Ventura

“Good Fortune” in Spanish is buenaventura, which is the old name of the town that gave this county its name. Well, San Buenaventura, that is. And it certainly was fortunate to be positioned between the flowing Ventura and Santa Clara rivers. The Portola Expedition that traveled by land over much of California in the 1700’s, found a thriving Chumash city here, “we saw a regular town, the most populous and best laid-out of all that we had seen on the journey up to the present time.” The city that quickly grew from the Mission there made quick work of knocking their good name down a notch or two though, being one of the few cities or counties named for a Saint to drop the Saint part right out of the name. They even went a step further and removed the “good” (the Buena) as well. Shortly after being reduced to just “Ventura”, it is rumored that the county considered renaming themselves after a different Saint altogether- St Ventucky- but no formal agreement was ever reached.