Historic Carousel at Chase Palm Park in Santa Barbara Closed First Week of December 2017


The historic 1916 Allan Herschell Carousel has operated at Chase Palm Park in Santa Barbara since 1999. Nearing the end of its 20 year lease with the City of Santa Barbara, the owner of the Carousel opted to relocate it Hood River, Oregon, for installation in a dedicated museum of historically significant carousels.

The Carousel is one of three machines produced by the Allan Herschell Factory in the 1915-1917 time frame. It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on April 13, 2000. It is 40 feet in diameter, with a 19 foot wooden pole in its center, supporting 35 jumping, hand-carved wooden horses plus two hand carved art deco style wooden chariots.

This carousel originally operated outdoors on the east coast, where it was used for decades without adequate maintenance. It was purchased in 1970 by Seaport Village in San Diego, where after 10 years in storage it was sold again to its current owners. 

While this is sad news for local residents, the good news is that this historical carousel will be preserved in its new location in Hood River. 


M*A*S*H 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 television series set!


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.


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.


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


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.


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!


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.


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.


City of Fillmore Neon-Lighted Sign From Pre-World War II

You don't see many signs around town like the Fillmore sign at the northeast corner of Highway 126 (E. Telegraph Road) and Central Avenue.

Fillmore sign photo taken as I was waiting at the stoplight driving south on Central Avenue.

Fillmore sign photo taken as I was waiting at the stoplight driving south on Central Avenue.

The sign was originally constructed in 1940, making it over 70 years old. It is designated a historical landmark by the City of Fillmore.


The Fillmore sign is a cool green neon lit up at nightIt's not exactly easy getting to Fillmore from the Conejo Valley as you either have to take the winding path of the 23/Grimes Canyon Road via Moorpark or drive out to Ventura via the 101 and take the 126 to Fillmore by way of Santa Paula. Kind of a haul but certainly fun to do every now and then.

At a total area of only 2.8 square miles, Fillmore is the smallest of Ventura County's 10 cities, and its population of roughly 16,000 places it 9th (roughly double the population of Ojai).

Quite a quaint little place that is certainly fun to visit, with highlights such as numerous themed train rides at Fillmore & Western Railway, State Fish Hatchery and Railroad Visitor Center, along with an old town feel along Central Avenue.

Hike to the Danielson Monument in the Boney Mountain Wilderness

One of the more popular and challenging hikes in the local area takes you from the Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa Recreation Area in Newbury Park to the Danielson Monument in the Boney Mountain Wilderness (Point Mugu State Park). 

It is about 5.5 miles round trip and has a net elevation gain of about 600 feet. The Monument is close to 1,500 feet in elevation This is a fairly challenging trail as roughly two thirds of the hike you are going up and down fairly substantial hills. That said, I've seen hundreds of folks on these trails of all fitness levels and ages doing it at their own pace.

Entrance into Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa at Lynn Road and Via Goleta in Newbury Park

Entrance into Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa at Lynn Road and Via Goleta in Newbury Park

Starting at the Satwiwa Native American Culture Center, make your way to the Danielson Road trail by either taking the Big Sycamore Canyon Fire Road (paved) south for roughly .3 mile and then a left on Danielson Road (trail) or take the Satwiwa Loop Trail that runs diagonally southeast until you reach a fork on the trail.

(Note: You can also park at the trailhead at Wendy and Potrero Roads and add another few miles to your trek.)

Sycamore Canyon Road southbound towards Point Mugu State Park from Satwiwa Center

Sycamore Canyon Road southbound towards Point Mugu State Park from Satwiwa Center

Veer right (south) at the juncture of the Danielson Road and Satwiwa Loop trails towards a bench that overlooks Sycamore Canyon. This is called the Upper Sycamore Canyon Overlook.

The bench at the Upper Sycamore Canyon Overlook in Rancho Sierra Vista

The bench at the Upper Sycamore Canyon Overlook in Rancho Sierra Vista

The short, rocky trail eastbound from there (behind the bench) takes you to another fork, where you can either veer left to the Hidden Valley Overlook trail (part of Rancho Sierra Vista/Satwiwa) or right into the Boney Mountain Wilderness. (Note that dogs and bikes are not allowed in the Boney Mountain Wilderness.)

Entering the Boney Mountain Wilderness

Entering the Boney Mountain Wilderness

After a steady descent of about another .4 mile, you'll see another sign. Continue towards the left. On the right is the Upper Sycamore Canyon Trail, kind of a fun, winding trail at the bottom of the canyon. Save that for another day.

In non-drought years, there is often a creek you may need to walk through as you continue on Danielson Road. It has been years since the stream was of any significance but it was back in February 2017 after recent rainstorms. But it is generally easy to get across.

After navigating the narrowest portion of trail, you will see a juncture. The unmarked "Waterfall Trail" is straight ahead (only about 120 steps to the "Waterfall" when there's not a severe drought). You can check it out as it is such a short distance. But to get to the Monument, veer sharply right, continuing up Danielson Road.

Juncture of Waterfall (straight ahead) and Danielson Road (to the right)

Juncture of Waterfall (straight ahead) and Danielson Road (to the right)

This is a long, grinding, uphill trail of about a mile until you get to a juncture where you can make a right-hand turn to the Old Boney Trail. As you make your way up, you'll be treated to great views from Sycamore Canyon to Newbury Park and beyond.

This is a bit of a dried out view from Upper Danielson Road looking down from where we came from in 2015.

This is a bit of a dried out view from Upper Danielson Road looking down from where we came from in 2015.

You're almost there once you see this Old Boney trail sign - just .3 mile to go

You're almost there once you see this Old Boney trail sign - just .3 mile to go

Continue straight on Danielson Road. There are some areas coming up that periodically get overgrown. Watch out for poison oak particularly in these areas, continuing on to the Monument. In .3 mile, you're reached your destination.

The Danielson Monument is a tribute to Richard Ely Danielson, Junior who lived on the 7,800 acre Rancho Sierra Vista after purchasing the land from the estate of Carl H. Beal in 1947 for roughly $500,000. Danielson lived on the ranch for over three decades with his family. He donated 5,585 acres of the ranch to the State of California, which became part of Point Mugu State Park and sold 850 acres, including the horse ranch, to the National Park Service in 1980.  He passed away on December 27, 1988. 

Ranching in the area dates back to the early 1800s, when Spanish soldiers were granted 48,672 acres of land, "Rancho El Conejo," which through the years was subdivided and sold to other landowners. One of these ranchers was Carl Beal, who in 1937 named the area Rancho Sierra Vista "Mountain View Ranch." 

The Monument is in a peaceful setting, surrounded by trees. And it stays fairly green up here. A good place to eat lunch or sit and relax. Adjacent to the Monument is a remnant of Danielson's cabin - the chimney. If you continue up this path to the right, you can get to the top of Boney Mountain.

Remnant of Danielson's cabin adjacent to the monument - a chimney.

Remnant of Danielson's cabin adjacent to the monument - a chimney.

One thing I've never seen in my decades on this particular trail are strollers. I think strollers would be a bit of a challenge for many due to rocky and narrow sections, periodic overgrowth and poison oak on the sides of a small portion of the trail and, when we're not in a drought, a stream crossing. 


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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Banning Dam (Lake Eleanor Dam) in Thousand Oaks is a Ventura County Historical Landmark

Banning Dam (also referred to as Lake Eleanor Dam) was designated as Ventura County Historical Landmark No. 120 in May 1988. Built in 1889 at 37 feet high and 140 feet long at its crest, the dam is located in a gorge adjacent to Westlake Boulevard, just south of Potrero Road. It is considered either the first or second concrete arched dam built in California.

The 8 acre Lake Eleanor can be seen as you are driving on Westlake Boulevard/Decker Canyon or you can do the Lake Eleanor Open Space Hike in Westlake Village for a view of the lake from above.

The lake and surrounding 529 acres of open space is fenced off from the public to create a habitat for wildlife. The area include rugged hills, rocky outcrops, freshwater marsh habitat, oak woodland and coastal sage scrub. Hawks and other large birds often use the outcrops for nesting sites and the area supports several species of rare/endangered plants.

The Lake Eleanor open space was acquired by the Conejo Open Space Conservation Agency in 1986. Banning Dam was designated City of Thousand Oaks historical point of interest No. 9 in May 1988.

Banning Dam

Banning Dam