Page 12 - R.G. Percy

I was talking with him and he said, "Mr. Foster and you were the Commission. The rest of us backed you up and did what Mr. Foster wanted." That was very true, although we did have monthly meetings. Today, practically all of what we did is gone, and no one seems to care.

The first Highway planting that we did was along the Rincon Highway. The Palms were planted sixty feet apart on both sides of the paved highway, which was twenty feet wide and four feet from the edge of the pavement. We used a wagon and team of horses to haul the trees and another team to follow with a tank wagon to water the trees as they were planted, and a crew of men to do the planting. Water had to be hauled from Ventura as there was no water along the Rincon available. After the trees were planted they had to be watered once a month the following year and hoed around.

Mr. Foster came up in his car occasionally after the Bank closed to see how it was going. On one of his trips, he said to me, "I think that we should have a few small parks between the highway and the beach where people could picnic, and plant a few trees on them."

Hobson Brothers owned an eight thousand acre range which faces on the ocean for a few miles, and the Faria family had a ranch with about a mile of beach frontage. He picked out three places which could be available, about an acre in each, and Mr. Foster talked the owners into deeding these sites to the County, so in addition to planting the palms we developed those at the same time, and they were named Faria Park the first one, and the other two as Hobson Park and Hoffman Park. We used mostly Cyprus trees for planting on them, they are still in use today.

I had too much territory to cover now, and bought my first automobile, a Ford. Before that I had been using my own horse and buggy. The county now allowed me fifty dollars a month for the use of my Ford.

By the time that we had completed the Rincon planting, Supervisor Perkins and Adolfo Camarillo wanted us to do the same and plant palms through the Camarillo area to the foot of the Conejo grade and then we had other requests. The Bard Estate which had large holdings in the Somis area wanted Monterey Pines planted along the Somis road, which was a County road. And Supervisor Clark wanted palms planted along Ventura Avenue, and on the road to Ojai, eventually with pepper trees and live oaks.

Mr. Foster had been conservative about being among the first owners of an automobile in Ventura. He had two excellent driving horses to drive single or as a team, and one saddle horse which his daughters rode frequently. He had a single buggy which he and Pearl drove daily to the Bank, a single surrey with a fringe on top for four people and a large carriage for the double team was used mainly for Sunday picnics. However his brother Fred had one of the earliest automobiles, a two cylinder Ford with one seat for two people. As cars became more common Mr. Foster gave in and bought two Maxwells, one a two cylinder with a single seat, and a top for Mrs. Foster or the girls to use, the other a four cylinder car for four people without a top.

His Brother Fred and his family lived across the Avenue and about a quarter of a mile north of the E. P. Foster home. He was connected with the People's Lumber Company, and I believe also had the agency for the Ford car at first. His Brother Frank lived at Santa Paula on a ranch of about 1500 acres, with an orange orchard and some farming land, but about 12 or 1300 acres of pasture, where he raised cattle.

By the time that Mr. Foster had become the Chairman of the Forestry Commission, and I became County Forester, he had bought a big Winston car. This was a car in the class of the Cadillac of today.