|CLASS: History of Ventura |
People have lived along this stretch of the California coast for at least ten thousand years. San Buenaventura, the ninth of the California missions, was founded in 1782 by Father Junipero Serra. He named it after the Italian St. Bonaventure, hence the nickname Ventura, which means "city of good fortune."
The City of San Buenaventura was incorporated in 1866. Ventura became the County seat when Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties split in 1873. That same year a courthouse and wharf were built, a bank was opened, and the first public library was created.
An oil strike in 1914 fueled rapid growth. In the years following World War II, farmland gave way to outward suburban development. Ventura has matured into a seaside community known for its scenic coastline and hillsides and rich culture.