Come Experience More Than Great History at Heritage Square!

Historical Performances & Talks



The following living history performances, fashion shows and historic talks are available through The Friends of Heritage Square. These performances and talks are scheduled as events at Heritage Square and also offered as Guest Speaker presentations at your event, at a location of your choice. Another option is to bring your event to Heritage Square for a luncheon or a tea. The performances at Heritage Square are supported by a grant through the City of Oxnard.

Payment is requested in the form of a Donation to the Friends of Heritage Square, Oxnard.

Call 483-7960 ext. 3 or e-mail 
for more details.

“What We Wore: Fashion Memoirs of a Pioneer Woman”
Annette Petit Laurent was the first of her family to come to California with her pioneer husband Martin. Today, the house they built still stands in downtown Oxnard’s Heritage Square. Annette shares both personal and historic stories and memories of her life as an early settler from France to Pennsylvania and finally Ventura County through fashions of the day, from the 1850’s through 1913. A PowerPoint presentation displays outfits that Annette might have worn at milestone events in her lifetime and important events in local and national history. This presentation can be a live model fashion show or a one woman presentation with vintage costumes on display.

A Visit with Lucy Levy: From Paris Society to Ventura County
Lucy Levy was a Parisian socialite when a matchmaker introduced her to Achille Levy, a merchant from Hueneme, Ca. She tells the story of her grand arrival in Ventura County and the surprises she found as she adjusted to pioneer life, and chronicles her husband’s business in agricultural and as the first banker in “Sugar Town”, as well as her own civic contributions. Her stories begin in 1882 and move into the 20th century, through the Roaring Twenties and the Great Depression as related to the family owned Bank of A. Levy, which served Ventura County for over 100 years.

Living History Performance

An Interview with Sarah Josepha Hale: “The Godmother of Thanksgiving”
Did you ever wonder how this uniquely American holiday got started? Most people in the USA never even heard of Thanksgiving until Sarah Hale, a widowed mother of 5 children, introduced it in 1827. Sarah shares her passionate and unrelenting 40 year campaign to create a national day of Thanksgiving while the country was in the midst of a Civil War. Using direct quotes from her actual journals and editorials, as the Editor of the first American magazine for women, and from letters to and from 5 presidents of the USA, Sarah’s story is an authentic representation of how a woman on a mission can get the job done!

Women’s Suffrage: A Reader’s Theatre “Herstory” Lesson
This presentation is in the form of a Reader’s Theatre script for your own group. Members of your group may participate. The setting is Ventura County, 1920, just after the 19th amendment has passed, granting women the right to vote across the nation. The characters in the script are Ventura County ladies, gathered to celebrate and to review the years leading to women’s suffrage through a series of letters and newspaper articles that capture the times from 1848-1920.

A Meeting of the Edwardian Tea Society for Downton Abbey Fans and Fanatics
It’s 1913 and three women with different viewpoints speak about life in an English Manor. Lady Wyndham is an aristocrat whose topic is “How to Marry an English Lord”. Mrs. Cutler, the cook, discusses “Life Below Stairs” and Miss Diana presents “A Modern Woman’s Viewpoint of Society Life”.

Fashions Inspired by the Downton Abbey Years
A look back at the drama we love – the characters, events and the romance of the time period. Find out how the changing world of the early 1900s affected fashion trends of the 19teens and the Roaring Twenties; and how those fashions were revisited again in the years to come. This presentation can be a live model fashion show or a one woman presentation with costumes on display.

Tales of Early Oxnard
Frances Kaufman Petit tells how her family crossed the country in a wagon train on the Oregon Trail and settled on the Oxnard Plain. She tells what Oxnard was like in the Wild West days and how the coming of the Sugar Beet Factory changed everything. One of her favorite stories is how Oxnard got its name.

Music from the Gilded Age to the Broadway Stage
Carrie Jacobs-Bond, composer, singer and pianist was the first woman to sell 1 million copies of a hit song. She comes to Heritage Square as a guest of Harriet Puntenney, our local music teacher who lived in one of the houses that was moved to Heritage Square during the 1920s-1940s. Join Harriet and Carrie for a conversation about music from the 1890s to the Broadway musicals of the 30s and 40s, sharing memorabilia, juicy anecdotes, humor, and songs by composers such as Scott Joplin, the George M. Cohan, the Gershwins, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, and Rodgers and Hammerstein. Live music will be performed and the audience is invited to sing along.

How I Met Santa, by Mrs. Claus
This spirited lady tells her story, from her childhood in the 5th Century, to becoming the First Lady of Christmas. You will have to suspend reality and embrace the magic of Christmas as she talks about her romance with Nicholas, tells some unknown tidbits about the ever popular jolly old man, how some of our favorite Christmas traditions got started and her adventures throughout the centuries, including how she “saved Christmas” from those who tried to abolish it. Come and meet the great woman who has stood not only behind but alongside the great man for hundreds of years!

Overview of Heritage Square
This PowerPoint presentation starts with a brief history of the Oxnard Plain, starting with the pioneer farming families arriving in the 1870’s to the evolution of the redevelopment project that became Heritage Square in the 1980’s. The houses that were moved to Heritage Square each have a unique history and architecture. Pictures and narration will explain how the houses and the people who lived in them played an important role in local history and how these buildings continue to survive and are appreciated today.