Aviation Museum of Santa Paula is Open to the Public the First Sunday of Each Month

The Santa Paula Airport was dedicated in August 1930. Today it is a non-towered facility with nearly 300 aircraft, handling approximately 97,000 arrivals/departures a year. Much of the original 1930’s-era facilities still exist and are used today, giving the airport a very authentic representation of the Golden Age of Aviation.

Located at the Santa Paula Airport, the Aviation Museum of Santa Paula is open the first Sunday of each month, with a array of hangars open to the public from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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Each of the privately owned hangars houses a variety of vintage aircraft and collections of various types, as well as other memorabilia, such as antique radios, model aircraft and race cars. Some hangars celebrate highlights of fascinating aviation careers, while others contain antique aircraft undergoing the process of restoration. Hangar owners or docents are available to answer questions. 

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You've got to take the time to stop by. It is fun, low key and quite interesting. The hangars are directly adjacent to the airfield, so you are guaranteed to see aircraft taking and landing up close. The range of items on display at the various hangars is quite diverse. In fact, one of the most extensive, well organized collections of vintage radios I've ever seen is located in one of the hangars.

 A look at just a few of the vintage radios currently on display in one hangar.

A look at just a few of the vintage radios currently on display in one hangar.

 Obviously an aviation aficionado in this hangar!

Obviously an aviation aficionado in this hangar!

The participating hangars are fairly well spread out at the 51 acre airport but if you're not up for walking, there's a complimentary tram that will take you around. These are some very nice people who have obvious passion for what they do and enjoy sharing it with the general public. I struck up several conversations with hangar owners and they were full of great stories and information.

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There is no charge for visiting the Aviation Museum, though donations are welcomed. Visit www.aviationmuseumofsantapaula.org or call 805.525.1109 for more information.

The Museum is not open on rainy days.

Directions: Arriving by car from the east, exit the Santa Paula Freeway (SR 126) at 10th street, turn right off the ramp, and then a quick left onto Harvard Boulevard. Turn left at the next signal at Eighth Street, under the freeway, left onto Santa Maria Street and park in the lot. Arriving from the west, exit the freeway at Palm Avenue, turn right and then a quick left onto Santa Maria Street, about a half mile to the end at the parking lot.

 Lots to see, both inside and outside of the hangars.

Lots to see, both inside and outside of the hangars.

Ventura County Historical Landmarks at Strathearn Historical Park in Simi Valley

Located at 137 Strathearn Place, Simi Valley, the six acre Strathearn Historical Park and Museum site contains no less than six designated Ventura County Historical Landmarks.

Originally from Scotland, the Strathearn Family purchased 15,000 acres of old Spanish Rancho from Simi Land and Water Co. around 1890.

The Simi Adobe/Strathearn House is Ventura County Historical Landmark No. 6, State Landmark No. 979 and is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  The Simi Adobe was originally built by Santiago Pico, original grantee of El Rancho Simi, in 1810. The Adobe was considered an important link between the San Fernando and Ventura missions.

The Strathearn House (built in 1892-3) includes the Simi Adobe (built in 1810)

After buying the property, the Strathearns built their nine-room Victorian-style farmhouse and kept two usable rooms of the adobe that were used as a dining room and kitchen. The Strathearn family occupied the house until 1968.

Built in 1930, the original Simi Library was located on Third Street near Los Angeles Avenue. Members of the community raised funds to purchase land and asked the Ventura County Library System to build this first purpose-built branch library in the county. It operated until 1962, when a new library opened on Church Street in the Community Center. The Simi Library briefly served as the first Simi Valley Museum until Strathearn Historical Park opened in 1969. The Library was designated Ventura County Historical Landmark No. 40 in May 1978. (More recently, in the Simi Valley Public Library became a separate municipal public library on July 1, 2013.)

The Haigh/Talley Colony House was designated Ventura County Historical Landmark No. 41 in May 1978 and was named to the National Register of Historic Places that same year. It is one of 12 pre-cut, partially assembled two-story homes shipped by rail in 1888 to the townsite of "Simiopolis" (this was just for six months; it was later

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The Adamson House in Malibu is Listed on the National Register of Historic Places

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The Adamson House at 23200 Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu is a National Historic Site and a registered California landmark. The house and grounds share one of the most beautiful beach locations in Southern California, with a view of the Malibu Lagoon, Malibu Beach and the Malibu Pier. In addition to its world-famous Malibu Tile, the house contains hand-carved teak wood doors, hand-painted murals, molded ceilings, hand-wrought ironwork and lead-framed bottle glass windows.

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The house was built in 1930 for Rhoda Rindge Adamson and Merritt Huntley Adamson, originally as a summer cottage and in 1936 as the family's primary residence. It is located on the 13,315 acre Malibu Rancho that was purchased by Rhoda's parents, Frederick and May K. Rindge, in 1892.  Mr. Rindge passed away in 1905 and left the ranch to his wife, who later gave the parcel to the Adamsons.

USC graduate Merritt Adamson met Rhoda Rindge while he was employed as foreman of the Rindge Ranch. The couple married in 1915 and in 1916 Merritt founded Adohr Farms in the San Fernando Valley, named after his wife's first name spelled backwards.

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Rhoda inherited the property after Merritt's death in 1949 and she lived there until her passing in 1962. The land was later purchased by the State of California under eminent domain laws to create beach parking, but local groups and preservationists fought to preserve the property and succeeded. The house was restored and the garage was converted into the Malibu Lagoon Museum and they opened to the public in 1983.

 Flooring in the backside of the house

Flooring in the backside of the house

The Adamson House Tour is a guided tour through the house which contains its original furnishings and is decorated with the renowned Malibu Potteries tile. Trained volunteer docents relate the history of the house, details of its architecture and furnishings, and the history of the family that lived in and created this distinctive home. Admission (as of July 2018) is $7 for ages 17 and up, $2 ages 6 to 16 and free for under 6. Cash only. Open for guided tours 11am to 2pm Wed to Sat. More information at www.adamsonhouse.org or call 310.456.8432.

State Route 23 Between the 101 and 118 is Dedicated to Japanese American World War II Soldiers

 Moorpark Freeway section of SR 23 taken from Marview Trail in Thousand Oaks.

Moorpark Freeway section of SR 23 taken from Marview Trail in Thousand Oaks.

State Route 23 stretches from Malibu to Fillmore in three sections. The south section is the winding, hilly Decker Canyon Road that connects Pacific Coast Highway to Westlake Village and Hidden Valley. This section is approximately 10 miles from PCH to the Potrero Road intersection, but generally takes 20 to 25 minutes to drive.

SR 23 continues as Westlake Boulevard to the Ventura Freeway (U.S. Route 101), where it runs concurrent with the 101 north a couple miles until you reach the Moorpark Freeway overpass. This is another 4 to 4 1/2 miles.

The most visible section of SR 23 in Thousand Oaks is the Moorpark Freeway, which stretches from the 101 to the Los Angeles Avenue exit in Moorpark; about 8 miles. This middle section of the 23 was named the Military Intelligence Service Memorial Highway in 1994 by the California State Assembly. The renaming was made in honor of Nisei, or Japanese American, Soldiers of World War II who served in units of the U.S. Armed Forces comprising the 100/442/MIS triad (Military Intelligence Service, 100th Infantry Battalion and 442nd Regimental Combat Team). **

 Military Intelligence Service Memorial Highway sign

Military Intelligence Service Memorial Highway sign

The northern section of SR 23 begins at Los Angeles Avenue (SR 118) in Moorpark and goes north as Grimes Canyon Road, ending at SR 126 in Fillmore. This is about a 12 mile stretch includes some eye opening, hilly twists and turns in the Grimes Canyon Road area.

The total length of SR 23 is about 32 miles.

** Some additional clarification from the 1994 legislation: Segments of State Highway Routes 23 and 99 are officially designated as follows: (a) State Highway Route 23, from Highway 101 to Highway 118, as the Military Intelligence Service Memorial Highway. (b) State Highway Route 99, between the Cities of Fresno and Madera, as the 100th Infantry Battalion Memorial Highway. (c) State Highway Route 99, between the Cities of Salida and Manteca, as the 442nd Regimental Combat Team Memorial Highway. Each of the signs to also include "A unit of the 100/422/MIS triad.

Mugu Rock Then and Now

Mugu Rock is a large rock formation that was formed when a 200 foot deep cut was made into the rocky ridge was made from October 1937 to February 1940. Prior to the modern day PCH at Mugu Rock (at the time called U.S. 101 Alternate (State Route 60), drivers went around a 275 foot radius curve that is now fenced off.

The photos in the video above from the October 1940 edition of California Highways and Public Works show what it looked like before, during and after the cut was made, compared to what it looks like today.

Shakey's Pizza Parlor on Thousand Oaks Boulevard in the 1960s

 Shakey's Pizza Parlor in the background at the 1966 Conejo Valley Days Parade

Shakey's Pizza Parlor in the background at the 1966 Conejo Valley Days Parade

Back in the day, there were only a few pizza places in Thousand Oaks, including this Shakey's Pizza Parlor on the north side of Thousand Oaks Boulevard, located across the street from Jungleland (where the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza now resides). 

The exact address of Shakey's was 2361 Thousand Oaks Blvd., where Toyota of Thousand Oaks resides today.

Today we have more pizza choices than ever imagined in the Conejo Valley. Over the last several years, newcomers to the Conejo Valley pizza scene include:

To name a few...not to mention Toppers Pizza, Butler's Pizza, California Pizza Kitchen, Pizzeria La Piccola, Tony's Pizza, Greco's Pizzeria and many others.

Shakey's Pizza was founded in Sacramento on April 30, 1954, by Sherwood "Shakey" Johnson and Ed Plummer. Johnson's nickname resulted from nerve damage following a bout of malaria suffered during World War II.  In the 1970s, there were approximately 500 Shakey's locations in the U.S. Today there are 54, the majority of which are still here in Southern California. The closest Shakey's to Thousand Oaks is 30 miles away, in Northridge.

 Another scene from the 1966 Conejo Valley Days Parade. Miss Shakey's is absent! But Miss Sizzler is present!

Another scene from the 1966 Conejo Valley Days Parade. Miss Shakey's is absent! But Miss Sizzler is present!

Tell Me a Little Bit About Newbury Park

Newbury Park is a community located in the western portion of Thousand Oaks. It became part of Thousand Oaks by community vote sometime in the 1960s and 1970s. Thousand Oaks became a city in October 1964.

 A view of Newbury Park from Boney Peak in March 2015.

A view of Newbury Park from Boney Peak in March 2015.

 Egbert Starr Newbury (Photo Courtesy Conejo Valley Historical Society)

Egbert Starr Newbury (Photo Courtesy Conejo Valley Historical Society)

Newbury Park is named after Egbert Starr Newbury, who owned thousands of acres of land in the Conejo Valley after moving to California from Michigan for health reasons in 1871.  Newbury was one of the three largest Conejo Valley landowners of his time. He and his wife Fannie became the first postmasters in the Conejo Valley in 1875.  The post office was located in a small compound near their house, which was located at the current location of the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza

The other major landowners at that time were John Edwards, who owned much of the current Newbury Park/Thousand Oaks area north of the 101, and Howard Mills, who owned much of what today is Westlake Village and Hidden Valley.

Edwards sold 10,000 acres of what is now central Thousand Oaks to Edwin and Harold Janss in 1893.  The Janss Corporation also bought thousands of acres of land in Newbury Park (Friedrich, Running Springs and Borchard Ranches) in 1962.  Apparently there was an effort to incorporate Newbury Park as a city in 1963 but it failed when it lacked sufficient votes.

Over a 30 month period beginning in the Fall of 1876, only 6 inches of rain fell in the Conejo Valley.  This drought brought devastation to landowners, most of whom lost their crops and livestock and had to sell at a loss or went bankrupt.  The Newburys were no exception; they moved back to the midwest in 1877.  Egbert fell ill to pneumonia in 1880 and passed away at the young age of 36.

The Newburys lived here only six years, so why is it still called Newbury Park? Because the name of the Newburys' post office never changed! The Newbury Park Post Office has changed locations a number of times (including 1602 Newbury Road from May 1968 until it moved to its current location at 3401 Grande Vista Drive in 2013). So the Newbury name and legacy live on here in the Conejo Valley.

 Horse tied to a sign indicating the Newbury Park Post Office, in 1909. The location was near modern-day Lynn Ranch. (Courtesy of the Thousand Oaks Library Local History Photo Collection).

Horse tied to a sign indicating the Newbury Park Post Office, in 1909. The location was near modern-day Lynn Ranch. (Courtesy of the Thousand Oaks Library Local History Photo Collection).

Sources: "The Conejo Valley - Old and New Frontiers" by Carol A. Bidwell and "The Newburys of Newbury Park" by Miriam Sprankling

But wait...there's more to Newbury Park! Casa Conejo is also part of the Newbury Park community but is not an incorporated part of Thousand Oaks. It is considered a census-designated place in Ventura County, with its own Municipal Advisory Council. Casa Conejo is the first planned community in Newbury Park and was built in the early 1960s. It is has an area of .5 square mile and is bound by Borchard to the South, Old Conejo Road to the North, Jenny Drive (East of Newbury Park High School) to the West and Sequoia Middle School to the East.

Interested in historical pictures of the area going back to the 1950s?  Click here to read about the work of prolific Conejo Valley photographer, Ed Lawrence. 

Click here for a history of Thousand Oaks.  Thousand Oaks is over 56 square miles and Newbury Park represents about 40% of that square footage.

Three dozen or so things to do in Newbury Park

Another three dozen or so kids' activities in Newbury Park

Yet another three dozen or so sports and fitness activities in Newbury Park