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The History Behind The Conejo Valley

The Conejo Valley has been around for hundreds and hundreds of years. It may not have looked like it does right now but behind every beautiful piece of land is a little piece of history. Let’s take a look at the history of the Conejo Valley.

Founded in 1542 by Spanish explorer, Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, who claimed the land for his Spanish King, the Conejo Valley became their new home. Before this, the beautiful Conejo Valley was home to the Chumash Native Americans dated back to hundreds of years ago. The land remained unsettled until the 1800s when the Spanish governor granted thousands of land to his loyal soldiers. They named the land ‘Conejo’ because in Spanish, Conejo means ‘Rabbits’ and there was always rabbits running around the valley.

Pioneers started to migrate to the land in the early 19th century. In 1875, the first post office was built and the small settlement became a pit stop for stagecoaches traveling from San Francisco to Los Angeles. It wasn’t until the motor car invention that the Conejo Valley started to evolve. In the early 1900s, the Janss family purchased 10,000 acres of farmland and began planning a community. The family left a strong impact on the Conejo Valley as the name ‘Janss’ is still very well known.

Louis Goebal opened his Lion Farm in 1927, when the Conejo Valley was just filled with chicken ranches, dairy farms and apricot orchards. Attracting many, the Lion Farm, became a popular scene for the Conejo Valley. In later years, this tourism attraction was later called ‘Jungleland.’ Soon the motion picture industry discovered the beautiful Conejo Valley and filmed scenes from the movies, such as “The Jungle Book” and “Tarzan.” This attraction started the growth of the Conejo Valley.

By 1961 there were two shopping centers, a selection of schools, one park, a few churches and a four-year liberal arts college. In 1964, the city was named Thousand Oaks due to the numerous amount of oak trees located within. In the first years of Cityhood, nearly 20,000 residents lived within the 14.28 square miles of the new drawn boundaries.

From the early 1500s to the 2000s, the Conejo Valley has grown to over 56 square miles with more than 120,000 residents. Now that you know the history behind the beautiful land, will you make the Conejo Valley your forever home?