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Bard family papers, 1851-1864
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The Bard family is one of the most influential families in Ventura County history. The family moved to the area from Pennsylvania by Thomas R. Bard in the 1860s. He was soon followed by his brother, Cephas "Little" Bard, who was a trained medical doctor. Thomas R. Bard was involved in local politics and went on to serve as a senator in the U.S. Senate. Dr. Bard practiced medicine in Ventura County and his collection of curios served as the basis for what would eventually become the Museum of Ventura County's holdings. Thomas R. Bard's family home, Berylwood Mansion, now on the naval base at Hueneme, was designated a historic site in 1977. The brothers established Elizabeth Bard Memorial Hospital in memory of their mother. The collection consists of correspondence, financial records, ledgers, account books, photographs, notes, and daybooks. The correspondence includes both family and business letters. Topics covered are wide-ranging and largely related to the family's business ventures throughout Ventura County and Southern California.
The Bard family traced their ancestry back to Ireland, from where an ancestor emigrated in 1741 and settled in Pennsylvania. Thomas Bard was born on December 8, 1841, in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. A trained lawyer, he worked for the Pennsylvania Railroad Company under Thomas Scott, who had invested in land in what would later become Ventura County. Following the Civil War, Bard travelled to Ventura County in 1865 to oversee Scott's property. Bard was a member of the Board of Supervisors of Santa Barbara County between 1868 and 1872.
82.45 Cubic Feet (52 boxes, 118 ledgers)
Property rights to the physical object belong to the Museum of Ventura County. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where the museum does not hold the copyright.
COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE: Open for research. All requests to access materials must be made in advance by contacting the Research Library staff via email: library@venturamuseum.org.