RANCHO CAMULOS A WALKING TOUR
NATIONAL HISTORIC LANDMARK
STATE HISTORIC LANDMARK VENTURA COUNTY LANDMARK
Photo: Bancroft Library
 Ygnacio del Valle Adobe
The 10,000 square foot u-shaped adobe, with its two-foot thick walls and long corredores is an outstanding and rare example of the rural domestic vernacular style of Spanish-Mexican Colonial architecture.
The original L-shaped four room section built in 1853, evolved into a one-story ushaped plan organized around a central courtyard by 1880 to accommodate the growing Del Valle family. The corredor and courtyard serve as the central organizing elements and circulation between rooms is minimized in the traditionally hispanic fashion.
The main adobe was the first building constructed when Ygnacio del Valle established the ranch in 1853. Living in Los Angeles, Del Valle's foreman managed the ranch until the Del Valle family moved to the ranch in 1861, after the birth of their fifth child. Between 1862 and 1870 seven more children were born at Camulos with only six of the twelve living until adulthood.
Built circa 1867, the chapel features an unusual barrel vaulted wood ceiling under the long gabled porch whose gable end displays a Gothic gingerbread semi-circular verge-board. A decorative stained glass window features a heart surrounded by roses and pierced with a sword.
Historically, three bells hung beside the chapel. The largest was cast by Russians in Kodiak, Alaska and was used to call worshipers to morning prayer. The second slightly smaller bell was also cast in Kodiak in
1796 and originally hung at the San Fernando Mission. The fountain dates from
1853. Early photographs indicate the central stem was changed. The Rubel family rebuilt the fountain circa 1934.
The only building on the rancho constructed by the Rubel family, the
built in 1930 to serve the family's five children, as well as the ranch
b'ookkeeper's children. With its long
rectangular plan, corredor and plaster siding, the schoolhouse was designed to blend with the historic adobe buildings.
Built in 1867, the brick winery with its massive stone buttresses,
was important for the storage of the famous Camulos wines and
brandies, produced between 1870 and 1900.
Wines were aged in casks in the basement. The 1870 census lists
Camulos Ranch winery as the largest of four vintners in San Buenaventura
Township of Santa Barbara County, producing 45 tons of Mission grapes re
sulting in 6,000 gallons of wine and 800 gallons of brandy.
The winery also housed the rancho school on the ground
floor during the 1880s.
Built circa 1910, the large barn is constructed of wood and served to house ranch animals as well as equipment in later years. The gas and oil house, also built circa 1910, is part of the ranch working buildings.
Built circa 1916 in the California Bungalow style was the ranch bunkhouse and is now used as the office. Note the detached pergola on the north side covered by wisteria vines.
 Nachito del Valle Adobe
Built circa 1920, this adobe building, constructed around a courtyard, exhibits the Spanish Colonial Revival style with its tile roof and recessed arched entry. The house was built for "Nachito" del Valle, the youngest son of Ygnacio and Isabel del Valle.
The California Black Walnut tree is the only survivor of four "Black Eagle" seedlings planted by Juventino del Valle circa 1870. It has been written up in Trees of Santa Barhara as perhaps the largest tree of its kind in the Santa Barbara-Ventura County region. The tree's trunk measures approximately twenty-five feet in circumference.
History of Rancho Camulos
The present 1,800 acre Rancho Camulos, established by Ygnacio del Valle in 1853, was carved out of the 48,612 acre Rancho San Francisco, granted in 1839 to Ygnacio's father Antonio del Valle, majordomo and administrator of Mission San Fernando. Camulos is located at the western boundary of the rancho and was originally a Tataviam Indian village known as Kamulus.
By the time of Ygnacio's death in 1880, the ranch had grown from a few hundred head of cattle to a thriving self-contained ranch containing citrus, vineyards, almonds, grain and vegetables supporting close to 200 residents. Camulos wines and brandies became well known throughout Southern California.
Camulos gained national attention as the "Home of Ramona" following the publication of the best selling novel Ramona by Helen Hunt Jackson in 1884. The setting for the novel matched many of the features at Camulos including the adobe, the cross on the hill, the chapel, the bells, the fountain and courtyard. The arrival of the railroad through the valley in 1887 brought literally thousands of tourists to visit the "Home of Ramona." The del Valle family marketed their citrus under the Home of Ramona brand.