Join "Our California" host Joel Greene as he learns all about Rancho Camulos Museum on a tour with Museum Director Susan Falck.
Episode premiere: May 8, 2017
Presented by permission of the producers.
"Our California" is the creation of Joel Greene, award-winning TV host and producer of the national PBS series "Curiosity Quest" and "Inland Empire Explorer," and co-producer and co-host Melissa Duke. Camera operator Scott Davis and editor Adam Barnum have traversed the state with Joel and Melissa to explore all of the gems and showcase the awesome things the beautiful state of California has to offer residents and tourists.
Joel Greene lives in the Inland Empire. He began "Curiosity Quest" in 2001 as a way to bring families together through quality entertainment. "Curiosity Quest" and "Curiosity Quest Goes Green" air on more than 150 stations nationwide. Greene turned his passion for history into "History Brought to Life" in 1997 to make history fun for students. He stages more than 120 presentations each year at elementary schools throughout Southern California.
Melissa Duke was born and raised in the Inland Empire. She graduated from Cal Poly Pomona University with two bachelor's degrees and has a background in dance and singing. She has sung the national anthem for the Quakes, Clippers, Dodgers, Angels and Kings. Duke began her production career in 2001 on "Curiosity Quest." With a thirst for adventure and travel, she partnered with Greene and has served as public relations manager, media coordinator, advertising director and more.
For more information, visit OurCalifornia.tv.
About Rancho Camulos Museum.
Along a well traveled road known as El Camino Real (The King's Highway) lies a place out of time ... Rancho Camulos. It is one of the best surviving examples of an early California rancho in its original rural environment and stands as a vibrant reminder of the state's Spanish and Mexican heritage. Established by Ygnacio del Valle in 1853, Rancho Camulos was once part of a 48,000-acre Mexican land grant deeded in 1839 to Ygnacio's father, Antonio Del Valle.
The Del Valles were a prominent Californio family involved in state and local politics during the Mexican period and after the transition to statehood. They were famous for their generous hospitality and for maintaining the traditional rancho lifestyle long after it had disappeared elsewhere. Camulos bustled with extended family members and ranch workers, with up to 200 people living on the property during years of peak agricultural production. Among the frequent guests at Camulos during the late 19th and early 20th centuries were a number of prominent writers and artists, including Charles F. Lummis, James Walker, and Alexander Harmer, who were inspired time and again by the rancho's idyllic setting.
Camulos was a noted stop along the main stage coach route — part of the original mission trail — from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara. Padres traveling between San Fernando and San Buenaventura would visit the ranch to say mass for the Del Valle family and nearby residents in the private chapel, which over the years has become endearingly referred to as "the lost mission." Rancho Camulos remained in the Del Valle family until 1924 when it was sold to August Rübel, whose heirs have worked to protect and preserve the site.
Rancho Camulos is also part of literary folklore as the setting for Helen Hunt Jackson's novel, "Ramona," first published in 1884 and still in print today. It is the romantic tale of a young girl raised by a Spanish Californio family who falls in love with an Indian ranch hand. Their life together mirrors the fate of Indians at the hands of white settlers. With its tragic love story and nostalgic view of history, the dramatic tale captured the imagination of the American public and created tremendous interest in California's Hispanic past. Tourists and settlers flocked to the region in huge numbers from the late 1880s until the beginning of World War II. Rancho Camulos — once a stop on the Southern Pacific rail line — was dubbed "The Home of Ramona" and was a must-see attraction for devotees of the novel.
Rancho Camulos Museum is a 40-acre National Historic Landmark situated within an 1,800-acre working ranch. It is the best remaining example of a Spanish-Mexican rancho in its original rural environment and is noted for its literary significance as the setting for Helen Hunt Jackson's novel, "Ramona." Rancho Camulos is dedicated to researching, collecting, preserving and interpreting the diverse cultural heritage and agricultural history of Southern California from 1853-1943. Through restoration of its buildings and grounds, Rancho Camulos seeks to connect the past with the present by offering programs that will educate and enrich all audiences.