This is Day Five of Opening Doors Photo Challenge. Thanks so much Jientje for this fun idea and being the hostess for it. My eyes have been opened to seeing so many great doors and doorways. We have a great old church that sits above Ventura Blvd. in Old Town Camarillo where you can hear the bells peal three times a day. I decided to stop and see it’s doors up close.
It was July 1, 1913. St. Mary Magdalen had been officially established. For several years the brothers, Adolfo and Juan Camarillo, had planned to build a more permanent structure to replace the overcrowded one-room wooden family chapel atop the hill along El Camino Real. Across Ventura Boulevard from the chapel stood a drug store with a high wooden billboard-like front that now stands vacant — the former Southern Pacific railroad depot that had given Camarillo its name. A few blocks westward near the middle of what is now Arneil Road, was the Pleasant Valley Baptist Church that was built in 1890. (This must be what is now Evangelical Free Church of Camarillo) A new hilltop church of ample proportions would set the tone of the growing city for decades to come and serve as a fitting tribute to God, the city, and the first family.
One day while Juan was traveling near his father’s birthplace of Mexico City, a mission-style church caught his eye. He commissioned architect Albert C. Martin to design the Camarillo church along the same lines. Juan built the church in honor of his father, Don Juan Camarillo, and his mother, Martina Hernandez. It was named for Juan and Adolfo’s oldest sister, Magdalena.
On July 4, 1914, the magnificent chapel was dedicated by the Bishop at an impressive ceremony attended by most of the townspeople coming in flag-draped cars.
From it’s hill top position, the chapel’s belfry tower, looking like a multi-tiered wedding cake, was the dominate landmark in Pleasant Valley. It was from this tower, that the bell tolled thrice daily calling the faithful to the Angelus. This was a photo I took earlier in the year.
During the past 76 years, the rugged hilltop chapel has withstood the ravages of earthquakes, fire, and time. Mrs. Gloria Petit Longo recalls the effects of a smoke damaged interior resulting from a fire. It occurred a few days before her wedding and the ceremony was held under paint scaffolding.
For more Opening Doors Photos visit Jientje at Heaven in Belgium.
Photobucket is holding all my photos that I posted on my blog from 2007-2015 hostage and replaced them with big black and grey boxes with threats. So discouraging…as I’m slowly trying to clean up thousands of posts!