For every street, there's a history. KPCC has found some of the stories you can find right under your tires.
Hosted by KPCC
Airs Occasionally

Las Virgenes Road

If you dig deep enough into Southern California history, you'll strike water. Settlers had to find the wet stuff if they wanted to thrive in our dry landscape. One water story can be found on a local street sign – Las Virgenes Road in Calabasas.

It's a truncated version of the name of a Spanish rancho: El Rancho de Nuestra la Reina de Las Virgenes. That translates as "the ranch of our Lady of the Virgins."

Barbara Marinacci says, "it doesn't mean 'Virgin' apparently, but it means a source of pure water."

Marinacci wrote the book "California's Spanish Place Names." She says the earliest Spanish visitors wrote a lot about places with good water. Father Juan Crespi described the Calabasas-Agoura area as "a plain of considerable extent and much beauty, forested in all parts by live oaks and much pasture and water."

Those virgin springs are still quenching thirsts in Calabasas. For more than half a century, the city's been getting its water from the Las Virgenes Municipal Water District.