In 1898, Joseph Sexton and Owen Marron planted thirteen Blue Gum eucalyptus trees on a hill overlooking the city of Ventura. By 1940, only five remained, the rest were victims of a fire. These five were featured on a bookplate designed by Cornelius Botke. Oddly enough, while Mr. Botke’s bookplate shows the hill with five trees directly behind the library, it is one of the few places in Ventura from which the trees cannot be seen. Vandals chopped down three of the trees, which were later replaced.
At some point, three of the replacement trees became victims of vandalism once again. There is now one tree from the original thirteen and one replacement tree left. These two trees have become the City of Ventura’s unofficial symbol and a beloved landmark for its citizens. More stories of Ventura’s history are available at Foster Library.
Resident Photographer, Aleta Rodriguez