History Tour Includes Camarillo Sites
The Acorn | 5/5/2013
Attention history buffs, your stagecoach has come in.

A new program called Passport 2 History will make visits to more than 50 museums, old homes and ranches—many of them in the area—easy, fun and educational.

The program was designed by the Leonis Adobe Association in Old Town Calabasas to introduce the public to the rich history of the region and to encourage visits to the many landmarks that point to California’s past.

Participants are issued a “passport” book at the Adobe (23537 Calabasas Road, Calabasas) and receive a stamp for each site they visit.

Passport locations include the Stagecoach Inn Museum in Newbury Park; Chumash Indian Museum in Thousand Oaks; Reyes Adobe Historical Site in Agoura Hills; Strathearn Historical Park and Museum in Simi Valley; and Camarillo Ranch, Pleasant Valley Museum and Native Garden, and Commemorative Air Force So Cal Wing in Camarillo.

In all, the destinations stretch from Long Beach’s Rancho Los Alamitos in the south to Paso Robles Pioneer Museum in the north. Some of Southern and Central California’s most famous historical sites are in the loop.

Prizes and rewards will be waiting at the end of the line for the program participants who visit the most museums and sites and get their passports stamped.

Twenty-one of the locations are in Los Angeles County, 23 in Ventura County and seven in San Luis Obispo County. It’s hoped the program will be extended into Northern California.

“This is a great beginning,” said Leonis Adobe president Don Adams at a kickoff function last week. “We couldn’t be more excited.”

Passport 2 History was created in the spirit of the Native Americans, Spanish missionaries, Mexican governors, immigrants and railroad employees who helped develop the region.

Visitors who follow the Passport trail to the various sites are taking an expedition through California’s golden past and are introduced to the diverse and historically significant cultural landmarks that give the state its rich history.

T.O.’s Chumash Indian Museum contains one of the largest collections of Chumash artifacts and exhibits. Camarillo Ranch was one of the last of the Mexican land grants. Agoura’s Reyes Adobe is the preserved 1850s home of rancher Jose Paulino Reyes. Many of the historic buildings at Strathearn

Park were built in the early 1800s, marking the beginning of Simi Valley.

The passport book includes a page for each of the participating venues, including location, description and historical relevance. The book also lists restaurants and hotels near many of the venues in the hopes of encouraging patronage of local businesses.

The idea was the brainchild of Andrew James, a program consultant for Leonis Adobe and artistic director of Oxnard’s Elite Theatre Company. James used a similar strategy to tie patrons into a string of local community theaters with a goal of boosting attendance, and it worked.

“People aren’t traveling as much in this economy,” James said. “Passport gives them a way to visit important historical venues without going too far.”

The Passport 2 History program and the printed Passport booklet are free. Entry fees to each museum remain in effect.

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