What is so wonderful about a lot of little towns is there is usually always a Main St. and Santa Paula is no different. Lots of wonderful little shops here to stroll around and look. Some nice benches to relax on and enjoy the sunny weather here:-)
This is another beautiful center piece in the historical downtown area. They show this tower by appointment only. They are even shops in the basement too!
Aparently it is one of the many campsite used by the "Portola Expedition"
Used August 11, 1769
Odd Fellows Town Clock Ventura County Landmark No. 61
Santa Clara School house was built in 1896 at the cost of $2,635 to house 35 studentsof different ages from all over the local area. The first teacher was Miss Martha Seaward who was payed a whopping $60 a month. It is still to this day a working school house. They give a tour, but it is by appointments only.
Little Red 1896 School House Ventura County Historical Landmark No.9
Planted in July 4 in 1879 and is considered a Ventura County Historical Landmark #79.
Me and the hubby was so impressed by it's size because we have never seen a "Fig" so huge.
Morenton Bay Fig Tree Ventura County Landmark No. 79
A non-profit corporation established at the Santa Paula Airport to preserve the history of the airport and its collection of old, rare, antique & classic aircraft and countless other aviation memorabilia. Consists at present of 9 museum hangers & under construction a WWII hanger. The Airport Museum holds free open house the first Sunday of every month, weather permitting, from 10 am to 3 pm. There is a new museum Hangar "Home" with printed guides to the hangers. Shuttle service via quiet electric carts is provided between the hangers or you are free to walk about, staying behind the barrier lines away from the taxi ramp for safety. About 50 more aircraft are shown in my Albums & Travelogues.
The marked Hanger No. 1 has seating for a continuous short film of the history of the airport and you are given a repro copy of the 1930 Santa Paula Newspaper announcing the dedication of the airport. The other hangers are fascinating and all are worth your visit. The same days the EAA Chapter at the airport gives free youth airplane rides under the nationwide Young Eagles Program. See my new Transportation Tip for that. Many flyins are scheduled these open house days as well as displays by car clubs and other groups. An old farm tractor display one Sunday caught my eye. Sometimes a miniature train on tracks is set up for free kiddie rides.
The museum hangar store has fund raising sales of aviation related clothing and merchandise to provide continuing funding for the museum. I am shamelessly pushing you to buy the Aviation Museum Cookbook, which has a lot of airport humor with many excellent recipes including four of Tugboatguy's recipes. The Cookbook also contains excerpts from two very old cookbooks dated 1890 and 1907, which will provide you with quaintly interesting reading, including 'How to Preserve a Husband'! lol!
Please see my Home Page aviation albums for more information and pictures, also the three new Aviation Travelogues for Santa Paula.
Updated: The current play of the 2009 season is "Harvey", a favorite for decades; performances now through December 20, 2009.
The Santa Paula Theater Center presents the ever popular comedy "Harvey" by Mary Chase, Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama , making its Broadway debut in 1944. "Harvey" was also made into a motion picture starring James Stewart as the lead, Elwood P. Dowd, in 1950.
This always popular and timeless play tells the story of a man whose best friend is an invisible 6-foot-tall rabbit. A fun diversion in the hectic Holiday season, Elwood P. Dowd is charmingly played by John Reinhart. his sister Veta by Jill Dolan, with mischievous niece Myrtle Mae by Allison Williams. Local veteran Ron Rezac plays Doctor Chumley with his usual commanding verve. Jennifer Ridgeway and Peter Krause are two sanitarium colleagues and first acting part by Tim Viramontes shows promise with an over the top effort as Orderly Wilson. The play is ably directed by Andrea Tate, who delivers a moving and wacky social commentary with comedic poise from the cast's players.
Note that individual play admission prices have stayed the same for the 2009 season.
Stage times are: 8 pm Fridays & Saturdays, and 2 pm Sundays through December 20, 2009. $18 adults, $15 seniors and students, and $12 for children 12 and under. Reservations, more information and tickets: call Box Office.
The Santa Paula Theater Center playhouse is housed in an imposing old large mansion just one block west on Main Street from the Cape Cod Model Boat Museum. Known as The Ebell Club of Santa Paula in 1913, the mansion is Ventura County Historical Landmark No. 70. Set back on the southeast corner of 7th Street and Main behind a large grassy city park, the playhouse includes a pub and outdoor area suitable for use during intermissions.
Five plays are to be offered in 2009. the theater's 23nd season. Contact the theater for information and tickets. Adults: $18, Students and Seniors 55+: $15, Children 12 and under: $12 admission. Prices are unchanged from the 2008 season. The late Hollywood movie actor, Dana Elcar, a co-founder of the Santa Paula Theater Center, was the theater's Artistic Director before his death in June, 2005. The plays are very professional, enjoyable and a good time is assured.
A new exhibit commemorates the 80th Anniversary of the Saint Francis Dam Disaster. This dam, erected as part of the Los Angeles water supply aqueduct system, burst in 1928-sending a torrent of dammed-up water in the night cascading in a flood down the Santa Clara River Valley. Towns, including Santa Paula were inundated with loss of life. The dam's history and its aftermath of the dam's sudden collapse are examined in this special exhibit.
A permanent statue in Santa Paula called "The Warning" near the historic train depot commemorates the police who rode through Santa Paula at night on motorcycle spreading the warning of the dam's collapse, which saved many lives. This exhibit runs through 27 July 2008.
Exhibits open 10am to 4pm Wednesdays through Sundays, Admission-Adults $4, $3 for Seniors and $1 for Children. Don't miss the Museum Store inside on the main floor.
In the hills and mountain sides of South Mountain south of Santa Paula and Sulphur Mountain north and west of Santa Paula are numerous working oil fields whose apparatus can be seen on the skylines. I find these rigs fascinating because there are working oil and gas fields only a few miles from my home at the coast. Along South Mountain Road near Santa Paula there are several accessible views of oil rigs working adjacent to orange groves and lemon orchards. Just across the road from the two golf courses described in other tips are working oil rigs. With the price of a 55 gallon barrel of crude oil at over $118 (April-2008 update from $68), and the most recent crude oil refinery built in America was way back in 1976, oil should get everyone's attention. Come to Santa Paula to see where some of the 'Black Gold' comes from.
September 1, 1887 - Santa Paula Branch of SP railroad was completed. Now is serves a shortline track from Fillmore and houses the Santa Paula Chamber of Commerce.
Southern Pacific Railroad Depot Ventura County Landmark No. 23
The oldest established business in Santa Paula. The Mill built in 1888 to house many of the railroad operations and equipment. It is now a wonderfully filled antique shop with many unique items and has a very nice gift shop too!
The Mill Ventura County Landmark No. 69
As with most little Califonia towns can owe their thanks to two things. Black Gold and the Rail Road. Progress seems to stem from either of these things.
Union Oil Company Building was established in Santa Paul in 1890 by oil pioneers Thomas Bard, Lyman Stewart, and Wallace Hardison. It's cost to build such a structure was $38,000. It has some really wonderful displays of how "Black Gold" has contributed to state's progress. Lots of other kinds of traveling exhibits on display here too! They give a really nice tour of the upstairs that details the beginnings of this building and Santa Paula. Their is also wonder display of Lundgren and Bennett Collections of gas station memorabilia and one of largest displays of vintage gas pumps in California.
UNION OIL COMPANY BUILDING Historical Marker NO. 996
Youth (6-17) $1
Kids 0-5) Free
Tour Groups (20+) $3 each
Guided Tours $1 per person
Open Wednesday through Sunday, 10 AM - 4PM
At other times by arrangement
This historic building of fine architecture dating to 1890 was the original headquarters of the Union Oil Company. Building cost of construction was just $37,000. This is California Historical Landmark #996 & Ventura County Historical Landmark #36. Oil was first discovered in California near the present day Santa Paula by Chumash Indians in a crude oil seep from the side of a hill on the present highway 150 leading north & west from 10th Street north to Ojai. That site is marked on a roadway turnoff.
Permanent exhibits of the California Oil Museum, a National Register Historic Site:
California & the Age of Petroleum
The 1900 Cable-Tool Drilling Rig
The Lundgren & the Bennett Gas Pump Collections
Great California Gas Brands
The 1890s Office & the 1930s Apartment
The California Oil Museum has many historic artifacts as well as a large collection of gasoline pumps & in the Pump House in back, a large early oil drilling rig. The upstairs of the museum requires a guided tour to see. Open Wednesday through Sunday, 10 am to 4 pm. Closed major holidays. The Museum Store has things of interest for sale. Admission: Adults-$4, $3 Seniors, $1 Children, Children 5 and under free.
Special exhibits change & are worthwhile. See my next tip for the current special exhibit.
Park at rear of building.
One of the things that we liked the best about Santa Paula were the attractive and interesting murals painted on the walls of a number of its downtown buildings. The murals (there are currently 8 of them) portray elements of the town's history, its people and its economy.
Santa Paula has many old, stately, well kept turn of the century Victorian homes and excellent examples of the Craftsman period after WW1 and into the 1920s and early 1930s. There are also large old and interesting ranch homes along Foothill Road and Telegraph Road west of town. The old home neighborhoods are enhanced by very large, mature trees providing shady streets and a beautiful ambience for walking tours or drivebys. Eight more of these old homes of interest including of some Queen Anne architecture are shown in one of my Santa Paula Travelogues. Please see my newly updated Santa Paula travelogues on 'Victorian Ladies-California Craftsmen for more beautiful old architectural examples..