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P.O.L.O. is pleased to announce the transfer of Lavinia Campbell Park into the newly formed P.O.L.O. Park Foundation.

Read P.O.L.O. Park Foundation Press Release.

"Placing the park into the Foundation and then
placing deed restrictions on the land ensures us
that the park will remain a park into perpetuity."

Michelle Griffoul, Foundation President

Most of us hope to leave something for our heirs or our friends, but imagine leaving a park for an entire community! This is what has recently taken place in Los Olivos when the small corner lot adjacent to the flag pole was named “Lavinia Campbell Park” in honor of Lavinia Campbell.

In 1928, Lavinia married Roy Allen Campbell (1905 – 1971) in Huntington Beach. Roy was the tenth of eleven children born to Lillie Dell Hoyt and stage driver Lige Rueben Campbell; Lige came to the Santa Ynez Valley in 1899. For much of their married lives, Roy and Lavinia lived in Long Beach, California, where Roy worked in the oil fields. They had two children Barbara Ramella and Roy A. “Tony” Campbell.

Lavinia purchased the two corner lots in 1947 from the Davis family for $2,600; Bernard Davis, a blacksmith-powder welder and garage owner, formerly ran a drayage business at this location

According to early Los Olivos Improvement Association (LOIA) records, townspeople began referring to the corner as the “Los Olivos Park” in 1983. Since the early 1980s, the “park” has been used annually for community events including Day in the Country and the Quick Draw. In 1986 a courthouse façade was erected here during the filming of the television movie “Return to Mayberry”.

Quoting from a 1988 letter, Lavinia Campbell writes, “I am the sole survivor of the original eleven husbands and wives…I fell in love with Los Olivos and that has never changed. I could never bring myself to sell the corner we bought so many years ago”.

In 2003, the nonprofit local organization, Preservation of Los Olivos (POLO) purchased the property from Lavinia for public use in perpetuity.

A wonderful legacy for Lavinia Campbell and the historic town of Los Olivos.

By Jim Norris

 

P.O.L.O. is a non-partisan, non-profit organization. P.O.L.O. was founded in 2002 for the purpose of being an advocacy group for the preservation of Los Olivos and the Santa Ynez Valley.

 
 
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