Park California was originally a possession of Spain from 1796-1822
by right of discovery and conquest. For the next twenty-five years
it belonged to Mexico until awarded to the United States as reparation
following the Mexican War of 1845.
It is said that the name "Canoga" originated from these watering
troughs, or "Le Canoas," used by the Indians who populated the
area. Between 1912 and 1931, the area was known as Owensmouth,
a name suggested because it was near the terminus of the Owens
River Acqueduct. Gold was discovered in the hills encircling the
valley in March 1842 (preceding the official beginning of the
California Gold Rush at Sutter's Mill near Sacramento in January
1848). Rumor had it that the first $20,000 gold piece coined in
California was made from the ore taken from the surrounding mountains.
In March of 1912, with the founding of the farming community of
Owensmouth, this territory became part of the West San Fernando
Valley's early 20th Century land boom.
Today, Canoga Park has a population of approximately 70,000 people
and is the home to the Ocrutt Estate and Garden Center, the Boeing-Rocketdyne
Division, the Canoga Park-Owensmouth Historical Museum, the Madrid
Theater (featuring live peformances) and the thriving Canoga Park
Antique Row (21500 block of Sherman Way) - a premier destination
for bargain hunters featuring a number of old-fashioned shops
selling everything from vintage jewelry to classic furniture.