On Saturday September 4th, 2021, the City of Fillmore hosted an Emergency Preparedness Day in Central Park from 10a.m. to 1p.m. Emergency personal and their vehicles were on hand, and visitors could talk to real life heroes who respond to emergencies throughout Ventura County. Pictured are Fillmore Parks & Rec employees Krista Martinez and Sandra Edwards.
On Saturday September 4th, 2021, the City of Fillmore hosted an Emergency Preparedness Day in Central Park from 10a.m. to 1p.m. Emergency personal and their vehicles were on hand, and visitors could talk to real life heroes who respond to emergencies throughout Ventura County. Pictured are Fillmore Parks & Rec employees Krista Martinez and Sandra Edwards.
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Ventura County Fire Station reps, smiling as they hand out Emergency Preparedness material. Photos courtesy Angel Esquivel—AE News.
Ventura County Fire Station reps, smiling as they hand out Emergency Preparedness material. Photos courtesy Angel Esquivel—AE News.
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On Wednesday, September 1st, 2021, at 11:36am, Fillmore City Fire (E191) was dispatched to a reported structure fire in the area of Santa Clara St and Fillmore Street. Arriving fire crews reported a possible apartment complex fire with nothing showing. Fillmore Fire requested Sheriff’s Department and Investigator 91(IV91) to respond to the scene for investigation; no injuries were reported. No additional information was given at the time of the incident. Photo courtesy Angel Esquivel-AE News.
On Wednesday, September 1st, 2021, at 11:36am, Fillmore City Fire (E191) was dispatched to a reported structure fire in the area of Santa Clara St and Fillmore Street. Arriving fire crews reported a possible apartment complex fire with nothing showing. Fillmore Fire requested Sheriff’s Department and Investigator 91(IV91) to respond to the scene for investigation; no injuries were reported. No additional information was given at the time of the incident. Photo courtesy Angel Esquivel-AE News.
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Courtesy Fillmore Historical Museum

Take a walk on the bike paths around town either along the Sespe or the Santa Clara and you will encounter a number of people out for a run. The track team and cross-country team use the streets to train. Fillmore has an active running community. Here’s a little inspiration for them all.

“The Packing House Bunion Derby”
By Whitie Fitzsimmon

“On the 4th of July, 1927, myself and some other boys who had parents working at the Fillmore Lemon House, decided to participate in the race from Santa Paula to Fillmore. It was part of the holiday barbecue put on by the Lemon House.

I hitched a ride with one of parents of a classmate to the starting point in Santa Paula. The other boys had second thoughts about the race and decided it was too far to run; I decided I would run anyway. The gun sounded and we were off!

The race was going along just fine and after running about three miles, I found myself in the lead. Since I was ahead, I had an entourage of six or seven autos following my progress. They were supplying me with plenty of liquids. By the time I reached Rancho Sespe, I realized I would not make it to Fillmore without getting rid of some of the liquids I had consumed thus far, so I dashed into a lemon orchard and relieved myself.

I returned back to the highway to find eight or ten cars waiting for me to continue the race, so off I went! I was first to cross the finish line in Fillmore. I was later told the next runner behind me was just crossing Sespe River bridge.

I went to Jim Ipswitch’s pool hall to pick up my shirt and pants, left there when I changed into my running clothes. Since I was not eligible to receive the first prize money of $15.00, (my parents did not work at the packing house) Jim Ipswitch took up a collection for me-enough to provide candy, cokes, milk shakes, etc. for me for three or four months. That was the end of the Packing House Bunion Derby!”

This fun remembrance was collected by Kenneth Fine for his An Anecdotal History of Fillmore, California. Kenneth was unable to find someone to publish his book before his death in 1989. With help from Don Nelson, Thomas Nelson, and Doug Fine the book passed into the hands of Marie Wren who was writing her own book on Fillmore history. Marie did some minor editing and had the book published for all to enjoy. There are a few copies for sale at the Fillmore Historical Museum.

 


 
On August 9th photos of the Fillmore High Career Technical Education buildings were taken and it looks as though they are on their way to completion. Only a few more weeks and students will be in the state-of-the-art facility! Construction is being handled by Westgroup Designs. You can visit their website for more details and photos at https:// westgroupdesigns.com/portfolio/fillmore-usdfillmore-high-school-new-cte-buildings/. Courtesy Fillmore High School blog.
On August 9th photos of the Fillmore High Career Technical Education buildings were taken and it looks as though they are on their way to completion. Only a few more weeks and students will be in the state-of-the-art facility! Construction is being handled by Westgroup Designs. You can visit their website for more details and photos at https:// westgroupdesigns.com/portfolio/fillmore-usdfillmore-high-school-new-cte-buildings/. Courtesy Fillmore High School blog.
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On August 27th, 2021, at 3:21pm, Fillmore Fire (E91), Sheriff’s Deputies and AMR paramedics were dispatched to a traffic collision in the area of 3rd Street and Yucca, Fillmore. Upon arrival fire crews reported two vehicles with minor injuries. Fillmore PD shut down 3rd Street into both directions until roadway was cleared. One male patient was transported to a local hospital, condition unknown. Cause of the crash is under investigation. Photos courtesy Angel Esquivel-AE News.
On August 27th, 2021, at 3:21pm, Fillmore Fire (E91), Sheriff’s Deputies and AMR paramedics were dispatched to a traffic collision in the area of 3rd Street and Yucca, Fillmore. Upon arrival fire crews reported two vehicles with minor injuries. Fillmore PD shut down 3rd Street into both directions until roadway was cleared. One male patient was transported to a local hospital, condition unknown. Cause of the crash is under investigation. Photos courtesy Angel Esquivel-AE News.
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Christine Schieferle, FUSD Superintendent
Christine Schieferle, FUSD Superintendent

Below is a letter to Fillmore Unified Families posted on the FUSD Website.

Dear FUSD Families,
As we conclude our first full week of school, we will continue to celebrate having our students back into our schools and classrooms. I would like to thank our dedicated staff, families, and the community of Fillmore for your support, patience, and encouragement as we navigate this school year. Please know we are following all California Department of Public Health and Ventura County Public Health guidelines. With all of the challenges we are facing regarding extensive contact tracing and identifying positive cases, it is the highlight of each day to see our wonderful students engaged, learning, and reconnecting with peers. We will continue to prioritize the safety of our students and do our very best to communicate in a timely manner. Please continue to prescreen your child each day before sending them to school and if your child has any COVID-19 symptoms, please do not send your child to school and please call the school office. Together, we can make this a positive school year for our kids!

Proud to be a part of FUSD,
Christine Schieferle, Superintendent

 
On Tuesday, August 31st at 5:20pm, two separate traffic collisions occurred at the corner at of Ventura and B Street. The vehicle above pulled into the 7-Eleven gas station and appeared to have sustained front end damages; cause of the crash is unknown.
On Tuesday, August 31st at 5:20pm, two separate traffic collisions occurred at the corner at of Ventura and B Street. The vehicle above pulled into the 7-Eleven gas station and appeared to have sustained front end damages; cause of the crash is unknown.
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The second collision took place along Ventura Street; one person was examined at the scene. Cause of the crash is still under investigation. And at least one person was transported to a local hospital.
The second collision took place along Ventura Street; one person was examined at the scene. Cause of the crash is still under investigation. And at least one person was transported to a local hospital.
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Written by Mary Nunez

My grandfather came to Fillmore in 1962, driving up in an old station wagon with his wife and his then six kids. He was moving away from his family down in Orange County, but as it turned out, he was leaving them only to find a new one. A quirky, hard-working, wonderful community, filled with beautiful old souls. A rich valley ribbed with citrus groves and the lingering remnants of stone fruit orchards. A place with a sense of home.

That was the Fillmore he found, the town he entrusted with educating his children, with his ranch, and with his future.

I was born into that future in 2004. The daughter of a social butterfly, I was thrust into everything. I have entered every Fillmore Flower Show since I was 7(and attended the garden tour after), and in the Christmas parade, I was always one of the bedsheet - robed shepherds leading a goat down Central Avenue.

None of this really matters, except to point out that those things haven't really happened this past year and a half. And yes, it's to keep us all safe, and of course that's important. But for the past few months, I've been considering how important my community is to me also. How much I can feel those events not being there, marked on the calendar. I loved those occasions; the runs, parades, holidays. All of it.

But I realized something this past month, while in the middle of Faulkner's The Hamlet. A community is not made up of the events it organizes, its parades, or composed of only the floats who show up.

A community is based on people. People who come together, creating connections and joy. Talking, laughing, and making memories together, taking pride in our town. There is history and guidance in those conversations. Stories about Rancho Sespe, and Camulos, and the way it was. Tidbits on everything from raising plants to raising children. Funny stories, tearjerkers: relationships. But they can’t take place unless we are willing to make a commitment to our community, and recognize that the future of this place, everything that makes it special lies in our hands.

It would be too easy, as Covid, and it's Delta variant rage, to give in to fear, not to hope for the next conversation, the next time we can all be together as a community. To lose the tight-knit sense of family culled and protected over generations. Instead, as the library opens, and school comes back into session, I hope we come back stronger than ever, like chaparral after a fire. At my grandfather’s funeral, the church and hall were filled, with still more people spilling into the outside. Half of those people came from this town, and that is just as much a testament to them as it is to him. My only goal in this “letter” is to try and ensure that the respect, generosity, and friendship I have grown to love here does not get lost in these isolated days.

A friend of mine from Santa Paula likes to make fun of Fillmore - he knows it irks me. But I am proud that our town is small - that you can run into someone just by walking downtown. I am proud of the heritage of the grower., the pickers, and our Mayberry-ness. The ‘F’ on the mountain lighting up at night, and the way San Cayetano stands over us. I hope you’re proud too.

 
Pictured are Rotary President Andy Klittich and speaker Steve Conway of Fillmore who qualified for the World Finals to held in Arizona and spoke with the club about his upcoming benefit for the Boys & Girls Club of SCV. Photo courtesy Rotary Club Member Martha Richardson.
Pictured are Rotary President Andy Klittich and speaker Steve Conway of Fillmore who qualified for the World Finals to held in Arizona and spoke with the club about his upcoming benefit for the Boys & Girls Club of SCV. Photo courtesy Rotary Club Member Martha Richardson.
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Pictured above is FUSD Superintendent Chrissy Schieferle, with Rotary Club President Andy Klittich, after her speech to the group.
Pictured above is FUSD Superintendent Chrissy Schieferle, with Rotary Club President Andy Klittich, after her speech to the group.
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Steve is a Fillmore native and a competitor in the sport of BBQ. He has been competing for several years and is a member of the State Steak Cookout Association. In 2020 he won a Golden Ticket which was followed by the World Finals in Texas where he placed 36th in the world! In 2021 he had competed in 21 events in five states and won another Golden Ticket which qualified him for the World Finals in Arizona. His passion for BBQ has led him to host a World Class BBQ here in Fillmore, Central Steak Out, on October 30th. The event will benefit the Boys & Girls Club of the Santa Clara Valley. This event will include a Kids BBQ; each kid will receive a New York steak to BBQ and a grill. To find out more about this event go to www.centralsteakout.com.

Fillmore's new Superintendent Chrissy Schieferle grew up in Fillmore and graduated from FHS. She began as a
teacher at Fillmore Middle School, was a principal, and held several other educational positions here and in other districts. And now she is back in Fillmore! As the school year begins, she is welcoming students back to the classrooms, and to safe environments. Chrissy is hoping to bring back athletics, clubs, etc., focusing on the positive with counselors at each school, a social worker and mental health counselor at Fillmore High School, and intervention teachers at each elementary school. There is also academic support and free tutoring fulltime at the high school. She wants to continue to elevate education and have FUSD a place where each student is recognized, valued, and inspired to be contributing members of our global society.

 
322-330 Central Avenue as it appeared in 1920 (built in 1910) as a single building with two storefronts. Photos Courtesy Fillmore Historical Museum.
322-330 Central Avenue as it appeared in 1920 (built in 1910) as a single building with two storefronts. Photos Courtesy Fillmore Historical Museum.
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1936 new Post Office drop box supportpost.
1936 new Post Office drop box supportpost.
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2021 Sycamore trees on Kensington where the sheep shearing corral was located.
2021 Sycamore trees on Kensington where the sheep shearing corral was located.
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Baseball Game close to the corner of 1st & Saratoga St. in about 1910.
Baseball Game close to the corner of 1st & Saratoga St. in about 1910.
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Bridge over pole creek about 1919 after its path was changed.
Bridge over pole creek about 1919 after its path was changed.
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McNab House at 1st & Saratoga St. moved to this location in 1910.
McNab House at 1st & Saratoga St. moved to this location in 1910.
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Courtesy Fillmore Historical Museum

Often we seem to highlight places that are fairly well known in our community. But there are some locations which are seen almost every day that most of us don’t pay much attention to.

Our first location is on Kensington Drive. Close to the west end of the street, there is a cluster of 3 sycamore trees, raising the sidewalk and towering over their surroundings. Long before the arrival of the railroad in 1887, this was a location of a corral for sheep shearing. Raising sheep here had been a long established business before development would occur in the late 19th century. But why was it there? The “why” is because Pole Creek, then known as “yellow Creek” ran right past it. The water in the creek was needed by the sheep shearers and the animals. The creek also encouraged the growth of the sycamore trees which still remain along its original path. It wasn’t until the early 20th century that the creek’s path was changed to flow south as it does today. The original creek crossed what would become Fillmore from east to west roughly following part of 4th St and dropping down to about the corner of First and Saratoga, then proceeding past those Kensington Drive sycamore trees and on west to the Sespe River.

The next notable unnoticed spot is the corner of First and Saratoga. There on the south east corner is a lonely concrete post with the date, 1936, near the top. That post was the support for Fillmore’s first neighborhood mail drop box, installed September 30, 1936. The first person to post a letter there was the mayor, Lester Price. Free mail delivery to local residences was just beginning. Before this date residents picked up their mail at the post office. Before mail delivery began that October, home owners needed to buy and install their own mailboxes. The new mail carriers were required to take a civil service exam and, as was customary at the time, women were not allowed to apply. There were two daily deliveries with the postal carriers leaving the post office at 9:15 a.m. and at 12:45 pm. The carriers did not wear uniforms and did not carry stamps, but they could pick up mail from the boxes to take to the post office. One of the first two carriers, “Brick” Fansler reported that every dog on his route knew he was coming and set off barking and charging because of the sound made by his corduroy slacks as he walked the route. This was probably the beginning of a love hate relationship between mail carriers and local dogs.

Located on the northwest corner of First St. and Saratoga St. is the home once owned by John McNab, manager of Sespe Land and Water Co. and member of the family which laid out the City of Fillmore. The house is thought to have been originally located on Catalina Island and moved to Fillmore in 1910. The site was popular for picnicking in the early days because of the large sycamore trees there. Baseball was also a popular pastime then. Fortunately, someone had the foresight to take a picture of a game held in about 1910 as you will see in one of the accompanying photos.

The last locations mentioned in this article are in downtown Fillmore on the east side of the street at 328-330 and 322-324 Central Ave. The building at 328-330 was built in 1910 as a single building with two storefronts. Today it appears as two separate buildings as it has been completely remodeled over the years. In 1915 a new building was built just to the south, adjoining this building at 332-324 Central Ave. The buildings’ look was nearly identical at the time with just a few changes to the façade. This building looks today much as it did when built.

Fillmore is fortunate to have retained as many of the original buildings as it has despite modernization, fires and earthquakes. This is a testament to the concern our citizens have for their shared history.