Friday, January 11, 2013

Agoura Hills - A Brief History

Panorama of Agoura Hills and Westlake Village with Ballard Mountain prominent as the leftmost peak in the image.

Datavo is now located in sunny Agoura Hills, California so we thought we would give you a brief history of our new town!

The area now known as Agoura Hills was inhabited for many hundreds of years by the Chumash tribe of Native Americans. Very few of them lived in the area permanently since it was much easier to get year around food closer to the shore, but during the autumn some would camp out, collect acorns, and hunt different animals such as deer and rabbit.

Explorers from Spain visited California in the 1500's and 1600's for brief periods of time. It wasn't until the end of the 1700's when the Spanish missinaires built the El Camino Real (also known as the King's Highway) connecting all of their missions through out Alta California that the people were here to stay. The road went right through the middle of what is Agoura Hills today. 

In 1800, the Spanish King granted Miguel Ortega a land grant called Rancho Las Virgenes - covering 17,000 acres, which was abandoned after his death in 1810. It was then given to Jose Maria Dominguez as a Mexican land grant in 1834. During this time agriculture played a big role in the history of the city. In 1845 the ranch was purchased by  Maria Antonia Machado de Reyes. (The Reyes Adobe Museum was opened in 2004 and is located in central Agoura Hills and includes the city's oldest building.) 

Agoura Hills is a picturesque area and by the early 1900's it was a popular stop along the Camino Real due to the natural springs at the foot of Ladyface Mountain. As a testament to the areas beauty, by the 1920's the city was briefly known as Picture City due to Paramount Pictures owning a ranch in the area that was used to film numerous Westerns. The name Agoura Hills came about because the residents were required to pick a one-word name, and in 1927 chose the shortest named suggested: a misspelling of Pierre Agoure's last name, who was a Frenchman that settled in the area in 1871. 

During the 1960's Agoura Hills saw a surge in population once the Ventura Freeway section of Highway 101 was built right through the city's heart separating the north and the south sides of the city from each other. The growth continued through the 1970's when schools and the downtown section of the city were erected.

In 1982, Agoura Hills received its cityhood, becoming the 83rd city in Los Angeles County. Throughout the 1990's the city saw more growth and many businesses setting up shop, with downtown filled with shops and restaurants. The 90's also brought the live music scene to the city and many well known bands such as Linkin Park, Incubus, Hoobastank, Dead by Sunrise, and Fort Minor originated from here. 

Today, Agoura Hills is a diverse family community with numerous hiking trails, biking trails, public and private country clubs, tennis, swimming, boating, libraries, nightlife, restaurants, quality medical facilities and neighborhood events.

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