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Thousand Oaks' Highlights and HistoryThousand Oaks is a family–friendly community located against the Santa Monica Mountains that is surrounded by almost 15,000 acres of natural publicly owned open space. We offer an outdoorsman's dream with 75 miles of trails for exploring, hiking, or biking. The pride of our community is the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza which opened in 1994 and boasts major productions in entertainment, musicals, concerts, children's shows, ballets, and much more. Thousand Oaks is the hub for shopping opportunities, including the Thousand Oaks Mall and the largest auto mall in the nation, according to J.D. Powers and Associates. Because we are home to more than 30 commissions, boards, and committees; our residents are highly involved in local issues, foundations, organizations, and events. California Lutheran University offers incredible higher learning opportunities to the Ventura County region. Incorporated in 1964 and selecting the name Thousand Oaks to honor the majestic oak trees in the area, our city is a master planned community at its best. Learn more about Thousand Oaks School district and learning centers.
The area that is now called Thousand Oaks was first in habited by the Chumash Indians. It was later discovered in the late 1500's by Spanish explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, who claimed the land for the Spanish King. The area remained unsettled until the Spanish government granted almost 50,000 acres of land to loyal soldiers. In the 1800's, the land was then named the Conejo Valley, Conejo is the Spanish word for rabbit which are abundant in the area. Pioneer migration was welcomed during the 19th Century, at that time they built the first post office and the settlement became a stop on the stagecoach route between Los Angeles and San Francisco.
In the early 1900's the Janss Family purchased 10,000 acres of farm land and began a master planned community. The family's legacy still lives on throughout the Conejo Valley to this day. The valley began to evolve when construction of a highway between Northern and Southern California was built. Louis Goebel opened a Lion Farm in 1927. Tourism rose as people flocked to see these magnificent performing jungle animals, becoming affectionately known as "Jungleland." The movie industry started filming scenes from movies like "Birth of a Nation", "Tarzan", and "The Adventures of Robin Hood" here.