Local author Gwen Alferes will be the featured speaker, 1 to 2:30 p.m., Aug. 14, for the “Speaking of Ventura County” series at the Museum of Ventura County, located at 100 E. Main Street, Ventura. Alferes will present a slide show of rare images from Ventura County’s forgotten town, Foster Park.
Surrounded by steeply sloped hillsides, Foster Park was a tiny rural community that took shape during the oil boom of the 1920s. It was situated at a bend on Highway 33 adjacent to Foster Memorial Park, for which it was named. A community of about 50 or so homes, Foster City had a thriving business district and a dance hall that hosted musical greats of the time–such as Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and the Everly Brothers–and a saloon equipped with a boxing ring. The Ventura River, once loaded with giant steelhead trout, and the Southern Pacific Railroad both ran through the town. With the makings of a Norman Rockwell portrait, it came to its end in the mid-1960s to make room for the hotly-contested extension of the Ojai Freeway. To younger generations and newcomers of the area, Foster Park’s former existence is virtually unknown.
Admission is free for members; $5 for nonmembers. After the talk, the author will have books on hand to sign and sell.