Fisherman’s Wharf in Oxnard…A Lost Treasure

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Gold Coast REALTORS, Ventura County, California DRE# 00933005

Oxnard Fisherman's Wharf
Somewhere, far, far a parallel Earth there will be a huge celebration next month in a parallel Oxnard.  This parallel (and more enlightened) Oxnard will be celebrating the 30th anniversary of the grand opening of Fisherman's Wharf to the public back in May of 1978.  There they cherished (or at least performed basic maintenance) on their Fisherman's Wharf and it is still a favorite hangout for locals and visitors alike.  Sadly, in our universe, Fisherman's Wharf has not fared so well.  More like a ghost town now, Fisherman's Wharf is a nearly abandoned place-deserted and rotting.  A testament to the inept county officials entrusted with it's care and management. 

Fisherman's Wharf Damage-Example #1    Fisherman's Wharf Damage-Example #4

Fisherman's Wharf Damage-Example #3  Fisherman's Wharf Damage-Example #2

Last week I stopped by the Fisherman's Wharf in the morning to take a walk around. I was amazed at how much worse the disrepair and damage was from the last time a visited.  These four photos (above) are just a sampling of what I saw.

Summertime at Fisherman's Wharf, Ventura County, CAIf I seem a little bitter, it's because Fisherman's Wharf has a special place in my heart.  Even before I moved to Oxnard in 1986, I enjoyed Fisherman's Wharf.  Always a nice place to take a stroll, enjoy the atmosphere and maybe snack on a little fresh seafood.  I've taken many a buyer relocating to Oxnard there for lunch.  Every time I bought a new camera (pretty often), I'd visit and and test out my new toy.  I took the photo on the right Labor Day weekend in 2002.  Restaurants and shops were open and colorful banners adorned the light posts.  It was still a bright and cheerful place then, and folks were enjoying the last weekend of summer just as they have done for so many summers before.  Little did they know that this was as good as it would ever look again nor did they realize that almost a year would pass before the faded remnants of the banners hanging from the light posts, tattered and shredded would be finally taken down.

4th of July at Fisherman's Wharf, OxnardIt's clear that Fisherman's Wharf's days are numbered.  A developer has acquired the lease from the county and has big plans for the site as I learned last week at presentation on the future of the site.  (I will discuss that in an upcoming article.)  It's obvious that there is so much damage to the buildings that restoring it would require rebuilding major portions of it and is not economically feasible even if there was the will to do so.    

Fisherman's Wharf at DuskIn honor of the 30th anniversary of the Fisherman's Wharf that will be  celebrated nowhere except right here, (at least in this universe) please enjoy a few of my favorite photographs of a place that holds many fond memories for me and perhaps you too.Foggy Morning at Fisherman's Wharf

Comments (6)

Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital
Great pictures, Joe!  It's too bad that the city leaders don't value history more than they do.  Wonder what "improvements" the developers will make?  In your parallel universe, they would agree to restoring Fisherman's Wharf as the price of getting their plans approved.
Apr 26, 2008 01:09 AM
Diane Aurit
LKN Realty, LLC - Mooresville, NC
Lake Norman Real Estate
How sad!  But, at least you have captured the beauty in your photos as a reminder of what was once a wonderful part of your community. 
Apr 26, 2008 01:31 AM
Sondra Meyer:
Colorado Springs, CO
See It. Experience It. Live It.

Oh Joe, what a sad story.  But a good post.  Maybe the developer will be creating something even better.  Stories like this make me wish that I was a developer. 

Your pictures are excellent.  I followed the link to the picture of the church in the middle of the field.   You got a glorious shot of it before it burnt.  Your photography is very, very good.  Makes me want to go buy a new camera and improve upon my skills.  I think one of my favorites was the row of pumpkins.   

Apr 27, 2008 10:21 AM
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

How pitiful that this is happening to such a timeless treasure. I once lived in Ventura on the Rincon. My home fell in the ocean during the January storms of 1981. Of course, nowadays, the Oxnard / Ventura area is considered commuting distance to LA, and I imagine prices are astronomical.

Good photographs, too.


Apr 28, 2008 02:36 AM
Chuck Willman
Utah Homes - Alpine, UT
Utah Homes
It has been ages since I've been there- I can only hope that the development works out... I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you, Joe.
Apr 28, 2008 03:58 AM


I remember why Bud Smith started the project in the 80's.  It's unfortunate most properties, the Wagon Wheel, the Casa Sirena Maria Hotel and the Lobster Trap are just a memory in photographs.  I was an employee of Smiths in the 70's, 80's and early 90's.  I have many photos of the Casa Sirena when the resort had only 64 rooms. 

Took the kids to the Parade of Lights..................

How sweet the memories.

Jan 11, 2012 09:41 AM