Forgotten 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. Among the 50 or so homes was a thriving business district that most notably included a dance hall hosting 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. It has been described as unreal by some and a rural slum by others. 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.

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