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Neale (Elaine) Collection
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition
  • Arrangement
  • Preferred Citation
  • Processing Information
  • Scope and Contents
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Biographical / Historical

  • Contributing Institution: Pepperdine University. Special Collections and University Archives.
    Title: Elaine Neale Collection
    Identifier/Call Number: 0204
    Physical Description: 2.1 Linear Feet 1 Half Hollinger Document Case 1 16x20 flat box
    Date (inclusive): 1940-2004, bulk 1970's
    Abstract: Elaine Neale was born and raised in Agoura, Calif. This collection includes land deeds, postcards, pamphlets, maps, news clippings, and photographs primarily related to the Neale family business, the Agoura Market, and longstanding local landmark Neale's oak tree.
    Physical Location: PAYSON 360 Row 3
    Language of Material: English .

    Conditions Governing Access

    Advance notice required for access

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    This collection was given to Pepperdine University by Brian Rooney in January 2022.
    This collection was given to Brian Rooney by Elaine Neale.


    This collection was received partially in folders from Elaine Neale, via Brian Rooney. This collection is now fully in folders and arranged alphabetically by folder title.

    Preferred Citation

    [Box/folder# or item name], The Elaine Neale Collection, Collection no. 0204, Malibu Historical Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, University Libraries, Pepperdine University.

    Processing Information

    This collection was arranged and described by Anastasia Armendariz, July 2022.

    Scope and Contents

    The collection documents the Neale family in Agoura from 1940-2004, with a bulk of the materials focused on the 1970's. Original and scanned news clippings and photographs provide context into the rapidly changing area as centered on the Neale family and the family business, the Agoura Market. Market ephemera includes postcards and a sign as well as land deeds, photographs, and plat maps. Included in the collection are Neale family photographs and negatives dating from the mid-twentieth century as well as newspaper coverage and letters pertaining to calls for conservation and eventually the collapse of "Neale's Oak" tree. The collection also includes clippings and photographs of local figures such as Olga Glick as well as clippings related to Lake Enchanto and the Chief White Eagle satue. Many clippings and photographs were annotated by Elaine Neale either directly on the object or on attached sticky notes.

    Conditions Governing Use

    Copyright restrictions may appy.

    Biographical / Historical

    Ollie Mae "Ma" Neale (born 1914) ran the Agoura Market from 1946 until her death in 1964. The Agoura Market was located at the intersection of Lewis and Agoura Roads. Agoura Road parallels, and once served in place of, the Ventura Freeway. The market sat on the other corner of Lewis and Agoura from the old post office building, which is still standing. Agoura Market complemented the other businesses on that central stretch of Agoura Road serving as a bustling center for local commuters and long-distance travelers as well as the production crews and celebrities on their way to and from the movie ranches.
    Ma Neale's daughter-in-law, Constance (Connie) Mabel Neale, purchased the market from Walter Wayne and Hazel Leona Fitzgerald for Ma Neale to operate. It was previously operated as Fitzgerald's Market.
    Constance Neale also owned adjoining property with her husband Harold F. Neale (1914-1996), Ma Neale's son. One of their lots was the site of an oak tree estimated to be over 400 years old. This was called "Neale's Oak" even decades after the Neale family relocated from Agoura to Oregon. "Neale's Oak" measured at 85 feet tall and 185 feet in diameter. "Neale's Oak" was checked over by leading arborists and designated a protected historic oak in the 1986 Agoura Hills master plan. There were plans to make a park with benches under the massive canopy of the tree's branches. However, after an intense period of growth spurred by the El Niño rains of 1998, "Neale's Oak" dramatically split under its own weight and collapsed in mid-September of that same year.
    Another Neale-owned lot across Agoura Road from the Agoura Market, was the site of an establishment called The White House. There Constance Neale squeezed and sold fresh orange juice from a window. Henry and Constance Neale's children affectionately referred to it as "the Orange Stand." Constance's mother, Ada Jackson, immigrated to Agoura from England after World War II and lived in a little house behind The White House.
    The significance of these generations of the Neales to commercial and civic life in Agoura was coupled with the integration of other members of the Neale family into the community. Ma Neale's other child with her late husband Fred Neale (1892-1932) was her daughter, Ruth McGuire. Ruth and her daughter Pamela (Pam) McGuire were documented enjoying life at and around the Agoura Market. Two of Constance and Henry Neale's three children, Elaine and Carol, are photographed growing up between Agoura Market and "the Orange Stand." They also enjoyed tripd four miles up Kanan Road to the carousel at the resort destination of Lake Enchanto. With a capacity of 3,000, at one point Lake Enchanto was home of the largest swimming pool in the western United States.
    Elaine Neale was born in Agoura in 1952. While she currently resides in Myrtle Creek, Oregon, Agoura is central to her identity. Her collection of her family's and her own materials related to the Agoura Market and Agoura at large includes materials from original photographs and property deeds to Market-related signage. A note recalling the sight of Basque shepherds herding sheep across the street from her high school under the shadow of a hilltop statue of "Chief White Eagle" and news clippings exploring how the completion of the Ventura Freeway in 1971 dramatically altered the trajectory of the once-thriving local economy along Agoura Road.
    After the death of Ma Neale on July 6, 1964, Ma Neale's son Harold Neale and daughter-in-law Constance Neale ran it for a few years. This provided their children, including Elaine, even more of an immersion into the family business. After eventually closing the Agoura Market, the Neales sold it to Jerry Gaithers in 1976.
    The building was repurposed into centers for performing arts and music. It housed the Stage Door Theater from 1980 to 2008 and then Center Stage Music until 2017. After 5 years of vacancy, the building was torn down by its current owners in March of 2022. A tall red-lettered sign proclaiming "Agoura" that had been on the property decades before the Neales opened the Agoura Market was safely removed from the site and taken to Agoura Hills City Hall.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    California -- History
    Agoura (Calif). -- History -- 20th century
    Real property -- California -- Los Angeles County -- Maps