Ventura County, California

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This article is about the County of Ventura, California. For the city in the county by the same name, see Ventura, California. For other uses, see Ventura (disambiguation).
Ventura County, California
County
County of Ventura
Venturacityhall.jpg Ojai, California (12).jpg
CamarilloCaliforniaPanorama.jpg
View of the Reagan Library from the south.jpg Point Mugu September 2013 010.jpg
Images, from top down, left to right: Ventura City Hall in Old Town Ventura, Ojai Arcade in Ojal, a view of Camarillo, Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Point Mugu
Official seal of Ventura County, California
Seal
Location in the state of California
Location in the state of California
California's location in the United States
California's location in the United States
Country United States
State California
Region California Central Coast
Incorporated 1873
County seat Ventura
Largest city Oxnard (population only)
Area
 • Total 2,208 sq mi (5,720 km2)
 • Land 1,843 sq mi (4,770 km2)
 • Water 365 sq mi (950 km2)
Population (2010)
 • Total 823,318
 • Density 370/sq mi (140/km2)
Time zone Pacific Standard Time (UTC-8)
 • Summer (DST) Pacific Daylight Time (UTC-7)
Area code(s) 805, 818
Website www.countyofventura.org

Ventura County is a county in the southern part of the U.S. state of California. As of the 2010 census, the population was 823,318.[1] The county seat is Ventura.[2]

Ventura County comprises the Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Los Angeles-Long Beach, CA Combined Statistical Area. It is also considered as the southernmost county along the California Central Coast.[3]

History[edit]

Pre-colonial period[edit]

Pictographs in the Burro Flats Painted Cave in Simi Valley.

Ventura County was historically inhabited by the Chumash people, who also settled much of Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties, with their presence dating back 10,000-12,000 years.[4][5] The Chumash were hunter-gatherers, fishermen and also traders with the Mojave, Yokuts, and Tongva Indians.[6] The Chumash are also known for their rock paintings and for their great basketry. Chumash Indian Museum in Thousand Oaks has several reconstructed Chumash houses (‘apa) and there are several Chumash pictographs in the county, including the Burro Flats Painted Cave in Simi Valley. The plank canoe, called a tomol in Chumash, was important to their way of life. Canoe launching points on the mainland for trade with the Chumash of the Channel Islands were located at the mouth of the Ventura River, Mugu Lagoon and Point Hueneme.[7][8] This has led to speculations among archeologists of whether the Chumash could have had a pre-historic contact with Polynesians.[9][10] According to diachronic linguistics, certain words such as tomolo’o (canoe) could be related to Polynesian languages. The dialect of the Chumash language that was spoken in Ventura County was Ventureño.[11]

Several place names in the county has originated from Chumash, including Ojai, which means moon,[12] and Simi Valley, which originates from the word Shimiyi and refers to the stringy, thread-like clouds that typify the region.[13] Others include Point Mugu from the word Muwu (meaning “beach”), Saticoy from the word Sa’aqtiko’y (meaning “sheltered for the wind”), and Sespe Creek from the word S’eqp’e (meaning “kneecap”).[14]

Spanish period[edit]

Mission San Buenaventura is a Spanish mission founded in 1782 by the Franciscan order.

In October 1542, the expedition led by Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo anchored in an inlet near Point Mugu; its members were the first Europeans to arrive in the area that would become Ventura County.[15]

Active occupation of California by Spain began in 1769. Gaspar de Portolà led a military expedition by land from San Diego to Monterey, passing through Ventura County in August of that year. A priest with the expedition, Father Juan Crespí, kept a journal of the trip and noted that the area was ideal for a mission to be established and it was a "good site to which nothing is lacking".[16] Also on this expedition was Father Junípero Serra, who later founded a mission on this site.

On March 31, 1782, the Mission San Buenaventura was founded by Father Serra.[17] It is named after Saint Bonaventure, one of the early intellectual founders of the Franciscan Order. The town that grew up around the mission, was originally and remains named San Buenaventura, although has been known as Ventura since 1891.[18]

In the 1790s, the Spanish Governor of California began granting land concessions to Spanish Californians, often retiring soldiers. These concessions were known as ranchos and consisted of thousands of acres of land that were used primarily as ranch land for livestock. In Ventura County, Rancho Simi was granted in 1795 and Rancho El Conejo in 1802.

Mexican period[edit]

In 1822, California was notified of Mexico's independence from Spain and the Governor of California, the Junta, the military in Monterey and the priests and neophytes at Mission San Buenaventura swore allegiance to Mexico on April 11, 1822. California land that had been vested in the King of Spain was now owned by the nation of Mexico.

By the 1830s, Mission San Buenaventura was in a decline with fewer neophytes joining the mission. The number of cattle owned by the mission dropped from first to fifteenth ranking in the California Missions.[19] The missions were secularized by the Mexican government in 1834. The Mexican governors began granting land rights to Mexican Californians, often retiring soldiers. By 1846, there were 19 rancho grants in Ventura County.[20] In 1836, Mission San Buenaventura was transferred from the Church to a secular administrator. The natives who had been working at the mission gradually left to work on the ranchos. By 1839, only 300 Indians were left at the Mission and it slipped into neglect.[21]

Several outhouses were discovered in July 2007 dating back to the 1800s where a new site had been cleared to prepare for development. The area proved to be a treasure trove for archaeologists who braved the lingering smell in the dirt to uncover artifacts that showed heavy utilization by mission inhabitants, Indians, early settlers and Spanish and Mexican soldiers.[22]

American period[edit]

The Mexican–American War began in 1846 but its effect was not felt in Ventura County until 1847. In January of that year, Captain John C. Frémont led the California Battalion into San Buenaventura finding that the Europeans had fled leaving only the Indians in the Mission. Fremont and the Battalion continued south to sign the Treaty of Cahuenga with General Andrés Pico. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo formally transferred California to the United States in 1848.[23]

By 1849, a constitution had been adopted for the California territory. The new Legislature met and divided the pending state into 27 counties. At the time, the area that would become Ventura County was the southern part of Santa Barbara County.[24]

The 1860s brought many changes to the area. A drought caused many of the ranchos to experience financial difficulties and most were divided, sub-divided and sold. Large sections of land were bought by eastern capitalists based on favorable reports of petroleum deposits. A United States Post Office was opened at Mission San Buenaventura in 1861. On April 1, 1866, the town of San Buenaventura was incorporated becoming the first officially recognized town in what would become Ventura County.[25]

On January 1, 1873, Ventura County was officially split from Santa Barbara County, bringing a flurry of change. That same year, a courthouse and wharf were built in San Buenaventura. A bank was opened and the first public library was created. The school system grew, with the first high school opening in 1890.[26]

Other towns were starting in the county. A plan for Hueneme (later Port Hueneme) was recorded in 1874, and Santa Paula's plan was recorded in 1875. The community of Nordhoff (later renamed Ojai) was started in 1874.[27] Bardsdale, Fillmore, Piru and Montalvo were established in 1887.[28] 1892 saw Simi (later Simi Valley), Somis, Saticoy and Moorpark. Oxnard was a late-comer, not being established until 1898.[29]

The Southern Pacific Railroad laid tracks through San Buenaventura in 1887. For convenience in printing their timetables, Southern Pacific shortened San Buenaventura to Ventura. The Post Office soon followed suit. While the city remains officially known as San Buenaventura, it is more commonly referred to as Ventura.[30] The rail line to northern California originally went through Saugus, Fillmore and Santa Paula, providing a boom to those communities along the line. In 1905, Tunnel #26 was completed between Chatsworth and Corriganville near Simi Valley, shortening the rail route. At 7,369 feet (2,246 m), Tunnel #26 was the longest tunnel ever constructed in its day.[31] This tunnel joined the railroad spur coming the other direction from Montalvo through Camarillo, Moorpark and Simi Valley, making the contemporary main line used today. One stop along the way, at a 90 degree turn, was at a sugar beet processing factory. The factory bore the name of its absentee owners, the Oxnard Brothers. A small community of farm and factory workers grew near the train stop. That community, now bearing the name of the factory shortened to the one word train stop, has become the largest city in Ventura County, Oxnard.[32][33]

Oil has been known in Ventura County since before the arrival of the Europeans, as the native Chumash people used tar from natural seeps as a sealant and waterproofing for baskets and canoes. In the 1860s, several attempts were made to harvest the petroleum products under Ventura County but none were financially successful, and the oil speculators eventually changed from oil to land development. In 1913, oil exploration began in earnest, with Ralph Lloyd obtaining the financial support of veteran oil man Joseph B. Dabney. Their first well, named "Lloyd No. 1", was started on January 20, 1914. The well struck oil at 2558 feet (780 m) but was destroyed when it went wild. Other wells met a similar fate, until 1916, when a deal was struck with the Shell Oil Company. 1916 was the year the large South Mountain Oil Field was discovered, and other deals followed with General Petroleum in 1917 and Associated Oil Company in 1920. At its peak, the largest oil field in the county, the Ventura Avenue oilfield, discovered in 1919 in the hills north of Ventura, was producing 90,000 barrels (14,000 m3) of oil a day, with annual production of over a million and a half barrels. More oil fields came on-line in the 1920s and 1930s, with the Rincon field, the second-largest, in 1927, and the adjacent San Miguelito in 1931.[34][35]

In the early hours of the morning of March 12–13, 1928, the St. Francis Dam collapsed, sending nearly 12,500 million US gallons (47 gigalitres) of water rushing through the Santa Clarita Valley killing as many as 600 people,[36] destroying 1,240 homes and flooding 7,900 acres (32 km2) of land, devastating farm fields and orchards.[37] This was the largest single disaster to strike Ventura County and the second largest, in tems of lives lost, in the state.

Modern period[edit]

Orange Grove outside of Santa Paula, California.
Typical rush hour traffic in Ventura

Ventura County can be separated into two major parts, East County and West County.[citation needed] East County consists of all cities east of the Conejo Grade. Geographically East County is the end of the Santa Monica Mountains, in which the Conejo Valley is located, and where there is a considerable increase in elevation. Communities which are considered to be in the East County are Thousand Oaks, Newbury Park, Lake Sherwood, Hidden Valley, Santa Rosa Valley, Oak Park, Moorpark, and Simi Valley.[citation needed] A majority of these communities are in the Conejo Valley.

West County, which is everything west of the Conejo Grade, consists of communities such as Camarillo, Oxnard, Somis, Point Mugu, Port Hueneme, Ventura, Ojai, Santa Paula, and Fillmore. West County consists of some of the first developed cities in the county. The largest beach communities are located in West County on the coastline of the Channel Islands Harbor.

Starting in the mid-1900s, there was a large growth in population in the East County, moving from the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles and out into the Conejo and Simi Valleys, which consists of Calabasas, Hidden Hills, Agoura Hills, Agoura, and parts of Westlake Village belonging to Los Angeles County. The other half of the Conejo Valley, which belongs to Ventura County, consists of Lake Sherwood, Hidden Valley, Oak Park, parts of Westlake Village, Thousand Oaks, and Newbury Park, which was formerly an unincorporated area that is now the most westerly part of Thousand Oaks. Many working-class white people migrated to this area during the 1960s and 1970s out of East and Central Los Angeles. As a result, there was a large growth in population into the Conejo Valley and into Ventura County through the U.S. Route 101 corridor. Making the U.S. 101 a full freeway in the 1960s, and the expansions that followed, helped make commuting to Los Angeles easier and opened the way for development westward. The communities that have seen the most substantial development are Calabasas, Hidden Hills, Agoura Hills, Westlake Village, Thousand Oaks, and Newbury Park.

Development moved farther down the US 101 corridor and sent population rising in West County cities as well. The largest population growth there has been in Camarillo, Oxnard, and Ventura. Development in the East County and along the US 101 corridor is becoming rare today, because most of these cities were master-planned cities, such as Thousand Oaks and Simi Valley, and are approaching build-out. Although the area still has plenty of open space and land, almost all of it was put aside and mandated never to be developed as part of the master plan of each city. Because of this, its private low-key location, its country feel, and its proximity to Los Angeles, the Conejo Valley area has become a very attractive place to live. It once had relatively inexpensive real estate, but prices have risen sharply. For example, real estate in Newbury Park has increased in price by over 250% in the last 10 years. Median home prices in the Conejo Valley now range from $700,000 to $2.2 million. The Conejo Valley area is one of the most affluent areas in the United States.

Geography[edit]

53 % of the county's total area is made up by national forest land.[38]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 2,208 square miles (5,720 km2), of which 1,843 square miles (4,770 km2) is land and 365 square miles (950 km2) (16.5%) is water.[39] Anacapa Island of Channel Islands National Park and San Nicolas Island are located in the county. Begg Rock, 8 miles (13 km) north west of the western tip of San Nicolas Island, has claimed one boat.[40]

Parts of the county are on the Oxnard Plain, which is home to the cities of Oxnard, Camarillo, Port Hueneme and much of Ventura. Other parts of the county are on small coastal mountains, such as the Santa Ynez Mountains, Simi Hills, Santa Monica Mountains and the Piru Mountains, while the rest of the county is in the intermountain valleys of the Transverse Range - Santa Clara River Valley is the most prominent valley, while other valleys include Conejo Valley, Simi Valley, Santa Rosa Valley, Tierra Rejada Valley and Las Posas Valley. The climate, though mostly mild and dry, varies because of the variations in topography through for instance differences in elevation and physical geography. Because the total amount of precipitation is small, conserving water and obtaining water from additional sources outside of Ventura County are vital concerns.[41] The Santa Clara River is the principal waterway. Lake Casitas, an artificial reservoir, is the largest body of water. Most of the population of Ventura County lives in the southern portion of the county. The major population centers are the Oxnard Plain and the Simi and Conejo Valleys. In local media, the county is usually split between the eastern portion, generally associated with the San Fernando Valley, and the western portion, often referred to as “Oxnard-Ventura."

The highest peaks in the county include Mount Pinos (8831', 2697 m), Frazier Mountain (8017', 2444 m), and Reyes Peak (7525', 2294 m), all except Reyes Peak in the San Emigdio Mountains (Pinos and Frazier Mountain are sometimes assigned to the Tehachapis). The uplands are well-timbered with coniferous forests, and receive plentiful snow in the winter. Mount Pinos is sacred to the Chumash Indians. It is known to them as Iwihinmu, and was considered to be the center of the universe; being the highest peak in the vicinity, it has a spectacular view, unimpeded in three directions.

Physical geography[edit]

Map of Ventura County with physiographical place names.
Mugu Rock at Point Mugu State Park.

There are 555,953 acres (224,986 ha) outside of national forest land in Ventura County, which means that 53 percent of the county’s total area is made up of national forest. Of the land outside of national forest land, approximately 59 percent is agricultural and 17.5 percent urban.[38] North of Highway 126, the county is mountainous and mostly uninhabited, and contains some of the most unspoiled, rugged and inaccessible wilderness remaining in southern California. Most of this land is in the Los Padres National Forest, and includes the Chumash Wilderness in the northernmost portion, adjacent to Kern County, as well as the large Sespe Wilderness and portions of both the Dick Smith Wilderness and Matilija Wilderness (both of these protected areas straddle the line with Santa Barbara County). All of the wilderness areas are within the jurisdiction of Los Padres National Forest.

Simi Valley in the valley of the same name, Simi Valley, in the southeast corner of the county.

The coastal plain was formed by the deposition of sediments from the Santa Clara River and from the streams of the Calleguas-Conejo drainage system. It has a mean elevation of fifty feet (15 m), but at points south of the Santa Clara River, the elevation is as much as 150 feet (46 m), and at points north of the river, as much as 300 feet (91 m). The coastal plain is generally known as the Oxnard Plain with the part that centers on Camarillo lying east of the Revelon Slough is called Pleasant Valley. Most of the arable land in the county is found on the coastal plain. Small coastal mountains rim Ventura County on its landward side. They range in elevation from 50 feet (15 m) along the coast south of the coastal plain, to about 3,100 feet (940 m) in the Santa Monica Mountains. The Santa Ynez Mountains, the Topatopa Mountains, and the Piru Mountains make up the northern boundary of the county the Santa Susana Mountains the eastern boundary, and the Simi Hills and the Santa Monica Mountains make up the southern border towards Los Angeles County. South Mountain and Oak Ridge are low and long mountains that separate Santa Clara Valley from the Las Posas Valley and Simi Valley. The Camarillo Hills and the Las Posas Hills extend from Camarillo to Simi Valley and separate the Las Posas-Simi area from the Santa Rosa Valley and Tierra Rejada Valley.[42]

Summit of Mount Pinos, the highest point in the county.
Emma Wood State Beach is located west of the City of Ventura.

The intermountain valley of the Santa Clara River is the most prominent valley in the county and trends east-southwest. The Santa Clara River drains an area of 1,605 square miles and flows from it headwaters in Los Angeles to where it empties into the Pacific. Its principal tributaries are Piru Creek, Santa Paula Creek, and Sespe Creek. The valley of the Ventura River is a narrow valley north of Ventura. Ojai Valley is connected to the Ventura River Valley by San Antonio Creek. The small Upper Ojai Valley, east of Ojai Valley and 300-to-500-foot higher (91 to 152 m), drains to the Ventura River on the west and to Santa Pauls Creek on the east. Ojai- and Upper Ojai Valleys are surrounded by mountains and are rich agricultural areas. The Ventura River flows south and drains an area of 226 square miles. Over South Mountain and Oak Ridge, south of the Santa Clara River, are Las Posas Valley and Simi Valley. Las Posas Valley extends eastward from the Oxnard Plain almost to Simi Valley, which is in the east end of Ventura County. The town of Simi Valley is bounded on the east by the Santa Susana Mountains and on the south by the Simi Hills. To the south, over the Camarillo- and Las Posas Hills, are Santa Rosa- and Tierra Rejada Valleys, which extend from Camarillo eastward for ten miles. In the hills south of Santa Rosa Valley is the broad Conejo Valley. Santa Rosa Valley, Conejo Valley, Simi Valley, and Tierra Rejada Valley are drained by Calleguas Creek and its principal tributary, Conejo Creek. These creeks originate in the Santa Susana- and Santa Monica Mountains.[41]

The County's diverse coastline features a variety of terrain. There are many State beaches: Emma Wood, San Buenaventura, McGrath, and Mandalay State Beach. Other beaches include Channel Islands Beach, Solimar Beach, Oxnard Beach Park, and Silver Strand Beach. While Point Mugu State Park is known for its steep coastal terrain with little beach access, nearby County Line Beach in the south coast community of Solromar is part of the fabled Malibu coastline. Ventura County has plenty of other surf spots along the coast including the notable surf spot, Rincon Point, on the Santa Barbara County-line.

Climate[edit]

Sunset over the Topatopa Mountains in northern Ventura County.

Ventura County has a considerable range in climate because of differences in topography between one part of the county and another. Rainfall is limited in summer and crops have to be irrigated. The average annual temperature is near 60 °F at low elevations near the ocean, in the 50’s over most of the northern two-thirds of the county, and less than 45 °F in the Topatopa Mountains. The annual range in temperature is between 70 °F and 80 °F on the Coastal Plain and as much as 100 °F in the interior. For July, the average maximum temperature is between 70 °F and 80 °F on the Coastal Plain but exceeds 90 °F in the upper part of the Ventura- and Cuyama River Valleys. For January, the average minimum temperature is near 40 °F on the coast but in the lower 30’s and upper 20’s in the northern parts of Ventura County. No temperature data are available for the highest point in the county, Mount Pinos. The length of the growing season ranges more than 300 days near the coast to less than 175 days in the coldest part in northern Ventura County. In both the northern and southern ends of the county, the annual precipitation totals between ten and fifteen inches. In the Topatopa Mountains, the annual total is more than thirty-three inches. The drier parts of the county get less than five inches of rain annually, and the higher and wetter parts get more than 60 inches annually. Measureable amounts of rainfall in Ventura County are reported on thirty to thirty-five days annually, and half an inch or more on six to twelve days annually. In the northern parts of Ventura County, snowfall averages five inches or more per year, and along the northern border and Mount Pinos, more than twenty inches.[42]

Adjacent counties[edit]

National protected areas[edit]

Transportation[edit]

Major highways[edit]

Pacific Coast Highway (CA 1) in Solromar
Overlap SR 23/US 101 (Ventura Freeway)

Unconstructed[edit]

Public transportation[edit]

Ventura County is served by Amtrak and Metrolink trains, as well as Greyhound Lines, Gold Coast Transit (formerly South Coast Area Transit), and VISTA buses. The cities of Camarillo, Moorpark, Simi Valley and Thousand Oaks have their own small bus systems.

Park authorized commercial service operators provide access to the five islands of Channel Islands National Park.[43]

Airports[edit]

  • Oxnard Airport, just west of Downtown Oxnard and is Ventura County's only commercial airport.
  • Santa Paula Airport is a privately owned airport; however, it is open to the public for general aviation.

Politics[edit]

Ventura County vote
by party in presidential elections
Year GOP DEM Others
2012 45.3% 147,958 52.3% 170,929 2.4% 8,089
2008 43.0% 145,853 55.3% 187,601 2.2% 7,587
2004 51.2% 160,314 47.3% 148,859 1.3% 4,020
2000 48.2% 136,173 47.1% 133,258 4.7% 13,261
1996 43.5% 109,202 44.1% 110,772 12.4% 31,220
1992 35.5% 94,911 37.0% 99,011 27.5% 73,725
1988 61.6% 147,604 37.2% 89,065 1.2% 2,804
1984 68.7% 151,383 30.2% 66,550 1.2% 2,529
1980 60.3% 114,930 29.5% 56,311 10.2% 19,409
1976 53.2% 82,670 44.1% 68,529 2.7% 4,201
1972 63.2% 95,310 32.7% 49,307 4.1% 6,188
1968 51.4% 59,705 41.1% 47,794 7.5% 8,762
1964 41.0% 40,264 58.8% 57,805 0.2% 169
1960 49.6% 35,074 50.0% 35,334 0.5% 315
1956 49.9% 26,342 49.8% 26,276 0.3% 149
1952 52.5% 24,534 47.0% 21,967 0.6% 256
1948 42.2% 13,930 54.8% 18,100 3.1% 1,019
1944 40.2% 11,071 59.3% 16,342 0.5% 131
1940 42.2% 11,225 57.0% 15,182 0.9% 227
1936 35.8% 7,579 63.1% 13,384 1.1% 235
1932 37.3% 6,908 58.8% 10,903 3.9% 724
1928 70.2% 9,017 28.9% 3,717 0.9% 117
1924 65.2% 5,705 10.4% 911 24.4% 2,139
1920 76.0% 5,231 19.0% 1,305 5.0% 347
Ventura County vote
by party in gubernatorial elections
Year GOP DEM
2010 49.3% 128,082 45.3% 117,800
2006 61.0% 134,862 34.3% 75,790
2003 51.5% 116,722 23.7% 53,705
2002 47.2% 91,193 43.2% 83,557
1998 43.8% 91,093 53.0% 110,226
1994 62.4% 136,417 33.4% 73,163
1990 57.6% 106,234 36.9% 68,139
1986 67.2% 118,640 31.1% 54,893
1982 55.2% 99,130 42.4% 76,094
1978 40.6% 57,777 52.8% 75,173
1974 50.5% 60,122 47.2% 56,189
1970 58.6% 63,790 38.9% 42,350
1966 60.9% 58,068 39.1% 37,224
1962 45.2% 31,899 53.5% 37,777

For many years, Ventura County voted consistently for Republican candidates for local, statewide and federal offices. Only recently has the county begun favoring Democratic candidates in both federal and state elections. While Republicans used to win a large majority of votes throughout the 1970s and 1980s, no party has received more than 55% of the county's vote since 1992. Prior to Barack Obama's victory in the county in 2008, the last Democrat to win a majority was Lyndon Johnson in 1964, though Democrat Bill Clinton carried the county by a plurality in 1992 and 1996.

Much of the county, including the cities of Thousand Oaks, Oxnard and Moorpark, lie within the 26th congressional district, which has a PVI of D +2 (meaning that based on the presidential election results of 2008 and 2012, the district is 2% more Democrat than the nation)[citation needed] and is represented by Democrat Julia Brownley.[44] Other parts of the county are in California's 24th congressional district, represented by Democrat Lois Capps, California's 25th congressional district, represented by Republican Buck McKeon, and California's 30th congressional district, represented by Democrat Brad Sherman.[45] For the previous twenty five years, most of Ventura County was represented by Elton Gallegly, a conservative Republican from Simi Valley, who retired in 2012.

In the State Senate, the 19th Senate District seat is held by Democrat Hannah-Beth Jackson and the 27th Senate District is represented by Democrat Fran Pavley. In the State Assembly, Ventura County is primarily represented by Republican Jeff Gorrell (R-Camarillo) and Democrat Das Williams (D-Santa Barbara).

Current county supervisors are Steve Bennett, Linda Parks, Kathy Long, Peter Foy, and John C. Zaragoza. Geoff Dean is the sheriff of the Ventura County Sheriff's Department. Mark Lorenzen is the chief of the Ventura County Fire Department.

On March 3, 2008, Democratic registration surpassed Republican registration and this Democratic edge has grown since.[46] The cities of Camarillo, Moorpark, Simi Valley, and Thousand Oaks all have voter rolls with Republican pluralities. The remaining cities and towns in the county have a Democratic plurality or majority on the voter rolls, while the unincorporated areas are split almost evenly between the parties.

Voter registration statistics[edit]

Cities by population and voter registration[edit]

Crime[edit]

The following table includes the number of incidents reported and the rate per 1,000 persons for each type of offense.

Cities by population and crime rates[edit]

Demographics[edit]

2011[edit]

Places by population, race, and income[edit]

2010[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 5,073
1890 10,071 98.5%
1900 14,367 42.7%
1910 18,347 27.7%
1920 28,724 56.6%
1930 54,976 91.4%
1940 69,685 26.8%
1950 114,647 64.5%
1960 199,138 73.7%
1970 376,430 89.0%
1980 529,174 40.6%
1990 669,016 26.4%
2000 753,197 12.6%
2010 823,318 9.3%
Est. 2013 839,620 2.0%
U.S. Decennial Census[57]
1790-1960[58] 1900-1990[59]
1990-2000[60] 2010-2013[1]

The 2010 United States Census reported that Ventura County had a population of 823,318. The racial makeup of Ventura County was 565,804 (68.7%) White, 15,163 (1.8%) African American, 8,068 (1.0%) Native American, 55,446 (6.7%) Asian, 1,643 (0.2%) Pacific Islander, 140,253 (17.0%) from other races, and 36,941 (4.5%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 331,567 persons (40.3%).[61]

2000[edit]

As of the census[62] of 2000, there were 753,197 people, 243,234 households, and 182,911 families living in the county. The population density was 408 people per square mile (158/km²). There were 251,712 housing units at an average density of 136 per square mile (53/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 69.9% White, 5.4% Asian, 2.0% Black or African American, 0.9% Native American, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 17.7% from other races, and 3.9% from two or more races. About one third (33.4%) of the population is Hispanic or Latino of any race. 9.8% were of German, 7.7% English and 7.1% Irish ancestry according to Census 2000. 67.1% spoke English, 26.2% Spanish and 1.5% Tagalog as their first language.

There were 243,234 households, of which 39.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.5% were married couples living together, 10.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.8% were non-families. 18.9% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.04 and the average family size was 3.46.

In the county the population was spread out, with 28.4% under the age of 18, 9.0% from 18 to 24, 30.7% from 25 to 44, 21.7% from 45 to 64, and 10.2% who were 65 or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 99.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.5 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $59,666, and the median income for a family was $65,285. Males had a median income of $45,310, versus $32,216 for females. The per capita income for the county was $24,600. About 6.4% of families and 9.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.6% of those under age 18 and 6.3% of those aged 65 or over.

According to an updated 2005 US Census, median household income was $66,859, while the mean was $85,032. Per capita income was up to $29,634, making it the 6th wealthiest county in California.

Metropolitan Statistical Area[edit]

The United States Office of Management and Budget has designated Ventura County as the Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area.[63] The United States Census Bureau ranked the Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area as the 66th most populous metropolitan statistical area of the United States as of July 1, 2012.[64]

The Office of Management and Budget has further designated the Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area as a component of the more extensive Los Angeles-Long Beach, CA Combined Statistical Area,[63] the second most populous combined statistical area and primary statistical area of the United States as of July 1, 2012.[64][65]

Environment[edit]

In 2010, the County of Ventura completed a solar energy system 492 kilowatts DC in size, on several County buildings. The systems were financed using a solar power purchase agreement, which required no upfront cash from the County. The systems are owned, maintained, and operated by Solar Power Partners and its investors, and were designed and constructed by Solar Power, Inc. The County pays for the solar-generated electricity generated by the system, offsetting a portion of its utility costs.

Libraries[edit]

Public Libraries: Ventura County Library—14 locations, Camarillo Public Library, Simi Valley Public Library, Oxnard Public Library, Thousand Oaks Library, Moorpark City Library, and Blanchard Community Library (in Santa Paula).

Academic Libraries: California State University Channel Islands, California Lutheran University, Thomas Aquinas College, Moorpark College, Oxnard College, and Ventura College.

Other: Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, Ventura County Law Library.

Communities[edit]

Cities[edit]

Census-designated places[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

Lake Sherwood is so called due to its use as the location for Sherwood Forest in the 1922 film, Robin Hood, starring Douglas Fairbanks.[66][67] The 1938 film, The Adventures of Robin Hood, starring Errol Flynn, also had a major scene shot on location at "Sherwood Forest".[68]

On July 23, 1982 actor Vic Morrow and two children actors (My-Ca Dinh Le and Renee Shin-Ye Chen) were filming a helicopter scene for Twilight Zone: The Movie in the area of Indian Dunes in Ventura County when the helicopter lost control and crashed on top of them. Morrow and Le were decapitated and Chen was fatally crushed.

In 1963, the touching Korean War story The Young and The Brave, featuring a brave and resourceful young boy, was filmed in rural areas of Ventura County.

Also, in 2000 the movie Swordfish filmed the final bank scene on East Main Street in Ventura. The building they used is the white building on the corner. 34°16′51″N 119°17′41″W / 34.280823°N 119.294599°W / 34.280823; -119.294599

In 2009, the popular VH1 television show Tool Academy was filmed in Ventura County.

The movie Back to the Future Part III filmed the scene where Marty returns to the year 1985 in the time-traveling DeLorean at the railroad crossing at S Ventura Rd & Shoreview Dr in Port Hueneme.

Many films including Swordfish, Little Miss Sunshine, Chinatown, Erin Brockovich, The Aviator, and The Rock were partly filmed in Ventura.

Downtown Ventura also hosts the Majestic Ventura Theater, a beautiful early century theatre, which is situated about two blocks away from city hall. It is the region's most prominent local musical venue and hosts concerts regularly. The theater has hosted many internationally famous bands such as Gregg Allman, John Prine, The Doors, Devo, Van Halen, X, Paramore, She Wants Revenge, Pennywise, Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Game, DJ Quik, Lamb of God, Social Distortion, Bad Religion, Thrice, Avenged Sevenfold, Fugazi, Incubus, Tom Petty, America, They Might Be Giants, and Modest Mouse, as well as successful local artists such as Army of Freshmen, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and Bruce Kimmell.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Percentage of registered voters with respect to total population. Percentages of party members with respect to registered voters follow.
  2. ^ Only larceny-theft cases involving property over $400 in value are reported as property crimes.
  3. ^ Other = Some other race + Two or more races
  4. ^ Native American = Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander + American Indian or Alaska Native

References[edit]

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  3. ^ "Central Coast". California State Parks. California Department of Recreation. Retrieved July 26, 2014. 
  4. ^ Johnson, John R. 1997. Chumash Indians in Simi Valley in Simi Valley: A Journey Through Time. Simi Valley, CA: Simi Valley Historical Society. ISBN 978-0965944212. Page 6.
  5. ^ Starr, Kevin. 2007. California: A History. Modern Library Chronicles 23. New York City, NY: Random House Digital, Inc. ISBN 978-0-8129-7753-0. Page 13.
  6. ^ Lynne McCall & Perry Rosalind (ed.). 1991. The Chumash People: Materials for Teachers and Students. Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. San Luis Obispo, CA: EZ Nature Books. ISBN 0-945092-23-7. Page 31.
  7. ^ California Coastal Commission (1987). California Coastal Resource Guide. University of California Press. ISBN 0520061853. 
  8. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Point Hueneme
  9. ^ http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/
  10. ^ http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Did-ancient-Polynesians-visit-California-Maybe-2661327.php
  11. ^ http://linguistics.berkeley.edu/~survey/languages/ventureno.php
  12. ^ Harrington, John Peabody. The Papers of John Peabody Harrington in the Smithsonian Institution 1907-1957. Kraus International Publications, 1981, 3.89.66-73.
  13. ^ Johnson, John R. 1997. Chumash Indians in Simi Valley in Simi Valley: A Journey Through Time. Simi Valley, CA: Simi Valley Historical Society. ISBN 978-0965944212. Page 8.
  14. ^ Lynne McCall & Perry Rosalind (ed.). 1991. The Chumash People: Materials for Teachers and Students. Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. San Luis Obispo, CA: EZ Nature Books. ISBN 0-945092-23-7. Pages 29-30.
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  16. ^ Murphy, A Comprehensive Story of Ventura County, California, p. 6.
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  20. ^ Ventura County Spanish and Mexican Land Grants
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  22. ^ Clerici, Kevin "Artifacts are found at site" Ventura County Star 17 July 2007
  23. ^ Murphy, A Comprehensive Story of Ventura County, California, pp. 12–13.
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  26. ^ Murphy, A Comprehensive Story of Ventura County, California, pp. 22–23.
  27. ^ Murphy, A Comprehensive Story of Ventura County, California, pp. 23–24.
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  31. ^ http://www.chatsworthhistory.com/Documents/PastPresent/Train%20Tunnels%20-%20Ann%20CHS.pdf
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  34. ^ Murphy, A Comprehensive Story of Ventura County, California, pp. 27–29.
  35. ^ California Oil and Gas Fields, Volumes I, II and III. Vol. I (1998), Vol. II (1992), Vol. III (1982). California Department of Conservation, Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources (DOGGR), p. 573.
  36. ^ Pollack, Alan (March–April 2010). "President's Message". The Heritage Junction Dispatch (Santa Clara Valley Historical Society). 
  37. ^ Murphy, A Comprehensive Story of Ventura County, California, p. 31.
  38. ^ a b http://www.conservation.ca.gov/index/news/2001%20News%20Releases/Pages/NR2001-55%20LA,%20Ventural%20FMMP.aspx
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  41. ^ a b U.S. Department of Agriculture (C. Robert Elford). 1970. Soil Survey: Ventura Area, California. Oakland, CA: University of California Press. Page 142.
  42. ^ a b U.S. Department of Agriculture (C. Robert Elford). 1970. Soil Survey: Ventura Area, California. Oakland, CA: University of California Press. Pages 142-143.
  43. ^ "Island Transportation" National Park Service:Channel Islands National Park. Accessed 5 November 2013
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  46. ^ Democrats take lead in county registration : Local News : Ventura County Star
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  50. ^ a b c United States Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation. Crime in the United States, 2012, Table 8 (California). Retrieved 2013-11-14.
  51. ^ a b U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table B03003. American FactFinder. Retrieved 2013-10-26.
  52. ^ a b U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table B19301. American FactFinder. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
  53. ^ a b U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table B19013. American FactFinder. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
  54. ^ a b U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table B19113. American FactFinder. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
  55. ^ a b U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates. American FactFinder. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
  56. ^ U.S. Census Bureau. American Community Survey, 2011 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates, Table B01003. American FactFinder. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
  57. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 31, 2014. 
  58. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved May 31, 2014. 
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  60. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 31, 2014. 
  61. ^ "2010 Census P.L. 94-171 Summary File Data". United States Census Bureau. 
  62. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14. 
  63. ^ a b "OMB Bulletin No. 13-01: Revised Delineations of Metropolitan Statistical Areas, Micropolitan Statistical Areas, and Combined Statistical Areas, and Guidance on Uses of the Delineations of These Areas". United States Office of Management and Budget. February 28, 2013. Retrieved March 20, 2013. 
  64. ^ a b "Table 1. Annual Estimates of the Population of Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012" (CSV). 2012 Population Estimates. United States Census Bureau, Population Division. March 2013. Retrieved March 20, 2013. 
  65. ^ "Table 2. Annual Estimates of the Population of Combined Statistical Areas: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012" (CSV). 2012 Population Estimates. United States Census Bureau, Population Division. March 2013. Retrieved March 20, 2013. 
  66. ^ Behlmer, Rudy (1979). The Adventures of Robin Hood. Madison, Wisconsin: Univ of Wisconsin Press. p. 32. ISBN 0-299-07940-6. 
  67. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0013556/locations
  68. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0029843/locations

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 34°22′N 119°09′W / 34.36°N 119.15°W / 34.36; -119.15