Rancho Camulos Museum | Santa Clarita Concrete Donates Rancho Camulos Museum Repair Job
Whether it was subsidence after many years of drought in the 2010s or residual damage from the 1994 Northridge earthquake, which took its toll on Rancho Camulos, it’s hard to tell. Either way, the northwest wall of the rancho’s historic “main adobe” was collapsing.
The Rancho Camulos Museum board retained the services of an accredited structural engineer with experience in historic structures. The structural engineer recommended an A-B-C slot foundation, where a new concrete foundation would be slipped under the wall in sections, one-third at a time. It was a costly proposition.
The museum board went hat-in-hand to Wayne Crawford, president of Santa Clarita Concrete. Without hesitation, Wayne said “yes” to donating both the materials and the labor for the job.
Erected over the course of a decade beginning in 1853, the hacienda-style adobe was home to Ygnacio and Ysabel del Valle, who owned approximately 48,000 acres of the Santa Clarita Valley at the time including the present communities of Newhall, Valencia, Saugus and parts of Canyon Country. Two decades later, the acreage was sold to Henry Mayo Newhall – but the Del Valles retained the westernmost portion, which became the present Rancho Camulos. In 1884 the rancho was popularized by the Helen Hunt Jackson novel, “Ramona,” which sparked a wave of tourism and migration to sunny Southern California.
The Del Valles sold their remaining landholdings in 1924 to a Swiss dairyman named August Rübel. His heirs own the property today. Still a working ranch, the 1,800-acre Rancho Camulos, with the nonprofit museum buildings in the middle, has been under the ownership of just two families for nearly two centuries. Visiting Rancho Camulos Museum is truly a step back to another time.
For more information about Rancho Camulos Museum and to learn how you can join the museum’s active volunteer force, visit RanchoCamulos.org or call (805) 521-1501. The museum is located 10 miles west of Valencia on scenic Highway 126.