Another Camarillo treasure! This historic Queen Anne Victorian style ranch house was built in 1892 for the family of Adolfo Camarillo. Originally, Camarillo owned 10,000 acres of land, but since then, the city has grown and now the freeway is located right next to the home. The home still sits on 60 acres and encompasses a barn, many gardens and a track for the horses to practice. Now, there is a parking lot, gift shop, and the ranch is owned by the City of Camarillo and run by the Camarillo Ranch Foundation. It is on the National Register of Historic Places in Ventura County.
There are weekend tours led by docents who dress up in attire from the period. I thought this added an authentic touch to the tour. Before I embarked on the tour, I browsed the cool gift shop and explored the gardens.
The ranch house is huge! It was renovated and restored in 2000 and now it is equipped with electricity and furnished with appropriate pieces for the time, although not the original pieces. I entered the house and immediately noticed how it smelled like old house and creaked when I walked! The women leading the tours are really enthusiastic about the ranch, the home and the land, so I liked getting their information and perspective on things.
We went into Adolfo Camarillo’s office, the bedrooms, the parlors, the kitchens, and even into all the powder rooms. I loved looking at all that was on display: photos of the family, props from the house, photos of the ranch, etc. I was surprised how dark the wallpaper and wooden walls made the house but how much natural light the house gets. There are windows everywhere and ambient light floods all the hallways. It was so interesting to see the old architecture. The hallways, doorways, and powder rooms were small but the rooms were really big. And fun fact: the doorknobs were installed low to the ground because Adolfo Camarillo was a short man.
The inside of the house was simply beautiful. The outside is just as pretty. There is a lovely gazebo on the side of the house where the ranch holds many weddings. There are also lots of festivals and events hosted here in the spirit of early century ranching with horses and games.
This location is rich with history. It definitely inspires the time period it came from. If you’re in the area, it a really pretty walk and it makes you feel transported into a different era! Here is the website for it.
An interesting facet of the house was the huge kitchen and the stairway for the servants. It was interesting to me that the family had their own grand staircase right when you enter the home but then a back staircase for the servants and cooks. I wrote a short vignette about what a housekeeper might feel if she ran a ranch house in the early 1900s.
These pictures are amazing. I have a lot more if anyone is interested or want to see something specific. Comment below!