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The county also includes the Channel Islands National Park, one of the United States' most visited national parks.The area was first settled by Native Americans at least 13,000 years ago. Europeans encountered a Chumash village on San Miguel Island in 1542 and a Tongva village called Satwiwa in Santa Barbara County around 1769; they were part of villages known as Canaliños (or Coastanoans). The Spanish Empire claimed it as part of Alta California but no European settlements were established. In 1822 Mexico gained independence from Spain and took control over the area; however due to its distance from any major cities there weren't any efforts made to establish towns or create plantations like that done with neighboring Santa Barbara County . It remained sparsely populated until American settlers arrived in 1848 when it became part of Los Angeles County . After several failed attempts between 1850-1854, Ventura was finally incorporated on April 6th 1866 becoming California's 27th State/County/County Seat town under Governor Newton Booth , who had signed an Act into law creating Ventura Co.