“Our Town” Revisited: An Extravaganza in Three Acts

“Our Town” Revisited: An Extravaganza in Three Acts by Mark Lewis (Originally published in the Ojai Quarterly, summer 2013 issue.) Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town” opened on Broadway in February 1938, and in a sense, it has never closed. Every night of the year, it is said, a theater audience somewhere in America is introduced to […]


The Boyd Center: Remembering Two Young Ojai Men

The Boyd Center: Remembering Two Young Ojai Men By David Mason Ojai Valley News, April 11, 2003 “The Boyd Club is an excellent example of what may be done to make country life interesting and profitable.”- The Ojai, Dec. 8, 1916 This week [April 11, 2003] marks the 100th anniversary of the opening of The […]


Ojai’s Brick Firehouse

Ojai’s Brick Firehouse – County Historical Landmark Information Prior to 1929 the Ojai Valley fire protection was left somewhat to chance and the generosity of impromptu volunteers.  Of course, the northern borders were watched over by the rangers of the Los Padres Forest.  It is to one of the forest rangers who was to become […]


Groovy History: Ojai’s Two:Dot Studio

Groovy History: Ojai’s Two:Dot Studio recorded the sounds of the psychedelic ’60s. Now it’s playback time by Mark Lewis When Dean and JoAnne Thompson built themselves a home in the East End back in 1954, they made the news with their choice of material. Rather than put up a standard suburban ranch house, they hired a contractor […]


Memoirs by Monica Ros, founder of Monica Ros School

In Her Own Words by Monica Ros Transcription of Mrs. Monica Ros’ handwritten notes from approximately 1984-1986, including her autobiography, the school history, her teaching philosophy and the founding principles of the Monica Ros School. EARLY DAYS In what I consider, and I think my sisters would have agreed, our best remembered and formative years […]


Art & About–A Passion for Ojai Music Festival Posters

Art and About… a passion for posters The Music Festival’s vibrant illustrated history by Anca Colbert As Libbey Bowl is about to come alive once again with the magic sound of music, we take a look at some of the art posters created for the Ojai Music Festival: as a group, they give us a […]


E.P. Foster and Ojai’s County Parks

Remembering When… forefathers’ foresight led to valley parks by David Mason “No camping was permitted west of the stream;although parties may spend the day or the evening under the live oaks, and for a small consideration may buy wood from the custodian of the park with which to cook their dinners – or suppers.” “History of […]


Ojai’s Juvenile Delinquency Problem–1926

Who Knows the Solution?  1926 Editorial in The Ojai The following editorial appeared in The Ojai, December 31, 1926: The City of Ojai stands very badly in need at the present time of some one who can solve this problem of boys on the streets at night.  This band of young fellows that ranges up and […]


Rara Avis in Our Midst

ART AND ABOUT… … RARA AVIS in our midst by Anca Colbert Everyone wants to understand painting. Why don’t they try to understand the song of the birds? –Pablo Picasso Have you heard the song of the red-winged blackbirds in this valley? Years ago, walking along the soggy shores of Lake Casitas, I discovered where they gathered […]


Downtown Ojai Renovation: 1919 Article

Civic Improvement Ojai, California How an Old, Uninteresting Town Was Made Beautiful By FREDERICK JENNINGS Architect & Engineer August, 1919 LESS than three years ago what is now the quaint mission village of Ojai, California, was a ramshackle old town called Nordhoff in a mountain pocket forty miles south of Santa Barbara. It was an […]


Transformation of Ojai: 1916-17

The Transformation of Ojai, by Richard Requa San Diego Union 1925 One morning in early spring, some 10 years ago, two men were sitting on the edge of a raised rough plank sidewalk in front of a dilapidated shack. A remnant of a sign over the battered, creaking door informed the curious visitor in letters […]


Architect of Downtown Ojai: Richard Requa Biography

1922 Biography of Richard S. Requa from Clarence A. McGrew, City of San Diego and San Diego County, Volume 11 (Chicago and New York: The American Historical Society, 1922, pages 32-33.) RICHARD S. REQUA is senior member of Requa & Jackson, architects, which recently succeeded the firm of Mead & Requa. The public generally not […]