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Del Valle Buggy
Rancho Camulos


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DEL VALLE BUGGY

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Del Valle Period

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Rubel Family 1938

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2009 Restoration x26

The Del Valle Buggy in its original condition — before it needed to be restored. Undated photograph.


The Del Valle Buggy.

The Del Valle Buggy at Rancho Camulos was manufactured about 1850 by Miller & Stevens of 368 Broadway (below Canal Street) in New York City. It made the trip around Cape Horn when it was ordered by the family of Ygnacio del Valle, who had inherited the 48,000-acre Rancho San Francisco (western Santa Clarita Valley) and built their main, extant adobe home on the westernmost section in 1853. The buggy remained behind in 1924 when the remainder of the Del Valle ranch — Rancho Camulos — was sold to August Rubel, whose daughters have said they remember riding around in it on the property.

Turn up the clock to 2008. Rancho Camulos Museum docents Ralph Rees, a retired schoolteacher, and his wife Pat, both of Fillmore, undertook to restore the buggy after seeing it on display at a museum event. Shirley Rubel Lorenz gifted the buggy to the nonprofit museum (paperwork on file), and the work began.

According to a report by docent Marie Wren, who chaired the buggy restoration committee, volunteer Jack Schleimer provided a flatbed trailer and transported the buggy to the Rees home on Foothill Drive in Fillmore in March 2008.

Ralph and Pat Rees donated more than 600 hours of labor on the buggy, while their daughter, Wendy, researched its manufacture. John Morgan, a professional carriage restorer in Oak View (Ojai Valley), provided guidance and sold the antique carriage lamps and other authentic and period-appropriate items used in the project. Patterson Hardware of Fillmore donated small hardware items; several pieces of antique window glass were purchased, and others were donated by Fillmore Building Supply out of salvage from a house that had been demolished years earlier.

Ralph and Pat shopped for suitable fabric for the interior of the coach but determined that a professional upholstery job was required. Wren solicited donations from museum board members, docents, friends and Del Valle family members in 2009. Quality Upholstery of Ventura submitted the lowest qualifying bid ($5,777) and installed the upholstery (headliner, cushions, etc.) at their shop.

Museum volunteers got a peek at the work in progress when the buggy was taken to Logsdon's Restaurant at the Santa Paula Airport for a 2009 holiday party hosted by board member Mary Schwabauer. Then it was returned to the Rees home for the finishing touches.

"Most of the wood in the undercarriage has been replaced," Wren writes. "Several pieces were very intricate, but Ralph was able to reproduce them by hand. New leather straps were made. When it appeared the project was complete, Ralph decided the axles and wheels needed additional attention. The carriage was taken to Michl Tool [Works] in Santa Paula for the work for an additional cost of $955."

Ralph attached a brass plaque near the original manufacturer's plate on the rumble seat, while Pat reconfigured a new pickup truck cover into a carriage dust cover.

Perhaps just like when it was new, on Jan. 13, 2010, the fully restored buggy was put on display on a showroom floor — not on Broadway, but at the William L. Morris Chevrolet dealership in Fillmore.

It remained there for a month before being returned to storage at Rancho Camulos. Today it's brought out for viewing at special museum events.


Rancho Camulos Docent Council

Del Valle Buggy Restoration Project 2009

Restoration Work Performed by Ralph and Pat Rees

Contributors:

Rancho Camulos Museum Board

Rancho Camulos Museum Docent Council

Friends of the Museum

Museum Board Members

Shirley Rubel Lorenz

Mary Schwabauer

Chuck Covarrubias

Inez Haase

Del Valle Family

Karen and Mark Roswell

Hillary Weireter and Gary Giessman

Frank and Susan Janda

Juan and Carolyn Forster

Docents and Friends of the Museum

Docent Council

Chappie Morris

Lorraine Finch

Sue Disesso

Sue Myers

Marion Schuck

Dorothea Phelan

Jeri and Jack Schleimer

Biz Basolo

Julia Preciado

Martha and Dick Richardson

Gordon Uppman

Gloria Hansen

Maria & Dave Christopher

Fillmore Lions Club

Beverly Myers

Bob and Diana Cox

Marie Wren

Jean Mullen

Marlene Jones

Parts donated by:

Patterson Hardware

Fillmore Building Supply


LW2793: 9600 dpi jpeg from digital photograph of photographic print (needs to be scanned) | Original at Rancho Camulos.
RANCHO CAMULOS
DEL VALLE ERA

SEE ALSO:
• Del Valle Family
• Camulos Postcards
• Winery
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Livestock Ledger 1853

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Del Valle Buggy

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Del Valle Buggy x26

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Lummis Photos 1888

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Camulos Depot ~1906

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County to Pave Highway 1916

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Sign from Camulos Depot

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