Interpretive Outreach Programs

Living History Field Trips & Classroom Presentations for 3rd & 4th Grade

For almost 40 years, the City of Ventura’s Interpretive Outreach Program has offered teachers and students interactive educational programs at local historic sites and in the classroom. This year's programs include the "Gold Rush" and "Olivas Adobe Historic Rancho".

During a living history field trip or classroom presentation, students are actively engaged as they learn through hands-on experience. These programs aim to nurture a life-long appreciation of our cultural history.

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"Gold Rush": 3rd & 4th Grade - Gold Pan Pete and Strike-It Rich Sam, our own ‘49ers, will share lively gold tales and amazing facts! Students will learn where the first claim was, how it was mined, and the impact gold had on Ventura County and California.

"Olivas Adobe Historic Rancho": 4th Grade - The California Rancho Period will come to life as you hear the story of wealthy rancher Don Raymundo Olivas, his family, and the expansive adobe home he built between 1847 and 1849. Students will tour an authentic adobe home and try their hand at typical rancho chores.

Registration for Ventura Unified School District & City of Ventura Schools begins April 20, 2022. Registration for all other schools begins April 27, 2022. 

View full details and registration information in the program brochure below:


Email Interest List

To stay up to date on future Interpretive Outreach Program offerings, add your contact information to the interest list.

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Video Series

Because we LOVE bringing “history to life”, we have created a series of educational videos sharing Life on the Olivas Adobe Rancho. We hope you enjoy the videos as much as we enjoyed creating them.

Episode 1 - Introduction to the Olivas Family

Interpreter Tom explains when Don Raymundo & Dona Teodora Olivas received a land grant from the Mexican government and started building the present-day two-story Olivas Adobe known in 1847 as the Rancho San Miguel.

Episode 2 - Corn Grinding

Interpreter Leonor demonstrates one of the important chores at the rancho, grinding large kernels of corn into masa for tortilla making!

Episode 3 - Making Tortillas

Interpreter Susie explains how tortillas were the essential food item for the Olivas family and the workers on the rancho.

Episode 4 - Downstairs House Tour

Interpreter Susie leads us through the rooms on the first floor of the adobe house. See furnishings, artifacts, and unique instruments used during the 1800’s.

Episode 5 - Upstairs House Tour

Join interpreter Leonor as she walks through the bedrooms on the second story of the Adobe.

Episode 6 - Rancho Tools

Interpreter Tom describes the many tools used on a working cattle rancho.

Episode 7 - Making Adobe Bricks

Check out the adobe mud-pit and learn about the process of making your own adobe bricks with interpreter Tom.

Episode 8 - Conclusion

Join the interpreters in the Olivas Adobe courtyard and learn how the Rancho Period finally came to an end due to numerous dramatic weather incidents.