Take a trip through Conejo Valley History

Video produced by Daniel Cusworth

Looking to our Past

(This section is under construction)

Prehistory

We now know that the precursors to the Chumashan tribes of Native Americans were here at least 10,000 years ago based upon new radiocarbon dating evidence from hearth remains with food and charcoal from the Conejo Valley. These early people were considered those who developed the earliest villages and temporary camping sites that eventually resulted in the regular establishment of "hunter-gatherer" lifeways, which included at least a partiial stay in the interior of the Ventura region, if not longer sojourns.

The current research being performed at local Universities as well as at the Stagecoach Museum Archaeological Testing program is confirming that the occupation of this Conejo Valley region is very old indeed!


Chumash Occupation

13,000 BC-1782 AD

Based upon testing on human remains from the nearby Channel Islands at Daisy Cave, we know that humans were inhabiting the islands off our coast from at least 13,000 years ago. The research currently ongoing at the Channel Islands brings us possibly the earliest evidence to date of human occupation in the Channel Islands and thus creates questions for the interior of the regions across from the islands: were there humans that crossed over to the mainland and then to the interior at a very early date? Our ongoing research appears to suggest that this did happen and as we have more results on the archaeological remains from the Conejo, we will be able to update our timelines in this early period of human use of our region.

Research at such places as Lang Ranch, Conejo Grade, Hidden Hills and the Oakbrook Park among others provides greater detail about the practices of these earliest people in the region.


Spanish Occupation

Spanish occupation of this region has historically been dated to about 1540, by Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo.

Our earliest documents also from the Spanish include Land Grants, which were issued by the Governor of "New Spain" otherwise now known as California; our Museum contains copies of these grants, and the Ventura County Museum also has copies and originals of early land deeds. 


Pioneer Period 

1820-1830

The arrival of Americans from the area of North America (U.S) occurred beginning around 1820-1830. A diverse group of Europeans also came out to California to settle here as well as those from the "Eastern area" of the United States; the West was considered any area west of the Mississippi River.

The clash of cultures that occurred partially originated from different lifeways- the Pioneers using the land for sheep and cattle; the Native Americans previously having used it for harvesting of seeds, acorns and other nut products, as well as hunting for smaller game.