderful beautiful safe place to grow up. My brother Don Gilbert went to Conejo school. Later we went to Moorpark High, it was a blast. I now live in Pittsburg Ks. and I miss California every day!

December 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJohnna Gilbert Russian

Ed Lawrence is showing his pictures at Conejo Park and Recreation Building off McCloud in Thousand Oaks at 2:00 Sunday the 28. for the CVHS. He is bringing some of his pictures to sell. If you want to come it is free but reservation is necessary because of limited seating. Call Joanne Getmanat 805 495-0933

October 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJoyce Michelsen

Hi I am Ed Lawrence's daughter. We are working on a website for Dad & hope to have it up & running soon. Will advise URL as soon as we get it up. Thanks for the great comments.

November 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLynn Lawrence

My Grandfather is Ed Lawrence. Years ago Ed did have a web site with all of his photos, it was Ranches to Residences.com (no spaces) It was very hard for Ed to keep up with the demand and we let it go. Now with current technologies making it easier on my grandfather we are preparing for the re-launch of the site very soon. I will post here and other venues the new web address. We hope to start with the most popular and add regularly the rest. It is a very large collection and will take some time. Ed really appreciates all of the support he gets from the people of the Conejo Valley and it still inspires him to this day.

November 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAdrian Brown

Thanks Lynn and Adrian! We look forward to the re-launch of Ranches to Residences or whatever site you create. Contact us at info(at)conejovalleyguide.com with any details.

November 3, 2012 | Registered CommenterConejo Joe

This is for Lynn Lawrence, Hi Lynn we went to high School together & I would just love to hear from you. We had some Cosmic Times back in those Days.
Your dad & my dad are the same age. Your dad is one of the nicest guys. Do you remember going to summer School together at Camarillo High?
I think we were like freshman back then? Wow what a trip running across this web site.
Hope to hear from you.
Jim Galati

February 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJim Galati

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