Ojai Valley Library Friends & Foundation, Inc. (OVLFF)
A 501(c)(3) Corporation


TWICE=SOLD TALES – AN HISTORIC PIECE OF OJAI

Edward Drummond Libbey, the scion of glass manufacturing, came to the Ojai Valley in 1908 at the invitation of a friend from Toledo, Ohio, where Libbey lived and worked. He so enjoyed the town of Nordhoff and the beauty of the valley that he contracted to have a home built on Foothill Road and became a part-time resident.  As years passed Libbey became more and more entranced with the charm of Ojai and resolved to change the hodgepodge of small, false front buildings, so typical of the time, into a showcase of southwestern charm. Working with town leaders and investing significant amounts of his funds, the town was rebuilt in 1916 into the charming Spanish-style look it is today with its arched arcade and Mission Revival style buildings.

During this time Libbey became aware that the large tract of land across Foothill Road from his home was being considered as a venue for a sawmill. To forestall such an occurrence he purchased the land with the idea of developing it into 360 acres of large homes with winding roads throughout. To facilitate the sale of these properties he constructed a Spanish style building on Ojai Avenue in 1922 to house the Arbolada Development Company - the building where the Ojai Library used bookstore, Twice-Sold Tales, now resides. 

After Libbey's death in 1925 the building remained as a real estate office run by Rawson B. Harmon. It shared space with the Ojai Mutual Water Company until 1958 when the last lot in the Arbolada was sold. The building then became the Van Dyke Travel Agency owned by Lucy and John Van Dyke and their son Jock. In 2003 the property was purchased by the Ojai Valley Library Friends and Foundation (OVLFF), a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting the Ojai Valley libraries, and Twice-Sold Tales, the library used bookstore, came into existence.

For almost ninety years this building has stood next to the Ojai Library (itself built in 1928). It reflects the mission revival, Spanish style adopted by the city and offers several interesting design elements. The front, facing the main street, presents two large plate glass windows for the prominent display of goods and materials. The building itself is set back from the pedestrian sidewalk and the stucco and tile façade has decorative tiles set into its surface. The building retains much of the look that it acquired when it first stood selling lots in Libbey's new Arbolada.

 

 



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