A fourth grade history of Ventura County

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A Thesis Presented to the Faculty of the School of Education The University of Southern California

In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Science

by Anna Mae Davis August 1950

UMI Number: EP56173

All rights reserved INFORMATION TO ALL USERS The quality of this reproduction is dependent upon the quality of the copy submitted. In the unlikely event that the author did not send a complete manuscript and there are missing pages, these will be noted. Also, if material had to be removed, a note will indicate the deletion.




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UMI EP56173 Published by ProQuest LLC (2014). Copyright in the Dissertation held by the Author. Microform Edition © ProQuest LLC. All rights reserved. This work is protected against unauthorized copying under Title 17, United States Code









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This thesis, written under the direction of the Chairman of the candidate’s Guidance Committee and approved by a ll members of the Committee, has been presented to and accepted by the Faculty of the School of Education of the University of Southern California in p a rtia l fu lfillm e n t of the requirements fo r the degree of Master of Science in Education. .. /.?

D a te ....




D ean Guidance C om m ittee

C hairm an

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The writer is indebted to Miss Elizabeth Topping, Librarian of the Ventura City Library for her willing assistance in deriving sources of information, and some material used in this thesis*

There are many other people

to whom the writer also wishes to express her appreciation, including Mr* Morrison, curator of the Ventura County Pioneer Museum, Mr* Adolfo Camarillo, and Mrs* Carrie Eagan*


PAGE INTRODUCTION . . . . . ........................


The problem and its importance •


Definitions of terms used, • • • • • • • . .


Ventura County • • • • ...................


A functional history • • * . . • • • • • •


Historical data.........................


Commensurable fourth grade vocabulary. • .


Written in narrative form

• • • • • • • •


• » • • • • • • .




Sources of data


Treatment of data


Related literature • • • • • • « • • • • • •


Unpublished theses written about Ventura County . . . . . .

......... . .


Narrative fourth grade histories useful to the writer for style

. . • • • • • •

Adult histories of Ventura County Helpful vocabulary references


. . . .


. . . . . .


Limitations of the previous studies



thesis • * • • • • • • • • • * • • • • • •

Organization of the remainder of the



P R E F A C E ................................ The remembered yesterdays

. . . . . . . . .


• • • • • • • • • • • • • . • •


Ventura has an Indian name • • • • • • . .


Ventura receives a Spanish name





. • . . .

The County of V e n t u r a ..........


The l a n d ............ • • • • * • • • • • •


INDIAH D A Y S ............................ The First Venturans


• • • • • • • • . • • •

Life in a Chumash Village



. . . • • • • • •



......... . .............


A new wickiup Games

22 22

Fishing nets • • • . . * • . • Fishhooks


• * .......... • • • • * . * ....................

24 25 25 27 28

Candaleria . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



. . . . . . . . .


Viscaino . . . . . . . .



Portola and Father Serra • • • . • • • • •


MISSIOH D A Y S ...................


The White Men Come • • • . * . • • • • • • •


Founding of San Buenaventura Mission . . . .



PAGE The Legend of the Mission Aqueduct

. * • •


A Legend of the San Buenaventura Mission •


.............. . . . . . . . .


The Baskets of San Buenaventura . . . . . .


A Legend of the iftatllija Poppy


. . . . . .

The Thief of the

Olive Oil Press

. . . • .


Vancouver Visits

San Buenaventura • • . • •




The Land was D i v i d e d ........... ..


. . . .

Living on a R a n c h o .......... Adobe Homes of the Old Ranchos Camulos Rancho



68 • • » • • •

. . . . . .

72 .


Rancho A r n a z ............. * ............


The Olivas Adobe

» • • . . . • • • • • •


The Robbery at the Hacienda • • • • • •




. . . . . . . . .


The Woman of San


. . . . . . . . .






Pioneers Come to Ventura


Seeking a New Home


. . . . . . . . . . . .

Freemont Visits San Buenaventura VIII.


. . . . .

DAYS OF * 4 9 .......................... Legend of the LostPadre Mine . . . . . . .

92 95 95


PAGE Miners Must Eat

• • « • • • . • • • • • • •

The Days of the Bandits



Joaquin Murietta •


Tiburcio Vazquez






. . . . . . .

• • » • « . . • • • • • • • •

Buried Treasure Hueneme Harbor • BIBLIOGRAPHY

103 108 108 Ill



• •







of Ventura County

• « * # • * * • • • » *



of the Ranchos of Ventura County


16 07



The City of Ventura * • • * • • • • • * • • •


Csn&aleria, The Indian Basket-Maker • • • • •


The Mission Cross . * • . • • • • • • . * • •


The Statue of Father Junipero Serra and the Ventura County Court House


Mission San Buenaventura The Matilija Poppy

• * • * • • • • • *

• • • • * • » *

The First Indian Orchestra

The Olivas Adobe

38 48



• • * * • • • • •


Son Buenaventura Mission in 1870 The Home of Ramona

. . . •

• • * • • •


» • « * • * • • • • * • •


• • • • • * • • • • • • • •



Main Street in Ventura, 1874

• • ..........



Main Street in Ventura, 1870

• * • • * • • «


CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION THE PROBLEM AND ITS IMPORTANCE Tho purpose of this study was to prepare a functional narrative history of Ventura County for children of the fourth grade, using a vocabulary commensurate to their reading level*

The unit of study, wVentura County,11 is

taught In the fourth grades of the Ventura City Elementary Schools*

There is the lack of a suitable text for the pupils

’tony of the fourth grade* teachers know very little about the history of Ventura County because they do not have time for research work in this field.

As a result, through the

lack of a suitable text, the teacher misses many opportuni­ ties to make local history vital to the child. Educators are constantly recognizing the need of curriculum writing to be done by teachers who are actually teaching the grade level for which they are writing* Especially limited are the functional texts of the social studies at fourth grade level.

By writing a history of

Ventura County, the writer has endeavored to fulfill the need of a suitable text about Ventura County on fourth grade level.

2 DEFINITIONS OF TEH MS USED The following terms in this study need defining: ilma£x»

situated to the west and slightly

north of Los Angeles, California, about sixty miles lies the county of Ventura* beauty.

It is a county known for its wealth and

Ventura County has a history as interesting as any

county in California*

The county has had many historical

visitors pass through her regions and there have been many interesting discoveries within her boundaries. L EimJbiflPa l History is one written on the level of the children of the fourth grade which proves interesting, enjoyable, and understandable* Historical Data are pertinent facts of the past of Ventura County written for fourth grade children.


expresses this concisely: If the knowledge of the past is a necessity, it raust be taught to each generation; before it can be taught, it must be written. This reconstructed ex­ perience of the past, if it is to be valuable, must be full, detailed and above all exact*1 Commensurable E qariHl

Y.bfiAM Lflgy# as used in

this study, means a list of words which are understood

1 Fred Morrow Fling,

EXitlllg Ol. Histb.r.y, P* 22

3 by children at the fourth grade level.

Education recognizes

the Importance of adapting reading materials to the needs of the learner.

Hall-Quest** says that books should be provided

in accord with the needs of the stage of development, physically and mentally of school children.

Obviously, a

child with a fifth grade reading ability will work to dis­ advantage if he uses a text which assumes a reading ability rarely found below the seventh grade.

The attempt to us©

such materials causes the child to become discouraged, lose interest, and often to acquire an active dislike for social studies and reading.

Dolch, in describing the important

relationship between interest, comprehension, and vocabulary, says: For school children to get what they ought from reading books provided them, there should at all times be interest, understanding, and ease of reading. Vocabulary burden or difficulty is usually considered part of the last of these elements, and therefore a matter of loss importance. Yet reading is a unified process, and each element in it is dependent upon ©very other. Interest may be so great as to overcome meager uni orstanding or vocabulary difficulty. Conversely, vocabulary difficulty may cripple understanding and destroy interest.5 Teachers need a method for guiding their pupils in the selection of reading materials.

There must be ample

2 Alfred Ha 11-Quest, The. Text book: Judgte It, p. 120.

E q w ie. Ra& and

5 E. E • Dolch, "Vocabulary Burden," Journal Kducatlaaal. B&ut&E&fc, 17:170, '/arch 1928.

4 reading materials not only interesting and pertinent to the activity, but also within the comprehension of the reader# Frank C. Spaulding says: Textbooks are tools# To bo serviceable, they must be adapted like other tools to the three considerations: the end to be accomplished by their use, the material in connection with which they are to be used, and the needs of the user.4 The words in this history have been checked against a comprehensive reading word list of 30,000 words tabulated from many sources by E. L. Thorndike#5 Written in Narrative Form#

The elementary teachers

use the story method because here the teachers endeavor to arouse interest, enjoyment, and appreciation for the local history.

The writer has used the narrative form to maintain

the interest of the child reader, while being careful not to color or warp any historical facts. PROCEDURE Sources of Data# for this study wore:

The more important sources of data

(1) the historical and literary writings

of Ventura County? (2) official reports; (3) interviews and

4 Frank 0# Spaulding, Measuring 3L62d&£&M, p# 3. 5 F. L. Thorndike, and Irving Lorge, The Teacher word Hoak o L 3.Q.,.Q0Q sl, pp* 1-274.

5 correspondence;

(4) general publications (pamphlets and

newspapers); (5) personal experience as a resident of Ventura County* Treatment pH Data*

Both source and secondary materials

were carefully analyzed in the light of modern educational writings for fourth grade children and extensive notes made for reference*

These data then supplied the background for

a general outline which was followed with slight modification as the v/ork developed* It has been a great source of satisfaction to find dependable materials in the University of Southern Calif­ ornia1s Library as well as in the Ventura City Library* Documents in the Pioneer Museum and the F-an Buenaventura mission have been exceedingly helpful* The historical data in this study are documented* It is planned to omit the documentation in the final publication* L Zaiot qL YA bsl -

as the title would suggest, an

effort to formulate a short narrative history of Ventura County has been made*

It should be apparent to the reader

that the author has not been able to make the history a lengthy conclusive one, because fourth grade children are not able to assimilate a long complex history*

6 l>^jiwif L u * Jl

Ju X i-

II^PU!bX.lshe,d 33aa,8.fij9, M M g a

s. ir X 1!. v ili

&hsm& Vg?.0. tiuy.a County#


history of the settlement of the Ojai Valley was ably written by Elizabeth Chase.®

This work gives a general history of

the Ojai from the Mexican era to the modern period, and in­ cludes a discussion of th© economic, recreational, and cultural development of the community* Helen Rodger’s study

dealt mostly with the history

and development of the Lima Bean Industry in Ventura County; its centralization in Ventura County because of climate and topography, the rise, development, and value5 of the co­ operative marketing association; the physical and economic effects of the industry upon Ventura County* The purpose of Eleanor Smith® in writing her thesis was to trace the biography of a typical American Pioneer and Colonizer of California, and to show his influence on his section of the county*

The personal history of Thomas

Robert Bard is synonomous with the early history of Ventura County.

Enterprising business man and politician, he left

® Elizabeth Chase, f!Th@ History of the Ojai Valley , n pp* 1-95. ri Helen E. Rodgers, "The Lima Bean Industry of Ventura County,1’ pp* 1-89*

® Eleanor A* Smith, 11Thomas Robert Bard, Pioneer of Ventura County," pp* 1-101.

7 tli© mark of his dynamic personality on the life of his region, being one of the instruments through which American customs and business methods were imposed on that part of Spanish California later to he known as Ventura County. George Johnson undertook an investigation of the Economic History of Ventura County.^

The object of this

study of the Economic Resources of Ventura County was to get a clear picture of the present economic resources of the county and to draw some conclusions as to its future possibilities. Narrative- Fourth t e l s for Style.

HaeXiLl. ia


Robert Kingery B u e l l ^ uses a delightful narra­

tive theme of a boy and girl crossing the historical stepping stones of California*s past.

Viih imagination* accuracy* and

vitality* E r • Buell makes California backgrounds come to life. The family life in Frances A l d e r m a n * s t o r y of Los Angeles creates a narrative setting which holds the interest of the fourth grade child.

Similarly, william G. F a d e n ^

Goorge W* F. Johnson* "Economic History of Ventura County*’1 pp* 1-91. 1° Robert Kingery Buell* C&llf.PEJllji, ^epjpjLag p p .

1 - 2 3 8 *

^ L ob

Frances L. Alderman and Amber E. Eilson* About pp. 1-313.

1 2 Villiam G. Paden,

Seeing California* pp. 1-163.

employs a fictional fairy tale in his story of Mr* Magic Carpet touring California* Tli© writer has endeavored to weave into his history of Ventura County a narrative them© of a boy and girl of fourth grade level* M a l i lila.tlQr.ie.JL a£ Y.gafcugfl Gmuxty*

Several histories

of Ventura County have been written on the adult level*


of the most helpful to the writer was written by Edwin EU S









His brother, Solomon Hell Sheridan, 3-4 also wrote

a useful history*

Other informative histories were those of

Mrs* Y&o Addis ttorke,*^ and one published by Thompson and ’eat C o m p a n y * ^

These histories were helpful as source

*ti&t © r r£i1 in writing this present history*

These books will

be referred to later in this thesis* Helpful Vocabulary References*

The writer felt it

necessary to check the words used in this thesis with a

13 Edwin M. Sheridan, History p p .

3teat&ES. Qp im &2-§

4 0 ?*

14 S o lo m o n Neil S h e r i d a n , H i s t o r y o £ U I and II.


fi. floaaitg#

15 lips. Yd a Addis Stork©, A pernor ial and Biographical o f th e . C o u n t i e s q L M n id i M JLiU is. ani M a t a m * p p * 377* H is t o r y

16 Thompson and West, Hi story p £ Santa, Ventura fi,pvua1ty of Ventura


The city of Ventura was made the county seat*


beautiful Court House Building ©n the hill, facing the Pacific Ocean and the Channel Islands, is the place where the rules of the county are made*

Have you ever noticed

all the different faces on the white Court House building? The Land*

We are going to remember what this land of

ours was like before we knew it* On page 16, is a land picture of Ventura County which is called a map.

Part of the county lies along the ocean's

edge, and part of it goes back Into the mountains.


rivers cut through this land picture on their way to the sea Notice the valleys* and the towns, and the roadways* You have seen much more than any land picture could ever show you*

You see the county Itself every day*


see its mountains, Its roads* its trees* its homes, its people*

You see the living county* the county of today* The map which you have seen, could have looked

the same in the remembered yesterdays as it does today 1 anyone had known how to draw It, but the people who 1 here did not need a land picture* through the county*

They knew their wa






Map of Ventura County



Im o q r p ^r h

CHAPTER III INDIAN DAYS THE FIRST VENTURANS Little Sister whispered to the older Indian girl by her side, n-hat is father doing?11 Chief’s daughter held her finger to her lips and spoke softly, 11Be quiet*

Our father is asking the Good

Spirit to show him why we are ill.”

Little Sister looked

with wondering eyes toward their father* The Churnash Indian Chief, Anapamu,* stood under the p Prayer Tree, apart from his daughters and the other people of the rancheria*

He faced north*

seeking the sign from Chupu,

Three times he spoke,

the Good Spirit*

Disease had come in the form of pnuemonia away many loved ones* their safety*

Gone was their happiness*


and taken Gone was

Nothing was left at the rancheria but sad

faces and new made graves* Chupu, their God, must be appeased, but how?

1 2


Dr* J. ft* Hortter, 11The Aliso Del ¥ lento , n p. 14. Ibid., P * 10.


Ibi I, 35* 47 Pol. N* Pheridan, L Child La History of Calif or nta_f p. 32*

nA n - a - c a p a l t h e s e wild men of the f a n Joaquin Valley would exclaim as they saw the island in their first glimpse of the sea.

The word neons unever the same•n

This group of Spanish men was led by the m an who was the first Spanish Governor of California, Captain Gaspar de Portola.49 Also in this group was the Father-President of the Catholic Missions which were to be built, Father Junipero Serra#1 *'0 leg wound.

He was very kind and limped as he walked from a Always he carried a cross*

It was with him

even when he slept or ate* Port ola and his group of men marched on down th© winding Santa Clara Valley to th© shore at San Buenaventura , the place selected by himself and by Junipero Serra as th© 51 site for the third miss ion* *■

48 Lqc. cit* 49 Fr. Zephyrin Engelhardt, San Buenaventnra, The.

MIssion ta ilm 50 Ibid*,

p. 9 . p .

11 .

51 Sol. N* Sheridan, A. Child* s History of. California, p. 137.

CHAPTER IV ilSSION DAYS THE WHITE MEN COME The sun was setting in the west.

The red and gold rays

spread fan shaped on the blue waters of the Pacific Ocean. The blue waters sparkled dreamily In the closing of day. Out beyond the islands, the great Pacific Ocean curved away to the rim of th© sky.

Brown pelicans with their big, odd

bills dived into the water of the bay for a last sardine. White-winged gulls filled the air with their mewing cries. In the oak tree by the village, a squirrel fussed noisily in search of an acorn. Chieffs Son pushed his plank canoe to shore.


the string of fish In hand, Chief* s Son started for his v/Ickiup where mother would be heating stones to cook th© evening soup. He met Big Sister who had taken the water bottle to the springs for fresh water.

Little Sister burst upon them

pointing speechlessly to the east.

There coming over th©

rounded hills were a group of strange looking men. The children turned on their bare heels and ran into the village.

They told their father of what they had seen.

All the people in the village, men, women, and child­ ren followed them back to the sandy shore.

They watched while

35 th© white men rod© slowly toward them. Captain Portola gave pretty beads to the chief and some of the other Indian people.^

Father Serra carrying a

cross knelt on the sand and offered a prayer saying, uHer© we will build the third mission, which shall be named San Buenaventura •1,2 Chief’s Son awakened to a strange, beautiful sound* He hurried from his wickiup, following the sweet-resounding tones to the camp of the 'Vhite Mon* Chief1s Son watched Father Serra ringing the Mission Bella.

The bells had been hung from a strong limb of a great

oak tree near* the beach.

These bells had been molded in Spain

for the Mission San Buenaventura.


Th© white men came and

knelt on the ground around a small altar.

After Father Serra

had finished the sermon, Chief’s Son silently offered a fish to the Padre.

The Father smiled and patted the Indian Boy

on the shouldor.

Chief’s Son pointed to the bells.


Serra let it be known by signs that he might ring the bells, kith glowing eyes, Chief’s Son rang the bells.

Each morning

Fr* ZephyrIn Engelhardt, San Buenaventura, The MjL&Moa hy J&s p* 10 . o Sol. I. Sheridan, History of Ventura County, I, 31. 3 Loc. cit.

and evening Chief*s Son was permitted to ring the bells for mass* In the next two weeks Father Serra became good friends with Chief* s Son and many of the other children and Indian people of the Xucu Rancheria* Father Serra had plans for building his third mission her© at the Indian Rancheria of Xucu, but he was called away to Carmel*

It was not until twelve years4 later that he was

able to return to begin the building of the Mission*


of being th© third mission to be built in the chain of missions on El Caraino Real, San Buenaventura became the ninth mission and the last one that Father Serra was able to build*

Marie T* 1alsh, The Mission p .

8 ;

5 Sheridan, op * cit*, p* 43*


was the day when the good missionary,

Father Junipero Serra dedicated the ninth California Mission* It was Sunday.

A warm wind stirred the red and gold flag of

Spain* Chief’s Son was now a tall young brave. Father Serra, his good friend. slight hill*

He was with

Together they climbed the

Here the Mission Chapel, built of brushwood

with a roof of tule, had just been completed.

Behind it,

high on a hill, a large cross of wood had been set in the 7 ground* Photograph III shows the Mission Cross. All were gathered here for Mass, soldiers in blue and red uniforms, workmen, serving boys, missionaries, and Indians.

Chief’s Son had eyes only for Father Junipero

Serra, who wore his special rich white robes. The kind padre looked very splendid as he moved about the simple chapel.

He dedicated this ninth mission to the

Franciscan Saint Buenaventura.®

Photograph IV shows the

statue of Father Junipero Serra. Chief’s Son had learned to speak the Spanish language. Pie proudly helped Father Serra with the service.

5 Las., alt.

7 Lac* cit* 8 Malsh, op. c it., p . 183*

IV ,

The S ta tu e

o .f F a t h e r J u n i p e r o

V e n tu ra

S e rra

C o u n ty C o u r t H o u se


th e

THE LEGEND OP THE MISSION AQUEDUCT Th© Indian village of Yelysoy was near Xucu.9 village was surrounded by high hills on three sides. soil was rich. much wild game.

Corn and grasses grew plentifully.

This The There was

At the west of the village was a river which

ran down to the ocean. The chief had a beautiful daughter whose name was Anona. They lived, happily In this pretty village of wild walnuts and w ild lilacs. How among the young braves was one whose name was Omepah.

Ho was handsome and of great strength.

*iany of th©

young braves had cast longing eyes toward the Chiof1s daughter but Omepah seemed to be most favored. One of the brown robed padres came to this happy and peaceful village to visit.

The chief did not understand what

the padre was doing among his Indian people. and had the padre made a captive. guard the Padre.

He was afraid

Now Omepah was told to

Omepah liked the good missionary and after

guarding him through the night, he set the Padre free In the early morning. This put Omepah in disgrace with his tribe, and he was banished from the village.

He went to the Mission village

9 Hr s. D. W. Mott, Legends a M lt£ £ £ . of jfc&fi. p • 14#


40 and joined the I n d i a n s


Omepah was a good worker*


helped to build a large and strong dar.i and a great ditch* This ditch was five miles long*

It took water from the big

creek to the hiss ion village of X u c u u ^ The aqueduct passed near the villages whose braves were still hostile to the Missionaries*

These daily watched th©

Mission Indians and the Padres from the hill tops*

They saw

that no harm was meant to any one and that the Padres were kind* Little by little, the Indians were won over to the life and ways of the Mission.

As more and more Indians

joined the Mission, other Padres came to help with the work* Th© Padres suffered many hardships as they helped the Indians. Omepah and others worked at the Lime-kiln making mortar for the walls which had to be built along the great ditch.

This making of the mortar needed much skill.

It was

a process the secrets of which the Padres had brought from Spain and was known as 11Roman cement. Omepah on his way to and from his work, would often meet the pretty Anona on her walks or errands.

10 E. M. Sheridan, Mission


On pleasant

San Buenaventura, p. 8.

11 Mrs. Yd a Addis Stork, A Memoria.1 and. hijaoxajahijsj^ Fistorv of the Counties of Santa Barbara,, £&n hu.-Ls. .Q.bl.S.P.O, and Ventura County, p. 11. 1k. Sheridan, op. cit*, p. 9 B


41 evening3, they «ould walk toward

the- n'/•'hispering Tree*51

There was a large open space around this tree where the boys had thoir gawi.es*

The padres had taught some of them to play

musical instruments*

On page 57, photograph VII is a picture

of the first , ission Indian orchestra* they played, sang, and danced.

Under this tree,

It was under this tree that

Omepah asked Anona to be his squaw. Anona1s mother had taught her all the art and skill of an Indian woman1s homekeeping.

There were acorns to be

gathered, dried and shelled, and the kernels ground Into meal* There were hollyberries which Anona had been taught to put through a process of sweating and curing* "jerked,” and fish dried and smoked*

Venison must be

Bushes and reeds grow­

ing along the water ways must be gathered and put through a skillful process of drying, bleaching, and dying, to fit them for basket weaving*

Many were the uses of baskets*


needed for heavy use, or in the gathering of wild nuts, were given a coat of asphalt* After the Mission orchards began to bear fruit, and the gardens to produce vegetables, the Padres taught the Indians how to preserve and keep these for use until the next harvest*"*"4

Mott, op. Qit*, p. 20. 14 Itfic* sit*

42 L’hile the work on the aqueduct progressed,

some of the

men were building a Chapel, a short distance from the lineis kiln. There was great rejoicing when finally the water was turned into the aqueduct. at the reservoir. head.

It came sparkling from the spout

This spout was in the shape of a horse1s

It was called "Cabesa del Cabello.”^^ Three lines of tile pipe connected the reservoir with

the iiission grounds, the large gardens, and the many acres of fruit.

One of these lines of pipe was placed underground

to protect it from hostile Indians.

1 *7

Later, the hostile

Indians ruined part of the aqueduct, but the underground pipe line kept the Mission supplied with water.


15 Fr. ZephyrIn Engelhardt, San Buenaventura^ tM tsaion hy 1 M p* 26. 16 Sol. N. Sheridan, History of Ventura County, I, 55. Mott, on. cit.f p. 22.

nZumah," said the kind Padre, 11It is your turn tonight to watch in the church." 1*Si, kind Padre,11 said Zumah, as he went dutifully into the great Mission Church. How Zumah had parted from his tribe to take on the new ways and the new religion of the paleface teachers. It was a dark night outside, and darker still within the great silent room.

There were no shadows except those

made by the flickering light of the altar candles.

There were

no sounds save the breaking surf on the nearby sands, and the sighing of the night breeze from the sea. The dim candle flames on the altar suddenly flickered higher.

Lo, a sound!

Just enough light from the fluttering

candles let the frightened Zumah see the form approaching the altar with hesitating step. It murmured a prayer, pleading in whispers to the Holy Virgin.

Arising, and devoutly making the sign of the

Cross, the shadowy form silently disappeared in the darkness. Zumah, terrified and cold from fright, ran from the church and awoke the

nearest priest, saying in broken Spanish,

’*Padre, a ghost, a ghost!

It came into the Church!**

The pious father calmed the Indian saying, ?’now, my son, you have been favored In Heaven in seeing a departed Christian in spirit form, pleading for some soul in distress.**

44 Zumah could not describe the form of the vision.


only knew that it had on the dress of a woman of the Ghumash Indian Tribe* The next day a savage tribe of Indians attacked the Mission.

Many were killed*

Crops were burned.

These wild

men carried away from the Mission men and women who used to belong to the Mupu Tribe.

Zumah was taken, too.

The Mupu* a

lived about twenty miles from the Mission.1^ Among the Mupu Tribe lived a brave named Lamonti and a beautiful maiden named Klatawah.

Both wanted to live at

the Mission, but the people of the Mupu tribe would not let them* It was the time of "el salano ,n which means East Wind* The leaves of th© willow were falling.

The squaws had gather­

ed the acorns, the wild walnuts, and many berries.

The braves

had been successful In the hunt, and much venison and fish had been cured for th© winter’s store. The harvest moon was right for the autumn pow-wow of merriment and rejoicing.

The Ghumash Chiefs called a three-

day feast of their tribes. Braves, squaws, young men and maidens feasted, and danced to the beat of the rawhide drums.

Games of skill were

played, and old warriors retold the traditions of their tribes.

I o

Mrs. D. W. Mott, hegend© and hs& & M L kong Agg., p. 62.

Zumah and Klatawah were at the feasting. ing they sat together on a brown rock*

In the even­

Both were seeking a

safe return to the Mission, but no such chance had yet come* They talked about possible ways of escape* Lamonti was not allowed to attend the feast*

It was

feared that he would try to escape* Klatawah told Zumah that she had been very sad when Salisto and Chino, two Indian boys, had been killed for steal­ ing*

She told how she had walked to the Mission in the dark

night, end there, unseen and unheard, asked the Holy Virgin to save the souls of these two young braves. Zumah!s mouth opened wide in surprise*

Slowly, he

said, ’’Klatawah, a vision appeared to me one dark night when I guarded the great and lonely church* Padro*

I ran to tell the good

He said that It was a departed soul praying for some

friend*11 ’’Zumah,” said Klatawah, ’’that was not a vision.

I went

into the dark church that night to pray for the souls of Pal1sto and Chino.

Also, I prayed for Lamonti, because he

tried to help Salisto escape and the Chief was very angry with him* ” Later, Lamonti was able to escape to the Sycamore tree and thore Klatawah and Zumah joined him*

The east wind had

stopped and a heavy fog from the sea had drifted In.

It was

so dense that objects could be seen no farther than an arrow-

shot away#

Leaving the Sycamore tree, they walked through

the brush and over boulders down to the river. fog was God’s cloud to shield them* until night*

The friendly

They rested in the tules

Following the river, they walked all night to­

ward the Mission Village#

It was near morning when they heard

the waves of the nbig water” breaking on the shores#


ing, they thanked God# The old Indian guard at the Mission took them to the Priest#

There was great gladness and blessings#

There was

much feasting that day for the lost was found# The beautiful maiden, Klatawah, kneeled again before the church altar*

Zumah knew now that he had not seen a

ghost or a vision that dark night when he guarded the Hiss ion Church#

It had been the sweet Klatawah praying#

Pedro Basilia stood on th© beach below the lisaion of San Buenaventura*

Photograph V shows the Mission.


whose fingers like her mother’s were the cleverest at basket­ ry of any maid at the Mission, sat weaving beside them.

sat beside him*

Ana Maria

Juana let her fingers lag and rest

on the reeds of the basket she was starting to weave. loved her weaving. of her basket.


She loved to write stories in the pattern

She rnade each one different.

They watched a long boat from a ship that was anchored in the bay.

The wind dashed spray in the faces of the rowers

as they bent to their oars.

The east wind had come up in the

night and the sea was blue as a field of lupin.

Close in

around the fenced Mission stood the velvet hills, and the whole land seemed a dream of land where no trouble could come.

Yet the warmth of the east wind said that here now

came trouble* And now the boat was almost in.

Several Indians

dashed into the surf to help the landing of the visitors. Don Jose de la Cruz the missionary*

stepped from the boat and bowed to

This soldier had the scar of an ugly sword

E* ” . Sheridan, "Indian B&skgjts. at. ^ a n Buenaventura Misaion,n (Unpublished material in the Ventura City Library), p. 2.




A bov %>

cut that crossed his left cheek almost to the mouth*

carrying the flag of Spain and half a dozen Spanish soldiers followed their leader to the Mission building. Juana looked at the ship and let her eyes follow the bright lines of the emblem of the royal arms of Spain. 111 was thinking,11 she said, f,that I will weave a pic­ ture of the royal arms of Spain^° into my basket.

That will

please the kind Padre.1’ 1 Ana Maria1s eyes studied the emblem and her fingers made motions as though following the pattern of it.

Then she

said, "fuppose we both try and see vrhich one does better.11 "Si,” answered Juana.

"The good Padre shall be the

3udge. 11 Now Senor de la Cruz was a cruel man.

He was sent by

Spain to collect money and supplies from the California Mis­ sions.

The good Padre felt sad as he looked at the fine herds

that roamed the Mission land.

From these flocks of sheep

the wool was spun into clothes and the fat was made into tallow for thousands of candles. The good Father agreed to raise the supplies that de la Cruz asked as San Buenaventura^ share of what was demand­ ed of the California Missions.

He was to have the supplies

ready when de la Cruz returned from a trip to Northern

California. Don Jose left his trusted lieutenant,

Ramon hstra&a,

to take charge of the gathering of the supplies. kind to the Indians. with interest.

Ramon was

He watched the weaving of the baskets

He suggested that Don Jose would be very

pleased if the baskets were made for him. Kamon liked Juana.

Little by little, with the strands

of the fiber she seemed to weave her love for kamon into the m

basket with her shaping fingers.

As the days moved on Ramon

lookod -with less interest for the sight of a 3ail on the horizon. Ana Marla seemed less interested in making a basket for Don Joso to take to Spain.

She dreamed of far spaces and

of the fleet hoofbeats of horses.

Sho dreamed of an Indian

3rave whose home was far beyond the snow-capped ranges and who waited until a night when plans for her ©scape from the Mission would be complete. As the basket neared completion, Juana wove around its

edge, the words, in Spanish:

"forked by the neophyte, Juana

Basilla, desirous of contributing to the attentions paid by rfQ "J

Governor Sola to the Field iarshal Senor Don Jose de la Cruz. Ana Maria simply wrote, on her smaller, deep bowl-

21 Ibid.. p. 54.

shaped basket, over the royal arris of Spain:

"I was made by-

Ana Maria, a neophyte of the Mission of the Seraphic Doctor „po Sa in t 3uenaven tur a • " A day came horizon,


Pedro 3as ilia again saw a ship on the

Don Jose de la Cruz again came to San Buenaventura*

This tlie lie vas haughty* red*

The scar across his cheek burned

Ho kicked an Indian child that fell in his way* A messenger from one of the other missions brought the

news that Mexico had won her independence from Spain and now P*3*

the California Missions were under the rule of Mexico*"'"

The good Padre gave Don Jose the supplies and the two baskets made by the Indian girls*

Both baskets were taken

to Mexico City* Ramon Estrada did not leave San Buenaventura* stayed at the Mission and married Juana.


Later Bamon helped

Ana Maria ©scape to her lover who lived over the mountain ranges* The baskets In this story wero later given to the University of California at Berkely to be added to the Mrs* Phoebe Hearst collection.

They are among the most Important

and Interesting specimens of native California basketry in existence*


23 Ibid.. p. 56. 24

Ibid. . p. 57.


High above the Pan Buenaventura Mission, Chief Matilija ruled his tribe of Indians In Ojai, ”The Nest."*’0

It was a

peaceful valley with much fruit, fish, and game. Fairest of all the women, and best beloved of all the tribe, was the Old Chief1's only daughter, some brave, loved her. free Indians, white men.

Cocopah, a hand­

But sorrow came to those



Chief I-Iatilija did not like the coming of th©

He did not like th© Mission Padres who took his

tribesmen into their Mission, Matili.ia and his men becai?ie warlike, tribesmen in raids ©gainst the Mission.

He led his

In return,

Spanish soldiers made raids on the Indian tribes.

the They kill­

ed the men and captured the women and children of the tribe, of In one of these raids/the Spanish soldiers, Chief Matilija’s daughter was taken prisoner and sent to th© Mission.

Here she learned many of the white man’s ways.


never forgot her love for Cocopah, the Indian breve whom she 1 oved, The Mission was closely guarded so she had little chance to hear anything of her home or of her father and lover in O^ai.

But one day a fast Indian runner met her near the

Marie T. Malsh, The Mission Bells o£


door* of the chapel arid told her that her father and lover both lived and waited for her in "The Nest.” Secretly she planned to escape. found the ?-*ission gate ajar.

One dark night she

She slipped, out into the dark­

ness and was not missed \mtil morning. For days she wandered over the hills and through the brush, searching for the secret camp of her father. she found It and was welcomed back with joy.

At last

Her father

immediately made plans for her marriage to Cocopah, her lover, luring the marriage feast, the Spanish soldiers fired from the mountainside killing all but Fatilija1^ daughter. ly she searched about the field.


She found her father dead

and her new husband badly wounded. Tith super strength she carried her husband, Cocopah, to a hilltop.

She dressed his wounds and gave him food.


evening then th© sound of th© mission bells wafted up from the valley, Cocopah died.

All night she wept by her lover.

Her heart was broken and she died upon his breast. "Above iiatilija’s Canyon ■there naught but gray sag© grew before, A carpet of pure white poppies Covered the lovers o ’er. The Sun God had kissed each blossom, And gold at each heart had laid, But the pur© whito petals reflected The soul of the Indian Aaid. Mow no hand evor plucks these flowers That bloom on the ;iountain’s crest


Lest the spirit of i-latHi jafs daughter Leave barren the Ojai, ’The Nest1 26 Photograph VI is a picture of the beautiful white Matilija Popples*

P ft

p. 129.

Mrs. D. V". Mott, Legends and Lore s£ Long Agfi,



The Matilija Poppy


ong all th© Indian children, at the fission Ian

Buenaventura, the moat troublesome was little Garcia. a good-sized headache to all at the Mission.

He was

His parents

punished him and the good Padre scolded him, but he was still a very naughty boy. Little Garcia was always hungry. was ripe olives.

His favorite food

The olives were not to be eaten.


were used to make fine oil for the altar lamps and to trade.


They were not to be eaten by Indian boys. Th© olives were picked by hand, carried in large bas­ kets and stored in barrels.

In a couple of the barrels, a

small amount of the finest and largest were soaked in lye of ashes for curing. The rest of the crop was to be crushed for 28 oil. Photograph VIII is a picture of the mission showing the oil vats near the Indian houses. The oil press was two smooth slabs of stone which smashed the olives.

In the lower stone was a little groove

along which the olive oil flowed Into barrels.

The Padres

propped up the top stone with cords tied to stakes.

If In

the dark anyone tried to slip past the barrels of olives, the

Jessie R. Kistler, .Talaa T.oll.gd. by. th£



The First Indian Ordiestra


San Buenaventura Mission in 1S7C


cords would move causing the big stone to bang and the guards would cone running. One dark night there was a loud bang and the sound of painful wailing came from the court. out.

The good Padre rushed

There was little Garcia weeping and squirming.


creeping past the oil press to steal olives, he had upset the ropes.

The top stone had fallen catching little Garcia*s

hand in th© press. it free.

Struggle as he would, he could not pull

The good Padre would not free little Garcia’s hand

until he had promised to never steal any more of the precious olives. And as long as little Garcia’s hand was sore he didn’t steal a single olivel

59 VANCOUVER VISITS SAN BUENAVENTURA In November, 1793, the English Navigator, Captain George Vancouver, sailed his ship, Discovery,

into the bay of

Santa Barbara. Father Vincente Santa Maria was the good Padre at the San Buenaventura Mission*

He was much loved by the Indian

Converts. Father Vincente called his Indian gardeners about him* nVe


gather and pack twenty mule-loads of fresh fruits

and vegetables to take to Captain Vancouver at Santa Barbara”, he said.

”Pedro, you get half a score of sheep ready, too.

v'!e will all rid© up together.”

The good Padre was eager and

happy. The gardeners hurried about collecting the choicest fruits and vegetables.

Then all twenty mules were packed,

Father Vincent© and the Indian cjonverts started to Santa Barbara. Captain Vancouver was delighted with the fresh foods from the gardens of the Mission San Buenaventura. to sail Father Vincente back to Ventura. much pleased.

He offered

The good Padre was

Early in the morning he came aboard the ship,

29 Ibid.,



Doc. cit. 6 1 Fr. Zephyr in Engelhardt, San Buenaventura , the, ission by the Seay p. 20.


The Indian converts were frightened*

They bogged

their much loved Padre not to sail in so large a boat* All day, the Discovery sailed slowly along the water* The good Padre was very happy* The next morning, they came In sight of the Mission* The converts were all crowded along the shore waiting for their beloved Padre*

The strong Mission Indians pushed their

fast canoes through th© high breakers to the Discovery* Captain Vancouver insisted that Padre Vincente be taken to shore in one of his boats*

The breakers were break­

ing so high that it was not possible to reach the shore* After bouncing around for hours on the z*ough waters, th© good Padre was glad to get back on board the Discovery to spend another night* The next morning, the sea had quieted and the good Padre was rowed safely to shore*

The converts were so happy

to see him that they kissed his robes and hands, and begged him never to leave them again*

CHAPTER V RANCHO DAYS THE cAND WAS DIVIDED California was one of the new lands found "by the men of Spain.

It was claimed for the Spanish Crown.

land belonged to the King of Spain*

All of the

It was his to give away

as he desired. Th© King of Spain knew that the best way to claim a land was to have his people living on it.

h© made grants

of largo sections of land to the church so that the church would send fathers to establish missions*

The fathers wore

to teach the Indians by living among them and doing the work with them*

These Mission grants were very large*

The King made grants of land for establishing towns* Those were called Pueblos*


These grants were small in

comparison to the grants of land for Missions* A few grants of land were given to Individuals In California*

They were given through the Spanish governors

who represented the King of Spain in California* There were three land grants in Ventura County*

^ Sol N. Sheridan, * hOC* CIt.


wa a the fan Buenaventura

iis a ion G r a n t . 0

grants w er e :;iade to individuals.

The other two

They were the Bancho Slmi


and the Bancho Gonejo.’ One April d a y in the year 1822, the people of San

Buenaventura ; ission gathered. flag flown over Californio..

They were about to see a new

It was the flag of M e x i c o . 6

For more than fifty years the California Government ha d be e n directed from Mexico by men who represented the King

of Spain.

These men were no longer in power.

fought a war for independence from Spain.

M e x i c o had

The Mexicans had

won the independence and were now a free nation. The flag of Spain was lowered, and the flag of Mexico was raised.

The soldiers, ths good. Padre, and the Indians,

pledged their allegiance to the new flag, the flag of Mexico. After that California was a part of Mexico. for giving away the land in California was changed.

The plan The

Mexican government decided to divide the large grants of land given to the Missions.

The government wanted to encourage

the development of smaller ranchos.

Mrs. D. W. Mott, Legends an d hpgp. o£ Lgm g Ago, p . 218 4 Ibid.. p. 218. 5 Ibtc.. p. 217. 6 Ft . 'Zephyrin Kngolhardt, San Buenaventura. the ’■isslan by. the £aa, p.