Olivas Adobe


Visitor Information

Beginning Sunday, May 9, 2021, the historic Olivas Adobe will open to visitors the second Sunday of each month. Enjoy an afternoon filled with California history, art, and Ventura County's only remaining Monterey-style adobe home from the Rancho-era.

Open 2nd Sunday of the month

May-August 2021
11am - 3pm
Free, donations accepted


Visitors must follow all posted COVID-safety guidelines.

Visit the Murals & Roses al Fresco Art Exhibit webpage.

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General Information

The Olivas Adobe historic site features the restored two-story adobe home of Don Raymundo Olivas. Built in 1847, this Monterey-style adobe home, Historical Landmark No. 115 from the Rancho-era, celebrates Ventura’s Rancho and Latino heritage through docent-led weekend tours, educational outreach programs for school groups, and community events.

The Parks & Recreation Department oversees the Olivas Adobe historic site and the Olivas Adobe Historical Interpreters (OAHI) provide weekend tours, a gift shop, and support seasonal events.

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The Heart of Ventura County
Stories from the Historic Olivas Adobe

The Parks & Recreation Department, Olivas Adobe Historic Interpreters (OAHI), and CAPS Media are excited to share a series of short video stories that help bring the historic Olivas Adobe to life. We hope you enjoy these poignant, illuminating, and often amusing glimpses into life on the Rancho San Miguel land grant, known today as the Olivas Adobe. View the Stories.

Adobe Building Front or Entrance

History

Don Raymundo Olivas and his friend Felipe Lorenzana were granted 4,670 acres of land by Mexican Governor Juan B. Alvarado as compensation for their service to the State. Don Raymundo began ranching his land, known as Rancho San Miguel, in 1847. 

In 1848, gold was discovered in the American River and California history changed forever with the “Gold Rush”. Individuals, referred to as minors, came from all over the world to mine for gold. Knowing the miners needed food, Don Raymundo's cattle herd became his gold mine. These were prosperous times for Don Raymundo. With his new income, Don Raymundo finished the second story of his home. His home, which remains today, was one of the few two-story haciendas in Southern California and one of the most impressive homes in the Santa Clara River Valley. For many years Rancho San Miguel prospered, and Don Raymundo became known for his elaborate parties.

Olivas Adobe Yard

In the 1860’s, droughts in California destroyed most cattle empires. Don Raymundo was able to save his empire by raising sheep instead of cattle. 

In 1864, Don Raymundo’s business partner Felipe Lorenzana sold his half of Rancho San Miguel. 

The death of Don Raymundo in 1879 was the beginning of the end for the Olivas' fortune. Though some family members retained pieces of the land grant until as late as 1968, the house was sold in 1899. Rebecca Olivas, youngest daughter of Don Raymundo, was the last member of the Olivas family to live at the adobe.

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After passing through many hands, the Rancho San Miguel land grant, known today as the Olivas Adobe, was purchased by yeast king Max Fleischmann who restored the adobe building in 1927. Upon Fleischmann's death, the adobe was given to the City of Ventura.

In 1972, the Olivas Adobe opened to the public as a museum.

In 1979, the Olivas Adobe was placed on the National Register of Historical Places.

Olivas Adobe Docents

Volunteer Docents

Are you interested in helping bring history to life? Then become a volunteer Olivas Adobe Historical Interpreter (OAHI). Celebrate the Olivas Adobe’s Chumash, Old West, Rancho, and Latino heritage by supporting weekend tours, educational workshops, gift shop operations, and community events. For more information, contact Recreation Coordinator Gina Reyes at (805) 658-4728, or greyes@cityofventura.ca.gov.

Painting of wedding guests celebrating in the Olivas Adobe courtyardPainting by Laura Jean Jespersen

Murals & Roses al Fresco Art Exhibit

Murals and Roses is a free art exhibit held annually on Mother’s Day at the Olivas Adobe. The exhibit showcases the historic Olivas Adobe Rose Garden and a series of colorful murals painted by renowned California muralist Marguerite Hardeman. Each year, up to fifteen of the murals are taken out of storage and displayed around the Olivas Adobe grounds in celebration of spring. Historic tours of the Olivas Adobe grounds are also provided and a unique gift shop open for browsing. It’s an afternoon filled with history, art, and historic roses in full bloom!

Visit the Murals & Roses al Fresco Art Exhibit webpage.

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Music Under the Stars

Music Under the Stars, an outdoor concert series held on Saturdays during the summer, is one of the Olivas Adobe’s featured events. Presented in the open-air courtyard at the historic Olivas Adobe, sold out crowds spend an evening under the stars dancing and listening to live music. It's an experience you won't want to miss!

A modified version of this event is tentatively scheduled for Fall 2021. Additional details will be provided as soon as State and County safety guidance is released connected to holding special events after the State’s Tier system ends.

Olivas Adobe Preservation

Historic Preservation

As the caretaker of the Olivas Adobe historic site, the City of Ventura is dedicated to its preservation. The City works with experts in the field of historic restoration and preservation to regularly maintain and repair the buildings and structures at this site. Made of adobe, this earthen architecture requires specialized care, especially with adobe mudding and adobe plastering repairs, to maintain its historic authenticity. If you are interested in helping preserve and protect this historic landmark for future generations to enjoy, contact Recreation Coordinator Gina Reyes at (805) 658-4728, or greyes@cityofventura.ca.gov.

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Facility Rentals

The historic Olivas Adobe provides a unique location for facility rentals with an expansive outdoor courtyard and grounds perfect for weddings, corporate events, family reunions, large gatherings, and intimate celebrations. For more information or a facility rental application, contact Recreation Coordinator Gina Reyes at (805) 658-4728, or greyes@cityofventura.ca.gov.

Contact

Gina Reyes
Community Partnerships Coordinator
greyes@cityofventura.ca.gov
(805) 658-4728

  1. Parks & Recreation
    501 Poli St, Room 226
    Ventura, CA 93001

    Phone: 805-658-4726

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