Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures
Grave Marker for Baby August Adrian Rubel
Rancho Camulos

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November 21, 2013 — Brand-new headstone (installed 1 week ago) marking, for the first known time, the grave of baby August Adrian Rubel on the grounds of the Rancho Camulos Museum (10 miles west of Interstate 5 on Highway 126).

Baby August lived a month, from Dec. 11, 1925, to Jan. 12, 1926. His parents were August (Sr.) and Mary Rubel, who had recently purchased the rancho. According to Shirley Rubel Lorenz, who would have been August Jr.'s little sister (she was born April 16, 1927), the family always knew him only as "Little Boy."

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Infant Son of August Rubel Dies Suddenly.

The many friends of Mr. and Mrs. August A. Rubel of Billiwhack Stock Farm will be grieved to learn of the sudden passing of their infant son August Adrian, at 7:30 o'clock this morning.

The little fellow, only a month old, was apparently in good health yesterday. Early this morning he was overcome with a fit of vomiting. Inhalation caused a congestion in the lungs and although Dr. Merrill of Santa Paula worked feverishly, and the pulmotor [respirator] from the Ventura fire department was brought into action, the child could not be revived and died in a very short time.

Mr. and Mrs. Rubelt [sic] are overcome with grief.

Brief services and burial took place this afternoon.

News story courtesy of Lauren Parker.

According to Triem & Stone (1996) and to his two surviving daughters in 2013 — Shirley Rübel Lorenz and Nathalie (Rübel) Trefzger — August A. Rübel was a New Yorker born in Switzerland while his parents were traveling there. (Despite the umlauts, he didn't speak German, according to his daughters.) He grew up on the East Coast and served with the American Field Service during World War I, driving an ambulance in France from the fall of 1917 until 1919.

Rübel attended Harvard University and came to Ventura County in 1922, first living in Aliso Canyon near Santa Paula where he and his bride, the former Mary Colgate McIsaac, ran a dairy called Billiwhack (pronounced Billy Whack). According to family tradition, after their prize bull died, the dairy went broke and they purchased Rancho Camulos (pronounced kə-MOO-lōs) from the heirs of Ygnacio del Valle in about 1924. They moved to the property in 1925 and raised five children there.

The AFS ambulance service was reactivated in 1939. American volunteers drove ambulances in France, North Africa, the Middle East, Italy, Germany, India and Burma, carrying more than 700,000 casualties by the end of World War II. August returned to the AFS in 1942 and was killed in Tunisia on April 28, 1943, when the ambulance he was driving hit a German land mine. He is buried in an American military cemetery in Carthage, now a suburb of Tunis. (After the war, in 1947, AFS transitioned into a student exchange program.)

Mary Rübel married Edwin Burger in 1946, who continued as the resident manager of Rancho Camulos after Mary's death in 1968. Subsequently the ranch has been managed by descendants of August and Mary Rübel.

The Rübel family continues to own the ranch. In fact, only two families — the Del Valles and the Rübels — have owned Rancho Camulos since 1839, when it was granted by Gov. Juan B. Alvarado to Mexican Lt. Antonio del Valle as part of the Rancho San Francisco.

Today it makes a lovely setting for a wedding. The historic buildings are operated by the 501c3 nonprofit Rancho Camulos Museum, and they're open for tours on weekend afternoons. Rancho Camulos is located located just 10 miles west of Interstate 5 on scenic Highway 126. For more information visit

LW2520a: 19200 dpi jpeg from digital image by Leon Worden.

HABS Survey Photos 1934 x17 thumbnail
HABS Survey Diagrams 1934/36 x17
Prince Aaggie 1920s

Shirley with Bulldog ~1928

Fountain at Cocina ~1920s-30s

Shirley & Nathalie Birthday ~1931

Del Valle Stagecoach 1938

Rübel & Carey Kids ~1940

Foreman Charlie Rycroft

August Rubel at Desk

Johnny Dingtoes

August & Gerald 1942

August Rübel 1940s

August Rübel Grave Marker

Double Wedding 1950s

Peter Rubel 1935-1957

Grave Marker, Baby August ("Little Boy") 2013

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