Ventura in Ventura County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
A unique example of an early working-class adobe home.
Spanish and Mexican adobes once lined Ventura's downtown streets but only the Ortega Adobe survives today due to its continuous occupation as a residence or business.
Emigdio Miguel Ortega (1813-1893) built his adobe around 1857 on this 200' x 200' lot, once Mission San Buenaventura property later owned by ex-Mission Ventureño Chumash. While census records list Ortega's occupation as laborer or vaquero (cowboy), he came from a pioneer Californio family. His grandfather Jose Francisco Ortega (1734-98), as chief scout for Gaspar de Portola on the first Spanish exploration of California in 1769, is cited as the first European to set eyes on San Francisco Bay. Emigdio and his wife, Maria Concepcion Jacinta Dominguez Ortega (1817-1905), raised 8 of their 13 children at the adobe.
The home is skillfully built with a river cobble stone foundation and almost two-feet-thick walls of plastered adobe block, a molded and sundried compound of soil, water, sand and chopped straw, and tejas (roof tiles) purchased from the quake-damaged Mission. The sala (living room),
Emilio Carlos Ortega (1857-1942), the eleventh child of Emigdio and Maria, brought the cultivation of mild "Anaheim" peppers to California from New Mexico, invented a method to roast and can them in his mother's kitchen for sale, and established the state's first commercial food enterprise in 1897. His Pioneer Green Chili Packing Co., later the E.C. Ortega Co., operated in a wood-frame shed just east of the adobe, employing a dozen men to put up about 1,000 cans per day. Operations moved to larger quarters in Los Angeles in 1900.
The adobe passed from the Ortegas in 1905 to a member of the nearby Chinese community, Ung Hing, who played a key role in its preservation. Acquiring the property in 1921, the City of Ventura leased it to various tenants as a saloon, gas station, temporary police headquarters and boys club before its 1970 restoration, designation as City of Ventura Historic Landmark No. 2 in 1974, and application as The Ortega Adobe Historic Residence, number 785 for the National Register of Historic Places (CA VEN 785H).
There's more to see! From 9 am-4 pm, please walk down the driveway and look into the open doors for a view of the interior of the building and more history of the Ortega Adobe.
Location. 34° 16.894′ N, 119° 18.256′ W. Marker is in Ventura, California, in Ventura County. Marker is on Main Street west of Olive Street, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 215 W Main St, Ventura CA 93001, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Hobson Bros. Packing Company (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); El Caballo (approx. ¼ mile away); San Buenaventura Mission Aqueduct (approx. 0.4 miles away); Lavanderia (approx. 0.4 miles away); San Buenaventura China Alley Memorial (approx. 0.4 miles away); San Buenaventura Mission Cross (approx. half a mile away); Chumash Hutash Fiesta (approx. half a mile away); Old County Court House (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Ventura.
Also see . . . Ortega Adobe. (Submitted on December 20, 2019.)
Categories. • Hispanic Americans • Industry & Commerce • Settlements & Settlers •
More. Search the internet for Ortega Adobe.
Credits. This page was last revised on December 29, 2019. This page originally submitted on December 20, 2019, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. This page has been viewed 61 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on December 20, 2019, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. 5. submitted on December 29, 2019, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.