|The California Oil Museum building|
The California Oil Museum is housed in an elegant building built in 1890 and was once the headquarters of Union Oil Company which gave birth to the California oil industry. The museum is small but we were amazed at how nice all the exhibits were and how well they explained the oil drilling process. They had two rotating exhibits – one on bugs and the other on modern design quilts. Not sure how they fit in with oil but that was O.K. We enjoyed them anyway.
|The exhibits are well displayed and many are interactive with videos, working models, and computer games.|
|A wing was built to accommodate a working replica of a 1900's oil rig.|
Santa Paula’s rich agricultural industry is omnipresent. Acres and acres of land surrounding downtown are dappled with citrus farms and trucks full of lemons whiz past you on the windy county roads. The towns’ 60-year reign began in 1880 when citrus groves were planted. The railroad came to town shortly after and soon goods were freely getting shipped across the country.
As we were driving through downtown, we marveled at the colorful murals that depict fascinating chapters and events in the history of the city. The murals are beautifully done by some of the country’s most famous muralists.
|Walnuts are a big agricultural crop in the area and were harvested by men using long poles with hooks to shake the trees. Women and children would gather the nuts off the ground.|
|Santa Paula claims to be the Citrus Capital of the World from 1880 - 1940 and pays homage to the hard work by Latino, Anglo, and Japanese workers that harvested the lemons.|
|Small family farms surrounded the Santa Paula countryside where apricots, lima beans, walnuts and citrus made for a productive area.|
The next day, we took a trip to Ojai for a hike and to see the town. The trip from Santa Paula to Ojai led us through the Los Padres National Forest which was perfect for hiking and a redneck bath for Spirit. The town is charming and filled with trendy boutiques and restaurants that fit into a Mediterranean theme. It sits in a picturesque valley framed by green mountains that make the desert seem like a distant past.
|One happy dog in the water.|
Now, it is on to the California coast.