Annual Camulos Picnic of 1886: A Party for the Ages.

Webmaster's note.

It's two years after the publication of Helen Hunt Jackson's "Ramona;" no mention is made of it. Oranges are already under cultivation. The Southern Pacific Railroad spur line out of Saugus has been planned but not executed.

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Camulos: A Word Which Means Prosperity.

Home of the Del Valles.

The Grand Annual Picnic — A Delightful Event — List of Guests Present.

About sixteen miles west of Newhall is situated the magnificent Camulos rancho, the home of the Del Valles. It has been the custom for many years to give an annual picnic, which event usually takes place on the 1st of July, the birthday of Don Y. Del Valle. This year the picnic occurred earlier, and was given in honor of Mr. U.F. Del Valle, who has lately attained his majority.

An invitation to a Camulos picnic is always highly appreciated, and pressing must be the business or dire the illness which causes a person to miss one of these delightful affairs. The party from this city arrived at Newhall on Saturday afternoon, under the guardianship of Senator R.F. Del Valle. Conveyances were in waiting, and the trip to the rancho was made through fields of waving grain, under the shadow of grand mountains and across brawling brooks. Laughter and song enlivened the trip, and in a short time the orange groves, the olive and nut trees, the vineyards and the old quaint houses of Camulos showed in the distance. On arrival the party were received by Señora Ysabel Del Valle and other members of the family in a charmingly hospitable manner, which immediately put the guests at ease. Following is a list of the persons who partook of the delightful entertainment provided by the Del Valles, as well as the names of the members of the family, who were unremitting in their attentions to the guests: Senator R.F. Del Valle, Don Pedro Fossas and wife, Los Angeles; Hon. Richard Egan, Don Marcos Forster, San Juan Capistrano; Mr. Dwight Whiting, J.F. Forster and lady, F.G. Schumacher, Julius Roth, John Schumacher, H.C. Wemer, J.L. Vignes, Alphonso L. Denn, H.C. Farquaharson, Miss Vignes, Los Angeles; Miss Matilda Rimpau, Anaheim; Miss Helen Dominguez, Los Angeles; Miss Adela Thompson, Miss Sadie Popplewell, Miss Alice Farrell, Mrs. Ysabel Del Valle, Miss Ysabel Del Valle, Mill Susie Del Valle, Miss Rosa Del Valle, U.F. Del Valle, Juventino Del Valle and wife, John K. Dunn, T.A. Case, Charles Ashby, Temescal; E.W. Barry, Palo Solo; Robert Dunn; M.C. Lyon, A. Thomas, Portland, Ogn.; M. Loewenstein, Los Angeles; Mrs. George Campton, Newhall.

When the party were through the ablutions made necessary by so long a trip, the cheerful sound of the dinner bell rang out upon the evening breeze, and all trooped down to a magnificent vine-clad arbor, where the table groaning with its weight of viands, mostly the products of the rancho, was laid. Senator Del Valle occupied the head of the table and carved the turkeys and other fowl in an artistic style, which proved that he possesses in an eminent degree one of the prerequisites of a married man — at least the reporter thought to from the significant glances exchanged by the young ladies present. The wit sparkled as brightly us the Camulos wine, and friendly jest and ready repartee ruled the hour. It was some time before the guests finished testifying their appreciation of the good things spread before them. At the close of the repast a bell was rung and all within hearing of it repaired to the little chapel in the orange grove, where the Señora conducted the evening devotions. Returning to the spacious parlors, music, singing and dancing were indulged in. Not the least pleasing feature of the evening was the sudden recovery of Mr. Harry C. Farquaharson. This young gentleman was suffering from an attack of rheumatism — an old euemy — and was much sympathized with by everybody, and many were the recipes for the cure of the malady offered him. Imagine the surprise of all to see him, while an entrancing waltz was being played, suddenly drop his cane and prance out upon the floor and engage in the dance. His cure was miraculous and can only be attributed to the influence of bright eyes.

The guests retired at an early hour in order to be refreshed for

The Picnic.

Early Sunday morning a start was made for the picnic grounds which were up the Piru cañon, about six miles from the ranch house. Every conceivable vehicle, from a gig to a four-horse farm wagon was brought into requisition and the jolly crowd started. Arriving at the ground, a lovely spot 'neath noble oak trees, the party alighted and preparations for the day 's enjoyment began. A noble steer was lassoed by native and imported vaqueros and brought to his knees. While in the act of offering him up on the altar, Mr. Frank Schumachertook a photo graphic view of the scene. Don Marcos Forster brandished aloft a wicked looking knife and the whole scene was wildly romantic.

While the savory parts of the lamented steer were being barbecued, the young people grouped under the trees and listened to the soft melodies of Spain rendered by Miss Ysabel Del Valle and the other ladies with guitar accompaniment. Don Julio Roth and Col. M. Lowenstein added their cultivated voices to those of the young ladies and a delightful time was had until the announcement was made that the beef was done to a turn. That repast lingers in the memory yet, and to see the people eat was a sight to strike terror to the heart of the average boarding house keeper. It was hinted that owing to the sudden and unsuspected development of the appetites of the city young ladies another steer had to be sacrificed. When dinner was over the party were treated to the novel sight of a rodeo, which is the Spanish name for the round-up and branding of young cattle. Mr. U.F. Del Valle placed his brand on a large number of calves, and thereby it is to be hoped, laid the foundation of a handsome fortune. After the little calves had been marked for life, the sinking of the sun warned all that the end of a delightful day was drawing near, so the line of march was taken up for the ranch house. The very impressive manner in which the Senator enjoined that care be taken of a certain young lady on the return trip, gave rise to the suspicion that the matrimonial noose may ere long be thrown over the handsome Senatorial head.

After the return home another evening of music and dancing was enjoyed, and all retired to bed awfully tired, but tremendously happy. The next morning all assembled at the gate to bid farewell to Miss Popplewell and Messrs. Egan, Weiner and Whiting, who reluctantly took their departure. It is reported that Mr. Whiting had a slight attack of heart disease when he left, but it is his own fault, as he was thoroughly warned of his danger.

At dinner this day occasion was taken to drink the health of the hosts, who had been so untiring and successful in their efforts to make each and every guest have a good tune. There were many felicitous expressions both in English and Spanish, and the responses were equally happy. The Herald was not forgotten, Don Pedro Fossas proposing the health of its editor and paying a high tribute to this journal.

At night the Camulos Minstrel Troupe, composed of Messrs. Thomas, Roth, Lyons, Barry, J. Del Valle, Schumacher, Lowenstein and Vignes, gave a performance, which was highly enjoyed. Tuesday morning all took their departure, bearing with them the memory of a most delightful experience amid the orange groves of Camulos and full of praises of the hospitality of the Del Valles. May each and every member of the family live long and give many more such pleasing affairs. The reporter is well loaded with notes about this most charming estate, and when space permits will endeavor to give an imperfect description of a rancho which can lay claim to being one of the most beautiful and productive in the whole country.

As a foot note it may be remarked that the route for the S.P. branch as surveyed from Newhall through Camulos seems perfectly feasible and quite easy and inexpensive to build.

News story courtesy of Tricia Lemon Putnam.


• Del Valle Family
• Camulos Postcards
• Winery


Livestock Ledger 1853


Del Valle Buggy


Del Valle Buggy x26


Picnic of 1886


Lummis Photos 1888


Fatal Train Wreck 1898


Camulos Depot ~1906


Postmark 1908


County to Pave Highway 1916


Juventino & Walnut Tree, more (5) 1910s


Revisit After 35 Years 1920


Sign from Camulos Depot


Rail Ticket ~1920

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