“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Thousand Oaks in Ventura County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)


Louis Goebel

Jungleland Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Baker, December 28, 2018
1. Jungleland Marker
Inscription.  On this site Louis Goebel opened one of Southern California’s most popular tourists attractions. In 1925, Goebel purchased five lots for $50 along old Ventura Boulevard, which later became Thousand Oaks Boulevard. This land had formerly belonged to the Newbury and Crowley Families. A year later he established Goebel’s Lion Farm with seven lions and a few smaller animals. He rented the animals out to the movie studios. When Goebel noticed that travelers along the highway began to stop and look at the lions, he saw an opportunity to create a tourist attraction and soon added other exotic animals to his farm. With the help of well-known animal trainers such as Mabel Stark, the world’s only woman tiger trainer, Goebel began presenting shows for visitors. Leo the Lion, famous for his roar at the beginning of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer movies and other productions, was a special attraction. Later, Goebel added a restaurant and his business became a popular place to go in Southern California. In 1945, Goebel sold his profitable amusement park. Under new ownership, the name was changed to the World Jungle Compound. Several years later, again with a different
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owner, the property was named Jungleland. No one else had Goebel’s touch for operating the business, however, and eventually he repurchased it in 1961. Movie stars such as Clark Gable, Johnny Weismuller, and Harold Lloyd came to have their pictures taken with chimps and elephants. People flocked to Jungleland to take pictures of their children with the animals, see the trained animal shows on The Great White Stage, and ride the Jungle Flyer, a miniature steam train. Louis Goebel was a leader in the small community of Thousand Oaks. He was a member of the first Chamber of Commerce, staged a show to raise money to build the first church, furnished all the water for the construction of the Ventura Freeway through the Conejo Valley, and built the first fire station. Goebel’s property was the first to receive natural gas in the Conejo Valley. In the late 1960’s, the popularity of Jungleland began to decline because the new Ventura Freeway routed travelers around, instead of directly past the animal compound. In 1969, after a 43-year history as one of the world’s top animal training center, zoo, and amusement park, Jungleland closed its gates for good and the 1,800 animals were sold at an auction. This site is a Ventura County and City of Thousand Oaks landmark. (Marker Number 63.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Animals
Jungleland Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Baker, December 28, 2018
2. Jungleland Marker
EntertainmentIndustry & Commerce. In addition, it is included in the Ventura County Historical Landmarks series list.
Location. 34° 10.48′ N, 118° 50.872′ W. Marker is in Thousand Oaks, California, in Ventura County. Marker is at the intersection of Thousand Oaks Boulevard and The Lakes Drive, on the right when traveling east on Thousand Oaks Boulevard. Located in the courtyard in front of the Civic Arts Plaza. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2100 Thousand Oaks Blvd, Thousand Oaks CA 91362, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Early Ranchers of this Historic Site (here, next to this marker); Crowley House (approx. 0.4 miles away); The Lone Oak (approx. 1.8 miles away); Triunfo Canyon (approx. 1.8 miles away); The Janss House (approx. 2.2 miles away); Civic Center (approx. 2.2 miles away); Hunt Olive Tree (approx. 2.7 miles away); Lang Ranch (approx. 3.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Thousand Oaks.
More about this marker. This is Ventura County Historical Landmark No. 63, designated in 1981, and City of Thousand Oaks Historical Landmark No. 13.
Jungleland Wall image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Baker, December 28, 2018
3. Jungleland Wall
Tiger Show image. Click for full size.
Public Domain
4. Tiger Show
Mabel Stark, Tiger Trainer image. Click for full size.
Public Domain
5. Mabel Stark, Tiger Trainer
This postcard is featured on the marker.
Credits. This page was last revised on October 30, 2022. It was originally submitted on January 6, 2019, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. This page has been viewed 1,494 times since then and 467 times this year. Last updated on September 1, 2019, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on January 6, 2019, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.

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Jun. 7, 2023