Norwegian Grade Monument Dedication
The City of Thousand Oaks Public Works Department will host a monument dedication ceremony and grand opening celebrating the recently improved Norwegian Grade on Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at 1:30 p.m. in the McCrea Ranch parking lot (4500 N. Moorpark Road, Thousand Oaks). A rain date is scheduled for February 9, 2011.
The section of Moorpark Road between the City of Thousand Oaks and the Santa Rosa Valley, commonly known as the Norwegian Grade, was recently reconstructed with added guard rails for enhanced public safety. The $1.5 million dollar project was partially funded with a Federal highway safety grant and completed by C.A. Rasmussen, Inc. of Valencia, CA.
The Norwegian Grade is part of the region's rich history, built between 1900 and 1911 as a safer route to transport bales of hay and sacks of wheat and barley to farmers on the Oxnard Plain and Port Hueneme Wharf. Members of the Norwegian Colony and their hired help built the road by hand using picks, shovels, crow bars, farm equipment and $60 worth of dynamite given by the County of Ventura.
To recognize the historical significance of the road, members from the Olsen family, Sons of Norway, and the Scandinavian Society and California Lutheran University worked together to design and fund two commemorative plaques to be placed at the top and bottom of the grade. These monuments will be unveiled and dedicated at the ceremony.