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Thousand Oaks

Thousand Oaks — Sixty Sterling Years as a City

The City of Thousand Oaks was officially incorporated in 1964, beginning a new era for a special place blessed with extensive land for agriculture, a vision for family-centered communities, vital entrepreneurship and surroundings offering plenty of nature-loving activities and sights.

The area was discovered by Spanish explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo and stayed more or less unpopulated for the next 300 years, according to the City’s official history. In the 1800s, pioneers and Western settlers began to stay and put down roots. The first post office was established in the Conejo Valley in 1875, serving as a stagecoach stop between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

The City’s account of our history tells how the Janss Family, more than 100 years ago, “purchased 10,000 acres of farm land and began planning a ‘total community.’” What followed were the hallmarks of civilization at that time: ranches, dairy farms and apricot orchards bloomed in the scenic valley. Hollywood and the entertainment industry soon discovered our local beauty and byways. Louis Goebel’s Lion Farm opened in 1927 and, later called “Jungleland,” drew audiences to see jungle animals perform. Scenes from “Tarzan” and “The Adventures of Robin Hood” were filmed in local oak groves and arroyos.

By the early 1960s, Thousand Oaks was enjoying the post-World War II boom in both economy and child-bearing. Businesses flourished, parks and schools appeared, and yet the area retained its rural flavor, as residential areas shared space with fields of crops, horses, chickens and sheep. On the day in September 1964 when the community voted to incorporate, the 14-square-mile city counted 20,000 residents.

Delivering the Mail: A horse and wagon sit by the Stagecoach Inn in Newbury Park sometime in the 1880s. The man seated in the wagon is presumed to be E. Easley, who delivered mail in the area.

Today, Thousand Oaks boasts 56 square miles and about 127,000 residents. Its 15,000 square acres of “Open Space” offer 75 miles of trails, making this Southern California community still the envy of the world in many ways.

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