city, Ventura county, southwestern California, U.S. It lies near the Pacific coast, between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara. Originally inhabited by Chumash Indians, the city was founded in 1898 near the site of the Spanish colonial Mission San Buenaventura (1782). The city developed around a sugar-beet factory financed by Henry Oxnard and his three brothers. Other crops grown in the area, including beans and barley, were based on the surrounding alluvial plain. With the development of harbour facilities at adjacent Port Hueneme and nearby military installations, the city grew rapidly and expanded its economic base to include electronics and aerospace plants. Tourism is also economically important. Local attractions include the Carnegie Art Museum (housed since 1980 in the Carnegie Library [opened 1907]) and the Ventura County Maritime Museum. A community college (1975) is located in the city. Point Mugu and Leo Carrillo state parks, Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, and several beaches are nearby. Inc. 1903. Pop. (1990) 142,216; (2000) 170,358.
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