Thousand Oaks in Ventura County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
Historic Norwegian Grade was built by hand between 1900 and 1911 using picks, shovels, farm equipment, and $60 worth of dynamite given by the County of Ventura.
The grade was constructed by members of the Norwegian Colony and their hired help to provide a safe way to move bales of hay and sacks of wheat and barley to farmers on the Oxnard Plain and to the Hueneme Wharf.
The route for the grade was selected because it provided a gradual descent with no hairpin turns and would be safer than existing routes to the Oxnard Plain and Moorpark.
In the early 1900’s, there were no bulldozers, earth moving equipment, etc. Work was done by hand using a star drill and a sledge hammer to pound holes into the very hard volcanic rock; dynamite was inserted into the holes, fuses lit, everyone ran for cover, and it blew. The resulting rocks and debris were moved by hand and a horse-drawn Fresno Scraper to build the narrow, one-lane roadway.
Construction was done in the winter and early spring months because baling and harvesting took precedence during the summer and fall. The grade was later widened to two
Original members of the Norwegian Colony were Ole Anderson, George and Lina Hanson, Ole and Elizabeth Nelson, Nils and Ellen Olsen, and Lars and Karen Pederson.
Erected 2011 by California Lutheran University; Olsen and Pederson Families; Scandinavian American Cultural and Historical Foundation; Sons of Norway; and City of Thousand Oaks.
Location. 34° 14.05′ N, 118° 51.904′ W. Marker is in Thousand Oaks, California, in Ventura County. Marker is at the intersection of Moorpark Road and Calle Contento, on the right when traveling north on Moorpark Road. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Thousand Oaks CA 91360, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Joel McCrea Ranch (approx. 0.7 miles away); Pederson Ranch House (approx. 1.1 miles away); Ronald Wilson Reagan (approx. 3.1 miles away); Lang Ranch (approx. 3.2 miles away); Civic Center (approx. 3˝ miles away); Moorpark’s Community Church (approx. 3.7 miles away); Hunt Olive Tree (approx. 3.8 miles away); Jungleland (approx. 4.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Thousand Oaks.
More about this marker. This marker is at the top of the Norwegian Grade, and an identical marker is located one mile north at the bottom of the grade, in the parking lot of the Joel McCrea Ranch.
Categories. • Roads & Vehicles • Settlements & Settlers •
More. Search the internet for Norwegian Grade.
Credits. This page was last revised on September 2, 2018. This page originally submitted on August 30, 2018, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. This page has been viewed 72 times since then and 22 times this year. Last updated on September 2, 2018, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on August 30, 2018, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. 5, 6. submitted on September 1, 2018, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.