Port Hueneme Historical Society Museum Distinguished Speakers: 

Councilmember and former Mayor, Sylvia Muñoz SchnoppAt the Beach 1 (2) for Voter Guide2012

will be leading our celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month at the Port Hueneme Historical Society Museum 220 Market Street on September 17, 2016 at 11:00AM.

Since the history of Ventura County is richly threaded with the names of Spanish and Mexican pioneers, we decided to celebrate Hispanic History Month and invited Councilmember Sylvia Muñoz Schnopp to help us out.

Not only does she trace her heritage back to the early 20th Century in Ventura County, but as a former executive with AT&T Wireless, she also served as a former National Director of Multi-Cultural Initiatives, where she led the way in Spanish-language marketing, media, and public relations.

Those of you who attended her presentation last year on Mexico’s Cristero Revolution already know Councilmember Schnopp to be an entertaining speaker, expert researcher, and gifted historian.

In addition to her wealth of expertise and experience, you can’t help but notice her deep commitment to the citizens of Port Hueneme.  All you have to do is look back at her fruitful meetings with State officials to ensure the protection of the Hueneme Beach shoreline when federal funding proved inadequate; her ongoing efforts to promote local business with the Economic Development Collaborative of Ventura County (EDC-VC) and the Ventura County Economic Development Association (VCEDA); or her successful lobbying for Naval Base Ventura County with the BRAC (Base Realignment and Closure) Taskforce.


Port Hueneme Historical Society Museum Distinguished Speakers: Eleanor Arellanes

ArellanesEleanor Arellanes will be speaking about Chumash History at the Port Hueneme Historical Society Museum 220 Market Street on August 6, 2016 at 11:00AM.

Ms. Eleanor Arellanes was born and raised in the City of San Buenaventura.   She is a member of the Barbareno/Ventureno Band of Mission Indians, who, in the early history of the Chumash, lived off the coast and on the Channel Islands until Spaniards and other settlers arrived.

She has served as a contributing researcher for “Chumash Peoples,” a study compiled by the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History.  At present, she serves on the California Indian Advisory committee at the Museum.

Ms. Arellanes is also currently working on revitalizing the Ventureno Chumash language and Cultural Resources.  In her spare time, she is studying for a degree in Anthropology.

She is the mother (kʰete) of three and grandmother (kmamawaš) of one grandson and one granddaughter

Adolfo Camarillo by Gerry Olsen

The Port Hueneme Historical Society Museum Distinguished Speaker Series: Gerry Olsen

 Adolfo_as_a_middle-age_man__OP_Gerry Olsen will be speaking about Adolfo Camarillo at the Port Hueneme Historical Society Museum 220 Market Street on July 30, 2016 at 11:00AM.  Admission is free.

Don Adolfo Camarillo may have been small in stature, according to author Gerry Olsen, but he made a big impact on the community—including Port Hueneme.

Camarillo, who only stood about five feet tall, worked closely with Hueneme’s Achille Levy to bring lima beans, walnuts and other crops to the region.

The lumber for his spectacular Victorian home (Camarillo Ranch House) was unloaded at Thomas Bard’s wharf.

Adolfo Camarillo was a horse breeder (Camarillo White Horse), a rancher (Rancho Calleguas), a philanthropist and volunteer who belonged to nearly 40 organizations.   Even late in life, he sometimes attended two or three meetings a day.

Two years ago, Gerry Olsen published a biography titled Don Adolfo Camarillo: A Living Legend—it was released just in time to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Don Adolfo Camarillo’s birth.

Olsen is a former public information office for the Ventura Community College District, a member of the Camarillo Ranch Foundation, and retired newspaperman. He also wrote a biography about his Norwegian immigrant grandparents, Nils and Ellen Olsen, who settled in the Conejo Valley in the late 1880s.

Chumash Leader Speech

The Port Hueneme Historical Society Museum Distinguished Speaker Series: Julie Tumanait-Stenslie15me and hus

Julie Tumanait-Stenslie will be speaking about Chumash Culture, History and Song (Within the Context of Chumash Storytelling) at the Port Hueneme Historical Society Museum 220 Market Street on May 21, 2016 at 11:00AM.

Julie traces her Chumash ancestry through her father, Vincent Tumamait, a leader or paha among the Chumash.

She has tracked her ancestors to at least eleven known Chumash villages and as far back in time as the middle of the Eighteenth Century. Historically, that’s even before the Portolá Expedition of 1769 reached Alta California.

Julie will talk about the ancient homelands of the Chumash that once extended from the villages of Hichimin, Lu’upsh and Swaxil on Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz Islands—to as far north as San Luis Obispo County—and as far south as Humaliwo (Malibu).

Julie has resided in the Ojai area almost her entire life, and currently resides in a Meiner’s Oaks home located very near the birthplace of her great-great-grandmother, Maria Ricarda Alulalmeque, who raised in the Chumash village of Matilija.

In addition to raising three nearly adult children, she and her husband Bruce share their home with one rabbit, two birds, four dogs, eleven chickens and too many cats to count.


Monterey Cypress Event

The Port Hueneme Historical Society Museum Grandpawill unveil a plaque commemorating “Grandpa,” Port Hueneme’s beloved Monterey Cypress tree on Saturday, May 14, 2016 at 11:00 AM on the museum grounds behind 220 Market Street.  

As a part of the celebration, Mayor Pro Tem Jonathan Sharkey will be sharing his personal memories of August 4, 1997, when a steady stream of Port Hueneme residents filed past “Grandpa” to reminisce, mourn, and pay their last respects to the “Friendly City by the Sea’s” oldest citizen. The event also included a candlelight vigil at sunset, members of the Chumash tribe giving thanks while burning sage, and the reading of a poem especially composed for the occasion.

The plaque explains that the Monterey Cypress once stood over 100 feet tall and boasted a trunk with a diameter in excess of six feet. A 12-ft portion of the trunk weighed a staggering 17,500 lbs.

While the actual age of the tree has always inspired lively debate, arborists claim that “Grandpa” reached the ripe old age of 375 years, and at its demise, was acknowledged as the “second oldest Cypress in California.”

Lighthouse Presentation (free)

Why are so many of us fascinated by lighthouses?  To some, it’s the symbolism of the light they find most appealing. To others, it’s the faithfulness of the keeper who braves loneliness and isolation to keep the warning beacon burning.


Lighthouses represent hope in the darkest hour, fantasy (many former lighthouses are now romantic getaways) and even the paranormal (hundreds are said to be haunted).


Ms. Castro-Bran has agreed to speak at the Port Hueneme Historical Society Museum (220 N. Market St.) on Saturday, April 2, 2016 at 11:00AM. Admission is free but arrive early to get a good seat.

Castro-Bran promises to share her wealth of archival photos, amusing anecdotes from the original lighthouse keepers, and the fascinating history of Port Hueneme’s two unique lighthouses.

The author is a public affairs specialist in the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and a member of the Aids to Navigation Team for Los Angeles/Long Beach, which repairs and maintains local California lighthouses. She and her then boyfriend (now husband) Kim joined the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary shortly after the tragic events of September 11, 2001.

Prior to writing Lighthouses of Greater Los Angeles, CastroBran authored Lighthouses of the Ventura Coast, which includes Point Hueneme and Anacapa Lights. She most treasures her ongoing relationships with a number of descendants of Southern California’s original lighthouse keepers.

This event as well as admission to the Museum is always free.