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Ventura County: A Brief History


Ventura County is rich in history dating back to the pre-colonial times. During this era, the hunter-gatherer tribe of the Chumash inhabited most of the early territories of what now would be called Ventura County. Some of their culture survived even in modern times as evidenced by the names of some places in Ventura County that originated from the Chumash dialect. Examples of these are Ojai, which means “moon”, Point Mugu from the Chumash word Muwu which means "beach, and Saticoy, meaning "sheltered from the wind."

In the mid-1500's, the Spanish expedition led by Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo arrived in what is now Ventura County. It would take two more centuries for the active occupation of the California by the Spanish. It was not long-lived though for in 1822, California gained independence from Spain by virtue of siding with Mexico when the latter gained its long fought independence from the Spanish Crown.

The later part of the 1800's saw big and serendipitous changes for Ventura County starting with its official split from Santa Barbara County. This event heralded the birth of new towns in the County: the cities of Hueneme, Fillmore, Santa Paula, Piru, and Montalvo, just to name a few.

In modern period, Ventura County is separated into two parts, the East and the West County. East County consists of all cities of the Coneja Grade which are Thousand Oaks, Newbury Park, Lake Sherwood, Hidden Valley, Santa Rosa Valley, Oak Park, Moorpark, and Simi Valley. West County on the other hand comprises of cities west of Conejo Grade namely Ventura, Ojai, Santa Paula, Camarillo, Somis, Point Mugu, Port Hueneme, and Fillmore.