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Ventura (CA) (Images of America) Paperback – October 23, 2006

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Arcadia Publishing (October 18, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0738546739
  • ISBN-13: 978-0738546735
  • Product Dimensions: 0.2 x 6.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,987,000 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Title: Ventura woman still digging into city's history

Author: Kevin Clerici

Publisher: Ventura County Star

Date: 1/4/2010

Glenda J. Jackson’s fascination with history dates back to childhood dreams of becoming an archaeologist.

Such a career didn’t pan out for the management analyst. “But in a way,” she said, “I have become one, because I am always digging up Ventura’s history.”

Jackson possesses one of the largest private collections of Ventura memorabilia, including rare, decades-old postcards and turn-of-the-century ephemera.

She released her third book in November, “Ventura,” part of the “Then & Now” series from Arcadia Publishing that features historical black-and-white photographs coupled with current photos taken from the same vantage points. She published a book of vintage Ventura postcards in 2005 and a book of additional local historical images a year later.

The new book includes a never-before-published photo of a young boy, Charles Cole, standing in a sprawling field of calla lilies nearly up to his waist. The symmetrical rows of white flowers and acres of undeveloped land in the background are long gone, replaced today by Buena High School in east Ventura.

Jackson knew the photo was special the moment she saw it — a feeling, she joked, that is often shared by collectors such as herself. The near-mint-condition photo had been held by the Cole family, prominent Ventura farmers, for more than a century, she said.

“There is a core group of us who hyperventilate when something cool like this pops up,” said Jackson, a Navy pilot’s daughter who was born in Corpus Christi, Texas, and has lived in Ventura since 1975.

She has spent thousands of dollars amassing her collection. When not working her day job in the county executive officer’s office, she usually can be found scouring flea markets and estate sales or searching microfiched editions of local newspapers at the E.P. Foster Library in Ventura.

Jackson “lives and breathes what she loves,” and her efforts to chronicle and publicize Ventura history should not be overlooked, said friend and fellow local historian Cynthia Thompson.

“She keeps these people’s stories and their buildings alive,” Thompson said. “It’s just so easy, because life is busy, to forget what came before us. And yet it’s so important in the big picture to remember. Everything we face today, we have faced before.”

It was Jackson’s idea to try to increase protections for the centuries-old, deteriorating Mission Aqueduct north of Ventura, said Kim Hocking, a senior county planner who specializes in historic preservation.

Jackson was “immensely helpful” in helping the county apply to get the aqueduct listed as one of the most endangered historical places in the nation, Hocking said. “Unfortunately, it was never approved,” he said.

Jackson credits some of her inspiration to years of working inside Ventura City Hall, a terra-cotta-adorned structure built in 1912 that formerly housed the county courthouse and is listed on both the state and national registries of historic places. Don Taylor, a current City Hall employee and photographer, helped her capture many of the “now” pictures for her new book, she said.

Unlike Los Angeles memorabilia, which is plentiful, finding quality Ventura items has proved a challenge, Jackson said. “Trying to find Ventura stuff is literally almost like looking for the Holy Grail,” Jackson said.

The thrill of the hunt keeps her going, she said. Vendors now refer to her as the “Ventura Lady,” and she once wore a T-shirt emblazoned with “Got Ventura?”

Now that the book is done, her latest passion is redecorating the interior of her condo with antique and vintage textiles, including 1930s velvet and 1920s silk. She has a working 1930s phone in her bedroom.

Other prized possessions include an early edition of Ventura’s first newspaper, the Ventura Signal; photos dating to the 1880s; scores of Ventura County History Museum “Quarterlies”; local high school yearbooks dating to 1926; and 200 turn-of-the-century postcards.

She recently discovered some Prohibition-era Ventura police reports. In one, a 21-year-old man caught with five pints of liquor and a .38-caliber Smith & Wesson revolver is “released on condition he leave town.” In another, a man was cited and jailed for alleged vagrancy and “mooching from house to house on San Clemente Street.”

“I love Ventura,” Jackson said. “It’s such a cool town. It’s like an onion. Once you pull back one layer, you reveal more.” --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

For this new retrospective, local historian, collector, lecturer, and tour guide Glenda J. Jackson has selected rare and historic images from private collections to continue her evocative tour through her beloved city's past, begun in her 2005 companion volume on Ventura in Arcadia Publishing's Postcard History Series.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
the book binding is bad. the pages are falling out . I like the content ,but I have to be careful the pages don't all fall out.
I was born and lived many years in Oxnard. There was a cattle feed yard west of Ventura somewhere near the river on the south side of the highway .Had the name of two persons .I was hoping the book had some information on them. Alas ,no luck. I do enjoy your books.
Manuel F Oliveira
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By star-finder on March 22, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is basically a photographic history of Ventura, CA. in the early 1900. Very interesting and informative. The book is well done and I would recommend it for anyone interested in the history of this area. A great book. .. Enjoy...
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By D. C. Johnson on November 3, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book for myself because I grew up in Ventura and I miss it so much. I like it so much, I think I'll give it to my dad. I think he would really like it too.
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More About the Author

I've always loved history and wanted to be an archaeologist "when I grew up." Well, I guess you could say I achieved that goal in a round about way by writing two (soon to be three) local history books on my hometown, Ventura.

I started my freelance career actually way back in 1985 when I sold my "Spider Cake" recipe to Good Housekeeping Magazine. The fact that somebody wanted to buy something I created and publish it, well, that was the proverbial icing on the cake! I've freelanced articles to magazines such as American Country Collectibles, Income Opportunities and Victorian Homes.

I've recently begun to delve into the more creative side and my first "altered art" entry was selected to appear in Belle Armoire Art to Wear magazine as part of a "Petite Couture" artist challenge. There's something about altered (or assemblage) art that fascinates me. I've entered another piece and hope to see it gracing the pages of the Nov/Dec issue of Belle Armoire Art to Wear.

But I've had the most fun digging up little known anecdotes about Ventura to share them through my history books and local historical walking tours.

Not only do I love history, I live it. I've been a collector of antiques and Victoriana for decades and while my humble condo may be circa 1980, the interior is circa 1900. I was definitely born in the wrong era! I also enjoy collecting vintage clothing and several times a year, you'll find me hauling boxes and dress forms to a ladies luncheon for a talk on clothing, etiquette or romance.

Questions? You can email me at

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