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Click here for pictures of old Oak View and
Click here to go straight to a number of
articles about Oak View in years
According to research by Patricia L. Fry, Ojai resident and author
The Ojai Valley: an illustrated history (see link for book at
Matilija Press, Ojai), here are some key points of interest:
- Watermelons were once grown where
Dahl's Market now is.
- A Sears store used to exist in
the Dahl's mall.
- Apricot orchards covered much of
the remaining land (see
Apricot Street, two streets west of Hwy 33, off West Oak View
Avenue, Mahoney Avenue, or Santa Ana Boulevard). This area
was once called Oak View Gardens, as the houses were being
developed, primarily sold to oil workers. (See Percy Watkins'
The Road to Ojai in the December 6, 1958 issue of the
Oak View Sentinel that
explains how the Oak View Gardens were developed).
- Hiram Watkins (1866-1942) and
his wife Allie Belle Watkins (? - 1951) owned
75 acres of land east of Hwy 33 in Oak View and tended an
Apricot orchard there. They later opened a
gasoline service station / grocery store at the corner of
Hwy 33 and Watkins Way. In 1928, the market for apricots
dried up. So, they pulled out all of the apricot trees and went
back to making brooms to sell to merchants in Ventura, Santa
Barbara, and Los Angeles, or to sell door-to-door when business
was slower. It's said he made the brooms in a barn near
Mirror Lake, Oak View, CA. Percy was a son who married
Effie. Percy contributed some history to the Oak View Sentinel
- Mrs. Jessie R. Caldwell ran a
gas station and grocery in Oak View Gardens (1927), where the
Shell station is now, at Hwy33 and Santa Ana Boulevard.
- Rumor has it the Oak View
Library started in 1930 in a garage.
- Glenn Memorial Park, in memory
of Captain Glenn A. Loban and others who lost their lives in the
war, was created at the corner of
West Apricot and Mahoney Avenue.
- The History of
Rancho Arnaz ... Dr. Don Jose de Arnaz (b. 1821 Spain)
(related to Entertainer Desi Arnaz) first built the adobe house
there. The adobe bricks were made by local Indians. In 1930,
Thomas Langford bought the lands around Rancho Arnaz, and his
son Arthur Langford later bought it. They grew and developed up
to 43 varieties of apples on the land.
- See some
Oak View Sentinel (1958)
writings by Percy Watkins.