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THE  DESIGN of the Piru mansion is attri-
        buted to the architectural team of Samuel and
        Joseph  Cather Newsom,  the  most  renowned
        late-Victorian architects in California. It is a
        typical Newsom rendering of the Queen Anne
        Victorian  style.

         THE HOUSE WAS BUILT between 1886 and
        1890 by David C. Cook, who grew up in Illinois
        and founded a  company bearing his name to
       · publish  religious  books  and  Sunday  school
       papers -a company which still is in business as
        the  Cook  Publishing  Co.  of Elgin,  Ohio.  His
       health failed  when  he  kwas  a  little  past 40.
        Seeking a favorable climate, he selected Ventu-
       ra County, then beyond the end of rail lines, and
       purchased the Mexican land grant known as
        the  Rancho  Temescal,  which  included  the
       present  town  of  Piru  and  several  miles  of
       tributary canyons. He laid out the town, built a
       hotel,  the  Methodist  church  down  on  the
       corner, and, finally,  the  mansion.

         MR. COOK was a  devout Methodist, and set
        out to create both a profitable fruit ranch and a
        new  Garden  of Eden.  Conforming  to  fruits
        mentioned  in  the  Bible,  he  planted  dates,
        grapes,  pomegranates,  figs,  apricots,  and
        olives.  The  olives  and  pomegranates  have
        "gone native" and now grow thickly in the town
        and  on  the  hills  around the house.

          THE  RAILROAD  was  completed  about  the
        time the house was under construction, which
        allowed for doors, windows, lumber, and tile to
        be shipped in, as well as for dried fruit to be sent
        to  market.

          THE MANSION was equipped with gas, since
        there were natural gas wells on the ranch, but it
        had no electricity or running water. The small
        circular structure uphill from the main house
        is  the  three-hole  outhouse,  which  was  used
        until the turn of the century when Mr. Cook, his
        health restored, departed for the East and left
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