Our Round Robin Challenge is to
Grab your camera and show off the sights, sounds and flavors of your locale. One photo or a whole spread. Lets see your town and your favorite spots.
Located in Ventura County California, the City of Camarillo (pronounced cam-a-ree-oh) straddles the 101 freeway about 50 miles Northwest of Los Angeles and 40 miles South of Santa Barbara in a coastal valley 10 miles from the Pacific Ocean at Point Mugu. In a semi-rural setting, the surrounding farmland is some of the most productive to be found anywhere, yielding up to three crops per year.
The Camarillo Ranch was originally a 10,000 acre Spanish land grant created in 1837, patented to Gabriel Ruiz in 1866, then purchased by Juan Camarillo in 1875. His son Adolfo built the Queen Anne Victorian home in 1892. Later the barn and stables were added to support the agricultural work and house the renowned Camarillo White Horses. Today the ranch is owned by the City of Camarillo and operated by the non profit Camarillo Ranch Foundation.
The historic land upon which the Camarillo Ranch now sits was a part of the original Rancho Calleguas, one of the last Mexican land grants (9,998.29 acres). It was given by Governor Alvarado to Jose Pedro Ruiz in 1847. Juan Camarillo (1812-1880) obtained the rancho from the Ruiz family in 1875. Juan was a member of the Hijar-Padres Expedition to California in 1834. He settled in Ventura in 1857. Following Juan’s death in 1880, Adolfo Camarillo, his oldest son, took over the ranch operations. He was 16 at the time. During next 68 years, Adolfo operated the Camarillo Ranch, changing the operations from mostly cattle to crops. He was a leading innovator bringing in lima beans, plus barley, corn, alfalfa, walnuts, and citrus.
Adolfo (1864-1958) married Isabel Menchaca (1861-1936) in 1888 and they moved into an adobe home on the Ranch, which was later destroyed by fire. They had seven children. In 1890, with the help of two Chumash Indian boys, he planted two rows of eucalyptus trees. The trees arched across Highway 101 in Camarillo for many years. Some of the trees still line the north side of the freeway. Adolfo also employed a number of Chumash Indians on the Ranch. [the first collage at the top of the page shows Adolfo Camarillo on one of his famous White Horses. You can read about these famous horses here]
The Camarillo House was built in 1892 by Adolfo and others using the services of Architects Franklin Ward and Herman Anlauf This three-story, 14-room home was built in the Victorian Queen Anne style.
Adolfo’s younger brother, Juan (1867-1935) later donated land for St. Mary Magdalen Chapel (completed in 1914) and St. John’s Seminary (completed in 1939), both prominent in Camarillo history. Juan chose not to stay at the Ranch and lived and worked in Ventura and Buenos Aires
We have only lived in our condo in Camarillo for two years. We have our established home in the state of Washington. Although we weren’t overjoyed about returning to Southern California, we feel blessed to be able to live in Camarillo in the interim. Camarillo is a lovely area with close proximity to the Santa Monica Mountain Recreational Area and Pt. Mugu State Park and Recreational Area.
Camarillo has wonderful access to fresh farm produce and we have a farmers market year round on Saturday mornings. We have several good restaurants in town and one of our local favorites is El Tecolote. We enjoy Mexican food and we have many options for that in Southern California. Our Friends of the Library bookstore is one of the best I’ve ever been in.
I hope you have enjoyed my little tour of my hometown. To see more Hometowns click here.