Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures
Rancho Camulos

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"The Chapel at Ramona's Home, Camulos." 5x8.5-inch cabinet card, circa 1890.

The image is quite faded (above); a digitally enhanced version of this example appears below.

The chapel was built at the direction of Señora Ysabel Varela del Valle, second wife of Santa Clarita Valley landowner Ygnacio del Valle. Triem & Stone (1996) describe it:

The present chapel was also constructed circa 1867, although some form of an earlier chapel existed by 1861. The woodframe chapel measures fourteen feet wide by twenty feet in length, with a thirty foot long porch extending off of the eastern end of the building. The building is constructed on wood and brick piers and covered with plaster. The unusual front gabled porch roof contains a barrel vaulted beaded-board wood ceiling similar to the interior ceiling in the chapel. The gable end is covered with board and batten siding and contains a small white wooden cross. The arch extends across the front of the porch and is trimmed with a decorative fleur-de-lis design that is repeated as a pendant at the gable peak. Three concrete steps lead up to the wooden porch partially enclosed by woven latticework sides. Two raised paneled doors open into the small chapel and are surrounded by wood mouldings. Windows are located on the north and south sides. The wood sash window on the north contains a decorative stained glass window in the upper half. The wood sash window on the north contains six over six lights and wood mouldings. Louvered wood shutters are held back by decorative wrought iron stays.

The photograph is numbered W.H.F. 1080. The L.A. County Natural History Museum identifies "W.H.F." as William Henry Fletcher. U.S. Census records show he lived with his wife, Emma L., at 312 Westlake Ave. in Los Angeles. According to the Huntington Library:

William H. Fletcher was born in Hollis, New Hampshire, in 1838 [May 30], shortly before his family moved to Lyndon, Vermont, that same year. He learned photography while working in the pharmaceutical and jewelry industries. Fletcher moved to Los Angles, California, in 1885, planning to establish himself as a druggist; however, an overabundance of pharmacies obliged him to turn to photography. Fletcher went into commercial photography but did not establish a formal studio or gallery of his own. The subjects of his photographs focused on Los Angeles just when it began to expand with immigrants and new businesses. He also traveled through the areas surrounding Los Angeles, photographing scenes from San Pedro, Santa Monica, Redondo Beach, Pasadena, and Ventura, aiming to tempt New Englanders to vacation out west. Many of Fletcher's photographs were sold as card photographs to curio dealers to sell to tourists. Sometime after 1900, Fletcher retired from professional photography and went into the oil business; he died in 1922.

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LW2871: 9600 dpi jpeg from original cabinet card purchased 2017 by Leon Worden.
19th Century

See Also:
• Charles Lummis Photos 1888

South Veranda


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