A presentation was given on the true history of the adobe. Photo by Michael Gordon
On Sunday, September 9th, the Native Daughters of the Golden West, Poinsettia Parlor, 318 Ventura, held an open house at the Ortega Adobe, 215 W. Main St. A presentation was given on the true history of the adobe by Mr. Ernie Cabrillo. Mr. Cabrillo gave a live presentation and covered much of the historical facts surrounding the Ortega family and the adobe.
The large crowd of mostly local citizens were very much impressed on the local history, and many did not know Ventura had such a historical adobe on Main Street.
In 1857, Emigdio Ortega purchased the land that would become home to the Ortega family for more than forty-years. Emigdio died in 1896; in the following year his son, Emilio used the home to start his “pioneer “Ortega Chili” business. This is believed to be the first commercial food operation of its kind in California.
Emilio Ortega, the eleventh grandchild developed the fire roasting process for chilies. He originated canned chilies, salsa, and the Snap-E-Tom vegetable drink.
During the depression the Ortega family – who made a great contribution to the area – decided to keep its workers on the payroll despite the hard times. In doing so they lost their Ortega chili business.
The city of Ventura acquired the building in 1921.