The following article first appeared in the Wednesday, July 3, 1968 edition of “The Ojai Valley News and Oaks Gazette” on Page D-1. That newspaper is now the “Ojai Valley News”. The “Ojai Valley News” graciously allowed us to reprint the article here. The author was Effie Skelton.
ENJOY THE RURAL SCENE
What’s Doin’ in Meiners
Meiners is where one may awaken mornings to the sounds of the woodpeckers rat-rat-tat on the oaks, inhale the sweet country air and be happy in being an integral part of the pastoral scene. The mind recalls the residents of the past who also experienced this pleasure, the Oak Grove and Chumash Indians, the early pioneers, and those that lived in time of stagecoach. For $1 a stagecoach could be taken from Ventura to Matilija Hot Springs, where the vacationists and fishermen could get to the mountains quickly and easily. In this age of speed with cars, trailers and campers arriving by the hundreds on holidays and weekends we realize there are many who also wish to become an integral part, even for a short time, of this peaceful scene.
Many of the village street and avenue names are Spanish, pertaining to that certain section. Others are in honor of famous men of the early 1800’s, such as, Arnaz Avenue in honor of Don Jose Arnaz. He is credited with the first attempt in subdividing in Ventura, by a try at townsite—laying near the Mission in 1846. He advertised the advantages of his subdivision in eastern American papers, but without response. Arnaz lived in Ventura. He was a merchant, trader, rancher and a native of Spain.
Poli Avenue was named for Dr. M. A. R. de Poli, a native of Spain, who in the 1850’s was the first practicing physician of the Ventura area. He combined medicine with cattle raising and visited patients on horseback.
Padre Juan (Father John) Avenue is named for Father John Comopla, who was a priest at the Ventura Mission from 1861 to 1877.
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Clifford recently moved from South La Luna Road into 242 Carrizo Avenue, purchasing the property from W. W. Haley, Carrizo is a short street, formerly consisting of families with children, who are now adolescent, in service or married, leaving the residents on the street missing the laughter and sounds of youth. However, this friendly couple has seven lovely, mannerly and considerate children. Clifford is employed by the Postoffice Department in Ventura. Mrs. Clifford’s hobby is being a good homemaker and working with flowers.
A lovely lavender Crepe Myrtle shrub is now in full bloom on the neat lawn of Mr. and Mrs. Archie Horrell, 600 Mesa Drive. They also have many other flowers on their well-kept grounds. Mr. and Mrs. Horrell purchased their ten acre orange grove with its two bedroom home in 1952. He was employed by the Shell Oil for 32 years, retiring in 1956. Mrs. Horrell’s hobby is flowers and Mr. Horrell is supervising his ranch, fishing and spending part of his time in his well-equipped workshop.
If there is a watch or clock problem, or a desire to purchase jewelry, why not try the Verkuil Jewelers, 136 El Roblar Drive. Verkuil has many years of experience repairing watches and clocks, beginning at the age of eighteen. He worked for the Bulova Watch Company for thirteen years and downtown Ventura Jeweler for ten years. He maintained his own store in Meiners Oaks from 1947 until 1951. He returned to the village in 1961 to again open a jewelry store. When there are capable people near at hand to serve, there is little need to travel to Timbuctoo to have the same service. Mr. and Mrs. Verkuil have a neat home at 131 South Padre Juan Ave.
From the memory store room of Lennie Soper: The Soper family, consisting of the parents, two boys and two girls lived in the original Meiners Ranch house. Soper bought a new piano for the girls. One week after the purchase the ranch house burned, together with all furnishings and the new piano. The Soper’s moved from Meiner’s ranch to the Rice Ranch across the river where Lennie operated a milk and egg route to Matilija Hot Springs. He drove a buckboard pulled by one mule.