"Life of Lulu" by Nick Johnson.
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Zuleika Guiberson with her Willow Grove School Class of 1898. Photos courtesy Fillmore Historical Museum.
Zuleika Guiberson with her Willow Grove School Class of 1898. Photos courtesy Fillmore Historical Museum.
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Story courtesy Fillmore Historical Museum

Mrs. George King, known as Hattie, was born Harriett Busick in El Dorado, California, the daughter of a pony express rider. She came to Bardsdale at age 12 to live with her aunt, Mrs. S. A. Guiberson. She married George King, who was property agent for Thomas Bard, in 1896. Together they had two daughters, Ona and Agnes.

Mrs. King had many interests but two were the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (when she registered to vote it was as a member of the Temperance Party while her husband was a registered Republican), and education. She financed the construction of building that was used for the first high school in Fillmore while the permanent building was completed.

This is an excerpt from a History of Bardsdale Mrs. King wrote in either 1915 or 1922. If you would like to read the entire history, here’s the link to the Museum’s website.

Part 2:
. . . The land on which Bardsdale tract is situated was in cultivation as early as the years 1870-1871, two years before Ventura County was cut out of Santa Barbara County. When Ventura County began with 3,500 inhabitants, its assessed valuation [was] $120,000. The principle products then were horses, cattle, sheep, wool, cheese and butter and the proceeds from these products in the year of 1873 amounted to $307,000. The first newspaper in Ventura County was the Signal, published in Ventura, 1871, by J. L. Bradley. The first election in Ventura County was on the twenty-fifth day of February, 1873. The total vote polled was 630. . .

. . . One of the first projects [Royce] Surdam entered into was the development, or the bringing of water, onto the tract for irrigation. The water was taken out of the river above Mr. G. W. Edwards' and brought through wooden flumes and ditch, totaling about ten miles and said to have cost $8,000. [The] first crop raised after Bardsdale town site was laid out was potatoes, yielding, it was said, 75 -150 sacks per acre. Corn was also raised and [it] yielded surprisingly. There was an abundance of water, and everyone was thrifty and prosperous. One of the first new buildings was the home of Grandma Robertson (now the resident of [the] Robertson sisters). Later the church and school were combined. The now German church, also the German parsonage, the home of Mr. Klages (now the home of Dare), later the Robertson home (now the Walker home) -- on and on, the houses were built. . .

The early colonists were about equally divided between German and English speaking people. Germans from the first maintained their church. The two denominations, of course, held their meetings at different times in the same building. Sunday school was held twice a day, and the church building was occupied most all the day Sunday. [The building that was the German Church is now a private home on Owens Street in Bardsdale.] . . .

In the Spring of 1889, Mr. Surdam, with the help [from the] residents, got up a May day picnic and barbecue. The picnic was held a little to the left of Will Wileman's place, or on the Grandma Robertson place, under a beautiful live oak grove. There were 1,500 people in attendance, and it was estimated that a thousand came from other parts of the county. A special excursion was run from Ventura. All the teams in the county were engaged to bring the people from Fillmore. The car of state led the procession and the small boys and men followed behind on foot. In the car of state all the young girls in the county rode dressed in white dresses in blue and white trimmings. The May queen, Miss Zulieka Guiberson, seated on her throne. The whole exercise of dancing around the maypole and the crowning of the queen was gone through with by the young maidens. Santa Paula and Bardsdale were to furnish the program jointly. Mr. S. A. Guiberson, then the singing school teacher, was to train the singers of Bardsdale. R. G. Surdam was anxious that Bardsdale should not be outdone and did everything possibly to help in the program. Bardsdale's quartet sang their very best. Santa Paula had a quartet and they did their best. When Bardsdale took part, all this end of the county cheered and clapped. Likewise, when Santa Paula took part, the people did the same. There was great enthusiasm in those days. When the meat was done, Ari Hoper went through the crowd and called out in [a] tone loud enough to be heard a mile, "the meat is now ready." This man, in his younger days, was preacher, but the people never wanted him to preach excepting at camp meetings as they could not stand the noise. This picnic was a great success, and it cost R. G. Surdam, a thousand dollar [sic] or more besides what he gave the people. . . .


"An Evening Farewell. As the sunsets, so does the photo of the week. For my last image, I choose an image of a sunset following an afternoon storm created at a favorite shooting location, Faria County Park & Beach. Happy photoing!" by Bob Crum.
"An Evening Farewell. As the sunsets, so does the photo of the week. For my last image, I choose an image of a sunset following an afternoon storm created at a favorite shooting location, Faria County Park & Beach. Happy photoing!" by Bob Crum.
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Bob Crum
Bob Crum

To all who sent me an email encouraging me to continue writing Focus on Photography, thank you. They all touched my heart in ways heretofore unimaginable. For example, this email: "I've had the pleasure of meeting & chatting with you twice; once while you were shooting trains at the Railroad Festival last year, and again earlier this year while you were working at Nova Storage. On both occasions you were thankful for my interest in your writings.

Your column is one of the reasons I seek out the Gazette every Friday. Sometimes the articles are a little too technical for me, but you always find a way to blend your local charm into your rants (phonetographers)and colorful descriptions of local, and not so local (poppy fields) places to shoot photos.

Although I'm sorry to learn of your health problems, I pray that you can find the strength to keep contributing to the Gazette. Please continue to teach and educate us on how to shoot photos that enhance our collective memories of beautiful and/or unusual So. Cal. scenes.......and keep trying to explain to us novices the mysteries of shutter speed, f-stops and all the other details of photography that only your experience and words can explain to those of us who don't wanna depend on "auto focus"!!!

You provide Fillmore with an invaluable wealth of information and experience.......and I would hate to lose that! Yours truly. Greg B."

Another: "I was so distressed by your medical issues I felt I needed to add my voice to your request for a vote to continue with more articles. The photography not being my main interest in your writings, but your "eye" for beauty in all that you see & the pains you take to capture it all in a photograph on paper is truly inspiring to this artist's eye. So for that reason, I want your articles to continue....,.as one artist to another...! I have truly enjoyed each and every one tho I have no idea what all the photo lingo is about. I just enjoy viewing your results. Judy D."

I had no idea that I helped so many to varying degrees but good to hear that I brought some photography newbies up to speed and creating better photos. Others (phonetographers) mostly enjoyed my escapades and shenanigans as I traveled the countryside photographing everything from naked mermaids to majestic arches in Utah. Collectively, I am also pleased to see that all those readers garnered something out of my tech talks and musings. And to see that I also appealed to non-photographers (artists), well, it doesn't get any better than that!

I had hoped that at least half of my 2,692,585 readers would have responded with the two words "keep writing" in the subject box. I'm sad to say that it fell 37 emails short. So, after 811,000 - give or take a couple hundred - words, it's time to put Focus on Photography in the closet and turn off the lights.

My only disappointment was that no one nominated my magnificent, stupendous incomparable Focus on Photography column for a Pulitzer Prize. Hmmm.

Farewell! I love you all, including, ahem, phonetographers!


Fillmore Fire Department
Fillmore Fire Department

The Fillmore Fire Department in conjunction with the Ventura County Fire Department, the U.S. Forest Service and CalFire will be conducting live grass fire training in the west end of Fillmore on Wednesday July 1st from 10 AM – 4 PM. This will be a controlled burn under ideal circumstances that are favorable to training fire crews.

Crews will light small fires that are easily controllable with fire engines and handcrews. The main objective is to give valuable wildland fire fighting experience to all firefighters participating in the drill. Firefighters will be attacking the small fires with water from fire hoses and with hand tools.

The area to be burned is boarded by roads on all sides. Ventura St to the north, River St to the south, E St to the west and D St to the east. There may be a smell of smoke in the air for a few hours but burning will take place to minimize the overall smoke production.

All questions may be directed to Fillmore Fire Department 805-558-0932


Update: The City of Fillmore decided to cancel the 2020 4th of July Fireworks Show.
Update: The City of Fillmore decided to cancel the 2020 4th of July Fireworks Show.
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Update: The City of Fillmore decided to cancel the 2020 4th of July Fireworks Show.


On Sunday, June 21st at 10:30am a Fillmore woman was attacked while jogging along the Sespe Creek Bike Path near Shiells Park, Fillmore. Police are still searching for the suspect.
On Sunday, June 21st at 10:30am a Fillmore woman was attacked while jogging along the Sespe Creek Bike Path near Shiells Park, Fillmore. Police are still searching for the suspect.
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Composite Sketch Released from Fillmore Bike Path Assault

On June 21, 2020, at approximately 1030 hours, a 65-year-old Fillmore woman was jogging on the Sespe Creek bike path near Old Telegraph Road in Fillmore when an unknown man exposed his penis and then attacked the woman. The victim was able to quickly break free from the suspect’s grasp and flee the area before calling the police.

The victim described the suspect as a Hispanic male who appeared to be about 19-years-old, approximately 5’11” tall and 170 pounds, having a medium complexion, and a thin mustache. She said the suspect was wearing dark colored clothing and a hat.

The victim was physically unharmed during the attack. It is unknown if the suspect remained in the area after the victim fled. Detectives with the Sheriff’s Major Crimes – Sexual Assault Unit are investigating this case. Anyone who was in the area at the time or has information regarding this incident is encouraged to contact Detective Jamal Clark at (805) 384-4740 or Sergeant Hector Macias at (805) 384-4730.

Detectives worked with the victim to obtain the attached composite sketch of the suspect. He is described as a Hispanic male, approximately 19-years-old, 5’11” tall, and 170 pounds. He had a medium to dark complexion, black hair, brown eyes, and a thin mustache. He was wearing dark colored clothing and a hat at the time of the incident. Anyone who has information regarding anyone who may resemble the sketch is encouraged to contact Detective Jamal Clark at (805) 384-4740 or Sergeant Hector Macias at (805) 384-4730.

Nature of Incident: Fillmore Woman Attacked by Unknown Man While Jogging
Report Number: 20-83962
Location: Sespe Creek Bike Path @ Old Telegraph Road, Fillmore
Date & Time: June 21, 2020 @ 10:30 am
Unit(s) Responsible: Fillmore Police Department Sheriff’s Major Crimes Unit
Prepared by: Sergeant Hector Macias
Media Follow-Up Contact: Sergeant Marta Bugarin (805) 947-8052 marta.bugarin@ventura.org
Approved by: Captain Jeff Miller

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).


After operating Elkins Ranch Golf Course for almost 60 years, Elkins Ranch Company regretfully announces the closure of the golf course effective September 7, 2020. With careful consideration, the company has made the very difficult, but necessary decision to close our golf course. After two decades of declining play and ever increasing expenses, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Board of Directors has determined that the company can no longer remain viable with the golf course as the core of its business model.

Elkins Ranch Company is a family owned business that was founded in 1930, with farming as its sole endeavor. With the closure of the golf course, the company will return to its agricultural roots.

We are extremely grateful for the public’s support and patronage over the years, particularly our local patrons from Fillmore and the Santa Clara Valley. We are also very grateful for the outstanding staff that has made Elkins Ranch Golf Course such a special and welcoming place. We will truly miss the personal contacts, friendships and camaraderie of our customers, employees and vendors. We want to express our deep appreciation for our staff, our customers, and our community as we move into this new era.


Posted June 19th, 20202
Dear Valued Lake Piru Visitors:
We would like to thank you for your patience during these unprecedented times associated with the Covid-19 pandemic. The District's biggest concerns have been the safety of our visitors and the preservation of the "Lake Piru experience."
At present, there is no set date for the re-opening of the Lake Piru Recreation Area. The District, in an abundance of caution, has prepared and considered a re-opening plan but ultimately the decision was made to keep the recreation area closed until it can be open and operated at 100 percent with all of its amenities. Given that our public pay an admission fee, we did not want to offer a partial re-opening that would greatly limit the visitor experience, while also posing a public health risk. We are tirelessly updating the phased reopening plan and are keeping our Board of Directors apprised of updated County guidelines and the activities of neighboring recreation areas.
In addition, we are reviewing neighboring recreational areas' operations with an eye toward implementing additional measures from their plans to ensure our re-opening is seamless and that Lake Piru and its staff are well prepared for any associated challenges going forward. For now, however, we are not ready to re-open, but we will be very soon. We encourage the public to keep checking the District's website ( www.unitedwater.org ) and the Lake Piru Facebook page ( https://www.facebook.com/UWCDLakePiru/ ) as we will announce our re-opening plans on these sites first.
Thank you all for your patience and we look forward to the time when we can welcome you back to the lovely Lake Piru Recreation area. To add your name to the notification list, click here.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our Chief Park Ranger Clayton Strahan at (805) 826-4512.


Antibody Testing: The Ventura County Health Care Agency is offering free covid-19 antibody testing in Fillmore. The test is a blood test that tells individuals if they have been previously exposed to COVID-19 and have developed antibodies to the disease. Testing is offered at locations throughout the County. More information at: https://www.venturacountyrecovers.org/antibody/ or by calling 805-482-1904. The testing is part of a study with UCLA and California Lutheran University. Fillmore testing is Friday, July 3, from 10am to 6pm at Shields Park, 649 C Street, Fillmore, CA.


With the COVID-19 Pandemic people are wondering about the Annual 4th of July Car and Fireworks Show, which is held every year in Fillmore. Well, this year will be slightly different. Fillmore will have a fireworks show on July 4th, to begin around 9pm.
Unfortunately, this year’s Annual Car Show has been cancelled. But never fear, a group of car enthusiasts are organizing a cruise through Fillmore starting at 10:30am. Details TBD. Photo
courtesy Bob Crum.