Saturday, September 26th the Santa Clara and Historical Museum Sespe riverbed, trails, and path clean up took place starting at Shiell’s Park in Fillmore. Caltrans kindly donated trash bags and loaned 20 trash grabbers for volunteers to use. Pictured are a group of kids and their moms who helped with clean up, along with other groups such as the Bearded Villains of Ventura who came out to help.
Saturday, September 26th the Santa Clara and Historical Museum Sespe riverbed, trails, and path clean up took place starting at Shiell’s Park in Fillmore. Caltrans kindly donated trash bags and loaned 20 trash grabbers for volunteers to use. Pictured are a group of kids and their moms who helped with clean up, along with other groups such as the Bearded Villains of Ventura who came out to help.
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Pictured is the Clampitt Fire coming down to Guiberson Road. Photos courtesy Fillmore Historical Museum.
Pictured is the Clampitt Fire coming down to Guiberson Road. Photos courtesy Fillmore Historical Museum.
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Pictured above is the Sparr Packing House, 1915 (it had been replaced in 1913 after an earlier fire).
Pictured above is the Sparr Packing House, 1915 (it had been replaced in 1913 after an earlier fire).
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Fire crews fighting the fire - Fillmore Herald, Oct. 1, 1970.
Fire crews fighting the fire - Fillmore Herald, Oct. 1, 1970.
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Courtesy Fillmore Historical Museum

Fifty years ago, this week, our community almost came to an end. Southern California was ablaze with the largest wildfire in its history to date. The Clampitt Fire had started on the morning September 25, 1970, in the Newhall Pass and within a few hours the winds pushed it to Malibu. The fire crested the ridge into the Santa Clara River Valley and soon was threatening homes and ranches along Guiberson Road and as well as Newhall Ranch, Camulos and Piru. At the peak of the emergency, there were 700 men on the fire lines with assistance coming from all over the state.

On the evening of September 25, one group of fire trucks from King City was speeding down Hwy 126 east towards the fire when about three miles west of town, they saw the glow of flames in Fillmore. Rather than going on to Simi Valley to fight the Clampitt fire they diverted into Fillmore. The former Sparr Packing House on southwest corner of Central Avenue and Main was on fire. Built in 1913 after being destroyed by an early fire, it now was leased to the Ventura County Fruit Growers. It was not currently in use. It was later determined that two teen-age boys in the structure “gasoline sniffing”, had ignited the gasoline, burning themselves, and setting the building on fire.

Fillmore’s Fire Department was on standby to respond to the Clampitt Fire at the County Fire Station when the call came in to respond to the packing house fire. By then the building was fully engulfed and spreading to neighboring buildings. Besides the King City Fire Department, units from Ventura County, CalFire, Santa Paula and the U. S. Navy joined the fight.

The fire jumped the railroad track and ignited and destroyed Bricker’s Store. In the store was a supply of unsold fireworks left from the 4th of July which ignited along with some ammunition. Parker and Sons Automotive, which was in the Rudkin Building (2020, Genmai’s location) also suffered damage. Dr. Nelson, whose veterinary clinic was on Santa Clara, rushed to the clinic to evacuate his patients to his home and kept the roof of the clinic wet to prevent the building from igniting. According to Dr. Nelson, the heat from the fire was so intense that the telephone poles at the back of the clinic began to burn. The fire departments were able to keep the fire from spreading to the homes to the west. The packing house itself was a total loss.

So, what was happening with Piru and Bardsdale who were still threatened by the Clampitt fire? According to the October 1, 1970 Fillmore Herald, backfires were set to save at least three homes on Newhall Ranch and residents from Jack Warring’s home on Camulos Ranch to the James Shiell’s home on Guiberson road had to evacuate but were saved. Flames lapped at the edges of Elkins Golf Course. For four days, the fire continued to flare up. In total , the Clampitt Fire scorched 107,103 acres of brush and forest, destroyed 80 structures and killed four civilians (source: University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources).

Fillmore has a history of being threatened by fire from the 1905 fire which destroyed most of the Main Street business district, to 1970, to the Thomas Fire. Unfortunately, this will probably not change, so it’s best to be prepared.

 


 

Bertha Zermeno DeLara
Age/Aijos: 73
Hair/Pelo: Brown / Marron
Eyes/Ojos: Brown / Marron
Ctothing/Ropa: Dark Clothing / Ropa
Oscura
Details / Detalles

Deputies need your assistance locating Bertha DeLara, last seen at her residence in the 400 Block of Mockingbird Lane in the City of Fillmore. Bertha has been diagnosed with dementia and will have difficulty finding her way to safcty without assistance. If you have seen anybody matching this description, please call the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office at 805-654-951].

Los oficiales de la policia necesitan su ayuda para localizar Bertha DeLara, vista po Ultima vez en su residencia en el bloque 400 de Mockingbird Lane en la ciudad de Fillmore a las 7:00 p.m. el 19 de Septiembre del 2020. Bertha ¢s una mujer hispana de 73 aiios, de tamaiio medio, pelo castafio y ojos cafes. La vieron por tlma vez con ropa oscura. Bertha ha sido diagnoticada con demencia

 


 
This past Monday and Tuesday, at 5pm behind Saint Francis Church, search parties were formed to help continue the search for Bertha Zermeno DeLara of Fillmore who went missing Sunday, September 20th. DeLara, who suffers from dementia, wandered away from her home in the 400 block of Mockingbird Lane in the early morning hours. Groups have been searching bike paths, parks, riverbeds and using horses and ATV’s to help in the search.
This past Monday and Tuesday, at 5pm behind Saint Francis Church, search parties were formed to help continue the search for Bertha Zermeno DeLara of Fillmore who went missing Sunday, September 20th. DeLara, who suffers from dementia, wandered away from her home in the 400 block of Mockingbird Lane in the early morning hours. Groups have been searching bike paths, parks, riverbeds and using horses and ATV’s to help in the search.
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On Sunday, September 20th at 6:25pm Fillmore Police Department and an AMR Emergency vehicle responded quickly to a medical emergency on Ventura & B Street near the 7-Eleven Gas Station.
On Sunday, September 20th at 6:25pm Fillmore Police Department and an AMR Emergency vehicle responded quickly to a medical emergency on Ventura & B Street near the 7-Eleven Gas Station.
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Updated

September 16, 2020

Interim Halloween Guidance

As fall approaches families start to plan for the upcoming holiday season beginning with Halloween. Since some of the traditional ways in which this holiday is celebrated does not allow you to minimize contact with non-household members, it is important to plan early and identify safer alternatives. The Ventura County Department of Public Health would like to share information on how to take part in this holiday in a manner that reduces the risk of spreading COVID-19. Since some of the traditional ways in which this holiday is celebrated are not permitted this year, consider some safer alternatives that are listed below.

The State of California is also expected to come out with guidance on this topic.

Halloween Activities
Not Permitted (gatherings and events are not currently allowed under the State Health Order)
- Halloween gatherings, events or parties with non-household members are not permitted even if they are conducted outdoors.
- Carnivals, festivals, live entertainment, and haunted house attractions are not allowed.
Not Recommended
- Door to door trick or treating is not recommended because it can be very difficult to maintain proper social distancing on porches and at front doors, ensure that everyone answering or coming to the door is appropriately masked to prevent disease spread, and because sharing food is risky.
- “Trunk or treating” where children go from car to car instead of door to door to receive treats is also not recommended, particularly when part of Halloween events, since it is difficult to avoid crowding and sharing food.
Permitted and Recommended
- Online parties/contests (e.g. costume or pumpkin carving)
- Car parades that comply with public health guidance for vehicle-based parades including:
a. Drive by events or contests where individuals dress up or decorate their vehicles and drive by “judges” that are appropriately physically distanced.
b. Drive through events where individuals remain in their vehicles and drive through an area with Halloween displays.
c. Drive in events where individuals can receive a treat bag (limited to commercially packaged non-perishable treats) or take away item from an organizer while the participants remain in their vehicle.
- Halloween movie nights at drive in theaters (must comply with the public health drive in movie theater guidance).
- Halloween themed meals at outdoor restaurants (must comply with the restaurant protocol).
- Halloween themed art installations at an outdoor museum (must comply with the public health museum guidance.)
- Dressing up homes and yards with Halloween themed decorations.

Personal Protection Measures
Regardless of how you choose to celebrate Halloween it is important to keep the following in mind:
1. Correctly wear a cloth face covering to prevent disease spread1 when outside your home and around others that are not part of your household
2. Avoid confined spaces - Actively stay away from indoor spaces that don’t allow for easy distancing of at least 6ft between you and others
3. Avoid close contact — Stay at least 6 feet away (3 or more adult steps) from all other people who are not part of your own household, especially while talking, eating, drinking, and singing.
4. Wash or sanitize your hands often.
5. Clean frequently touched items regularly.
6. If you are sick, or you have been in contact with someone who is sick with COVID-19 or has symptoms of COVID-19 stay home, and away from others.

Know where to get reliable information. Beware of scams, false news and hoaxes surrounding novel coronavirus. Accurate information, including announcements of new cases in Ventura County, will always be distributed by Public Health through press releases, social media, and our website. The website has more information on COVID-19 including FAQs, infographics and a guide to coping with stress, as well as tips on handwashing.
Website: www.venturacountyrecovers.org
Facebook, Twitter, Nextdoor, Instagram @CountyofVentura
Other reliable sources of information about novel coronavirus are:
¢ California Department of Public Health (CDPH, State)
o https://www.cdph.ca. gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/Immunization/nCOV2019.aspx
¢ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, National)
o http://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/novel-coronavirus-2019.html Questions? Please call 2-1-1 24/7 or the Public Information Line: 805-654-2640
Other Public Health resources include the following sites:

¢ California Department of Public Health (CDPH, State) — https://www.cdph.ca.gov/

* Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, National)

http://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/novel-coronavirus-2019. html

 

National Voter Registration Day is celebrated each year in September. This nonpartisan civic holiday celebrates our democracy and encourages us to use our voice and VOTE! Are you registered to vote? Have you checked your registration for correct address and language preference? It is easier to do than you may think. To get ready for the Nov 3 election, The League of Women Voters Ventura County reminds us there are many on-line options that are quick and simple to use. Register to vote:
Registertovote.ca.gov or lwvventuracounty.org Check your Voter Reg Status: voterstatus.sos.ca.gov or call (800) 345-VOTE (8683) or: Ventura County Clerk-Recorder: www.venturavote.org or 805-654-2664
Teresa Camarillo
Oak View, CA

 
Piru in 1929 with the Mission Inn on Center Street at the intersection of Telegraph Road next to the Piru Garage on the north side of the street. Photos Courtesy Fillmore Historical Museum.
Piru in 1929 with the Mission Inn on Center Street at the intersection of Telegraph Road next to the Piru Garage on the north side of the street. Photos Courtesy Fillmore Historical Museum.
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Courtesy Fillmore Historical Museum

In 1930, the Piru News ran a series of articles entitled, “What Piru Has….” The paper described the series as “a series of weekly articles describing the various industries, products, organizations, schools, business houses of Piru and vicinity.” Two of the articles addressed the businesses that were in Piru. Below is the second of the two articles.
You can read more of the Piru News at https://cdnc.ucr.edu/

Piru News, Volume IV, Number 41, 20 November 1930
The United Mercantile store is a branch of a Fillmore concern of the same name. Here it had its origin in the Ventura County Cooperative association, organized by W. G. Cornelius and Hugh Warring and which for a time operated three stores in this district.

George Alltis is the present store manager. A general line of dry goods, clothing, notions, shoes, groceries, paints and hardware is sold.

What is now the United Mercantile store was started more than a quarter of a century ago by W G. Cornelius and Hugh Warring.
Cornelius explains that after the Piru Land and Oil company bought the interests of David C. Cook here, a general merchandising store was started by the company with W. H. Fleet as manager.

Then Cornelius and Warring, who already operated a store at Buckhorn, came into Piru and launched a general store and butcher shop. Fleet sold his interests in the company store to a firm called La Point and Lawrence.

A price cutting war ensued between the two stores with Cornelius and Warring meeting the competition with even lower prices until finally such a method was deemed folly and La Point and Lawrence sold their store to Cornelius and Waning.

Lacking funds sufficient to carry on the new owners organized the Ventura Cooperative association with twenty-five members paid up at $l00 each. Cornelius acted as store manager.

The enterprise proved highly successful and it expanded and opened a branch at Fillmore after buying the stores of George Tighe at Fillmore and Sespe. Many new members were then taken into the association from Piru. Fillmore and Bardsdale.

In later years and under new management the concern was incorporated, and it became the present United Mercantile company.

The Pioneer Market which recently was purchased from A. Nelson by Clays and Nary and which later was bought by Clays and Clays, sells all kinds of fresh and alt meats and vegetables and ice. Mr. and Mrs. Clays owned the market some four years before it was sold to Nelson.

Belty’s Barbershop, R O Belty claims to have been operating a place of business longer than any other person in Piru. He has been in the barber business here for 31 years. Belty has three pool tables, two barbershops and sells candy, cigars, hair tonics, etc.

The Mission Inn operated by Mr. and Mrs. B. A. Clough is located on Center street at the Intersection of Telegraph road in its own building. The Cloughs were proprietors first nine years ago and then were out a year They returned in January of this year. Four years ago, the owners doubled the size of the building. Short orders, meals, soil drinks, candies and cigars may be obtained here.

The cook is Miss Lillian Davis and Miss Elizabeth Wagener is the present waitress.

Next down the street Is the Piru Garage operated by J. P. “Slim'’ Davis, handling Standard and Edington gasoline, Willard batteries and doing a general auto repair Davis has been in the garage business there for two and one-half years. The garage is headquarters for the Piru volunteer fire department, the apparatus being housed there gratis.

Ruiz' Barbershop: For three years G. T. Ruiz has been conducting a pool room, barber shop, soft drink place and card tables in a building belonging to the Eastside Brewing company. Tobaccos, cigars and candies also are sold there.

Highway Market: A general line of groceries, meats vegetables, fresh fruits and nuts are sold at the Highway Market, of which Clyde E. Spencer is the proprietor. A real estate and insurance business is also conducted in this store. Spencer, who formerly was the local bank manager, has considerable trade from motorists as well as townspeople living in that section of town. He takes a pride in keeping his store looking ''shipshape" and clean.

The Bowdle and Bowdle service station is 100 per cent Richfield in gasoline and oils. Tires and various auto accessories also are sold there. Five cabins for tourists are operated in connection with the service station and during the tourist season a rood business is done in rentals. The Piru dance hall is situated on the Bowdle property. This structure is 40 x 80 feet in dimension.

Across the bridge from Bowdle's a gasoline station was installed this summer and is operated by Tom Dominguez.

Harry’s Lunch: "T-Bone" Harry Ridenbaugh conducts a restaurant at the intersection of Telegraph road and Center street. Meals and short orders, soft drinks and ice cream products are sold here.

Opposite Harry’s lunch is Stewart's Garage, oil station, and machine shop. The proprietors are Albert and his father, A. J Stewart. General automobile repair work is done here.

The Ramona Garage which soon is to be the home of the Piru Ford automobile agency in a new building now under construction. is conducted at the Telegraph road and Main street intersection by James and Ace Wallace, brothers. This is another 100 per cent Richfield station.

In addition to doing a general repair business, soft drinks, candies, tobaccos and oranges are sold here.

Tate's Garage: On the dairy road south of town, Oliver Tate does a gasoline, oil and automobile repair business at a place known as Tate's garage.

La Victoria Store is a Mexican chain store is situated on Main street doing business in a general line of groceries.

One of the latest additions to the business section is a physician’s office which was opened a few months ago by Dr. Hart D. Wilson, a young man who came here after serving his internship in an Oakland hospital.

For twenty years William Chessani has had a shoe repair and harness shop in Piru His shop is now on Center street. He formerly conducted the business in a room at his home.

 
What Bertha was wearing when she went missing.
What Bertha was wearing when she went missing.
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Community: Missing Person At Risk
Missing Person: Bertha Zermeno DeLara, 73, Fillmore.
Missing Person: Bertha Zermeno DeLara, 73, Fillmore.

At 5pm today there will be a community meeting in St. Francis church parking lot for Bertha DeLara.

Experienced walkers, hikers and truck owners are greatly appreciated.

If you must bring children, please be prepared to walk through neighborhoods and businesses with flyers.

BRING MASKS.

Bertha was last seen at her residence in the 400 Block of Mockingbird Lane in the City of Fillmore.

She answers to “Mom” and may be hiding.

She is known to hold on to cars when walking and could be in a state of fear.

Please immediately offer her water and food if located.

Bertha prefers to speak English and will not respond easily to Spanish

The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office is asking the public for help in locating an at-risk elderly Fillmore woman who walked away from her house late last night.

Bertha Zermeno DeLara is 73-years-old and suffers from dementia. She walked away from her residence located in the 400 block of Mockingbird Lane. Bertha is described as a Hispanic female, 5’4” 170 lbs. with brown hair and brown eyes. She was last seen wearing dark clothing.

Anyone with information about DeLara’s whereabouts should call the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office at (805)654-9511.

Nature of Incident: Missing Person At Risk
Report Number: 20-130504
Location: 400 block of Mockingbird Lane, Fillmore, CA 93015
Date & Time: September 20, 2020 @ 12:00 AM
Unit(s) Responsible: Ventura County Sheriff’s Office
(S)uspects, (V)ictims, (P)arty, (D)ecedent, City of Residence, Age
(MP) DeLara, Bertha Zermeno, Fillmore, 73
Prepared by: Sergeant William Hutton (805)881-3438, william.hutton@ventura.org
Media Follow-Up Contact: Sergeant William Hutton (805)881-3438, william.hutton@ventura.org
Booking Photo Release: Captain Garo Kuredjian

Ventura County Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1,000 reward for information, which leads to the arrest and criminal complaint against the person(s) responsible for this crime. The caller may remain anonymous. The call is not recorded. Call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477).