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

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.

Upcoming dates: 12/2/18, 1/6/19, 2/3/19, 3/3/19, 4/7/19, 5/5/19, 6/2/19, 7/7/19, 8/4/19, 9/1/19, 10/6/19, 11/3/19, 12/1/19.

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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.

The Seabee Museum at Naval Base Ventura County in Port Hueneme is a Local Must-See

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The U.S. Navy Seabee Museum at 1001 Addor Street, Port Hueneme is a state-of-the-art, free of charge must-see for local residents and visitors alike. One of the U.S. Navy's 11 official museums, the Seabee Museum displays historical material relating to the history of the Naval Construction Force, better known as the Seabees, and the U.S. Navy Civil Engineer Corps.

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The 38,000 sq ft museum was recently renovated and features modern exhibit spaces, memorial garden, theater, education room and well-stocked gift shop. Well worth a visit with the kids. Additionally, the STEM Center at the Museum is a hidden gem!

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The second oldest of the official Navy museums, the Seabee Museum was established in 1947 in Port Hueneme, which today is part of Naval Base Ventura County.

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The museum is open Monday to Saturday from 9 am to 4 pm. Closed Sundays and all Federal holidays. Admission and parking are free. Learn more at www.usnavyseabeemuseum.com or call 805.982.5165.

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MASH Site at Malibu Creek State Park

Malibu Creek State Park is a wilderness wonderland, stretching over 8,000 acres in Calabasas, Agoura and Malibu. The park is a great place for hiking, biking, camping, picnicking and exploring. If you do plan to explore the park, be sure to check out the old M*A*S*H (or "MASH" television series set!

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Produced by 20th Century Fox, M*A*S*H was filmed from September 1972 to February 1983 over 11 seasons and 256 episodes on CBS. Exterior scenes were filmed at what is now Malibu Creek State Park. Over the years, the ambulance and other props left at the old site became less and less visible as the surrounding brush became overgrown.

In 2007, the set was restored with a shaded picnic area, military vehicles, ambulance, helipad and signpost. Check out the photos below, but, better yet, visit it in person! For more pictures and extensive information about the M*A*S*H set and Malibu Creek State Park, visit www.malibucreekstatepark.org.

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The M*A*S*H set is easily accessible from the main parking lot at Malibu Creek State Park, mostly on wide fire roads, with one significant hill, a bridge crossing and one somewhat rocky trail section. The path is about 2 1/2 miles each way, so it would be a good idea to bring drinks and snacks.

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"That's From Disneyland!" Pop-Up Exhibit in Sherman Oaks through August 24th

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The 20,000 square foot "That's From Disneyland!" free pop-up exhibit at a former Sports Authority store in Sherman Oaks is worth going out of your way for!

It is located at 13730 Riverside Drive, Sherman Oaks (directly next to the Westfield Fashion Square Mall - cross-street is Woodman). Just 25 miles from the Conejo Valley.

This wonderful display allows Disney fans to experience artifacts from Disneyland from a private collection going back to the beginning of the amusement park. The artifacts are from the collection of Richard Kraft, who after 25 years of collecting them is auctioning them off on August 25-26.

Some of the numerous items on display include:

  • It's a Small World figures.
  • 15 Disneyland ride vehicles, including Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Peter Pan's Flight Ship, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride Car, Haunted Mansion "Doom Buggy," Fantasyland Skyway Bucket, Tomorrowland People Mover, Matterhorn Bobsled, Space Mountain Vehicle, Disneyland Ticket Booth and many more.
  • Haunted Mansion Stretching Room paintings.
  • Enchanted Tiki Room bird and signage.
  • King Arthur Carrousel items.
  • Massive Submarine Voyage Sea Serpent that closed in 1998 (after operating for nearly 30 years).
  • Miniature Disneyland Model by Robert Olszewski with a replica of Disneyland's Main Street U.S.A. between 2002 and 2012.
  • Frontierland posters and artifacts.
  • New Orleans Square items.
  • Lots of poster, artwork and maps of the park going back to the early 1960s.

This pop-up exhibit will be on display Wednesdays through Sundays from noon to 8pm through August 24th. Over 900 lots from the collection will subsequently be auctioned off. on August 25-26. Learn more at www.thatsfromdisneyland.com.

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The "Scary Dairy" at CSU Channel Islands University Park in Camarillo

CSU Channel Islands University Park is a 367 acre parcel located adjacent to CSU Channel Islands off of S. Lewis Road in Camarillo. It is a regional educational and recreation area owned and operated by California State University Channel Islands.

In 1932, the State of California purchased 1,760 acres of the Lewis Ranch and built the Camarillo State Mental Hospital, which operated from 1936 to 1997 and at one point treated as many as 7,000 patients in the mid 1950s.

Located on the parcel was a dairy farm that produced crops and housed livestock that fed the hospital community. The farm was disbanded in the 1960s and has been left in a state of disrepair, falling prey over the decades to vandals and coined "Scary Dairy."

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After closure of the hospital, the land was conveyed to the County of Ventura, which had considered developing a golf course and amphitheater there but later abandoned its plans. The land was acquired by the University in 2009.

Fences and "No Trespassing" signs now surround what's left of the structures. but you can still get pretty close to check out Scary Dairy.

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CSU Channel Islands University Park is open to the public daily from sunrise to sunset. From Camarillo, take Lewis Road south to Camarillo Street and turn left (east).  Cross the bridge over Calleguas Creek and the entrance is on the left. Parking is $6 per vehicle (as of August 2017). Do note that there are no facilities at this park, like restrooms and drinking fountains. Visit www.csuci.edu/cipark for more information.

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Five Notable Historical Sites and Places to See in and Around Ventura County

In the mid 1850s, the area that we call Ventura County was the southern part of Santa Barbara County.  By 1873, Ventura County officially split off from Santa Barbara County and by the turn of the century the cities of San Buenaventura (or Ventura as we know it), Port Hueneme, Santa Paula, Nordhoff (now Ojai), Simi, Somis, Moorpark and Oxnard came on board. Camarillo and Thousand Oaks were late bloomers, incorporating in 1964.

There are hundreds of historical things to see around Ventura County, dozens of which are covered here on Conejo Valley Guide. Let's take a look at five neat places to see Ventura County history to additional information.

Strathearn Historical Park and Museum in Simi Valley has a notable collection of structures and artifacts from Simi's early days. The park is jointly operated by the Rancho Simi Recreation and Park District and Simi Valley Historical Society.

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The Museum of Ventura County opened its Agriculture Museum in Santa Paula in September 2011. The museum is housed in the historic 1888 restored Mill building. In its 12,000 sq ft, you'll find an extensive collection of vintage farm equipment, tools, machines, clothing, photos and artifacts.

Probably my personal favorite local historical venue, just ouside the Ventura County border, is the Leonis Adobe Museum in Calabasas, adjacent to Sagebrush Cantina. If you've never been there, do stop by and bring the kids, as you'll be amazed at how much there is to see in this somewhat hidden location. The kids will love visiting with the collection of farmyard animals, there are lots of historical artifacts, including quite an impressive collection of vintages wagons/carriages and much more.

Bull-ying can be a good thing...at the Leonis Adobe in Calabasas.

Bull-ying can be a good thing...at the Leonis Adobe in Calabasas.

Bull-ying can be a good thing...at the Leonis Adobe in Calabasas. Fun to watch.

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The Camarillo Ranch House is a 6,000 sq ft Victorian home built by Adolfo Camarillo, son of city namesake Juan Camarillo, in 1892. The house is owned by the City of Camarillo and the nonprofit Camarillo Ranch Foundation maintains the property, which has been restored to look how it looked in the 1904 to 1930 time frame. Take a docent-led tour of the house and enjoy one of the most beautiful venues for outdoor weddings and events in Ventura County...immaculate grounds and stunning, mature trees at this peaceful location that is right off the 101 Freeway.

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Last but not least is the Stagecoach Inn Museum in Newbury Park, home to a replica of the 1876 Grand Union Hotel. Take a docent-led tour, check out the quaint gift shop and tour the grounds, which includes a Chumash Indian village, rose garden, nature trails and more. The site is home to a historic Sycamore Tree that is over 250 years old. Adjacent to the museum is a park with some uniquely designed playground equipment.

For hundreds and hundreds of things to do, check out the Do Something section of CVG!