Painter James collected over 1200 photos of Fillmore World War II servicemen. Pictured above is one of the framed Fillmore World War II servicemen displays. Photos Courtesy Fillmore Historical Museum.
Painter James collected over 1200 photos of Fillmore World War II servicemen. Pictured above is one of the framed Fillmore World War II servicemen displays. Photos Courtesy Fillmore Historical Museum.
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Mr. A.H. James, also known as Painter James, was first known for painting and decorating businesses, then became known as the community painter.
Mr. A.H. James, also known as Painter James, was first known for painting and decorating businesses, then became known as the community painter.

Courtesy Fillmore Historical Museum

The April 14, 1944 headline in the Fillmore Herald reads “Thirty-Three Cadets Are Entertained Here During Easter.” Air cadets in training in Lancaster, far from home over the holiday spent a weekend at the homes of generous local citizens. Fillmore families adopted themfor the weekend. They were entertained with an open house, the key to the city, a house party and dance at Camulos. Church services and a round of informal activities including picnics, horseback riding, and swimming filled the rest of the weekend.

Mr. A. H. James, known as Painter James, was the guiding spirit behind these activities. He worked with the commandant of Mira Loma Airbase to bring the cadets to town. The cadets arrived at the depot (now part of the Fillmore Historical Museum) and were picked up by the host families. They were welcomed by families by the name of Peyton, Haase, Brown, Mc Kim, Smith, Rubel, and many others including of course James. Many of these names we still recognize.

Mr. James repeated this act of kindness toward our servicemen and women several times. The Easter 1944 celebration was the tenth such event that Painter James organized. At a similar Christmas visit for 55 air cadets and 5 WAVES, a letter from home was presented to eachvisitor as part of the festivities. Other groups came from Oxnard, Santa Ana, Taft, and Santa Barbara. Twelve hundred cadets were invited to Fillmore in this one year.James arranged for transportation, entertainment, and sleeping quarters for all of the visiting guests. He also organized wheelchair basketball games for wounded veterans from Birmingham Hospital in Van Nuys.

Mr. James was born in Greenfield, Iowa in in 1892, married Lillian Hilbert in 1917, and died in 1970. Coming to Fillmore from Colorado he ran a painting and decorating business and was known to the community as “Painter.” He had threesurviving sons who survived to adulthood. His son Robert, a staff sergeant in the Army Air Corp, was killed in the Philippines in 1942.

The Fillmore Historical Museum is especially grateful for another enormous project that Mr. James created during the war years. He collected over 1200 photos of Fillmore World War II servicemen. Part of the collection was put into albums and was on display in town. Others were framed and displayed upstairs at Briggs Hardware store where the Veterans of Foreign Wars used to meet. Later they were housed in the local Memorial Building along with other mementos. They now hang in the upstairs hallway at the Museum. This collection has over 300 photos; a few of the photos are still unidentified. Frank Erskine added names to most of the photos. Some also display a star. A gold stars signify that the veteran was killed, silver indicates a prisoner of war, and red is for the wounded. Currently nineteen (19) of the photographs are unidentified. You can view their photographs at https://www.fillmorehistoricalmuseum.org/unidentified-wwii-f. If anyone can help us identify these men, we would very much appreciate it.

Mr. James continued his efforts during the Korean War as well. The Museum would like to expand the collection with more who served in Korea and also photos of local men who served in Viet Nam. If you know of someone please contact us at the Museum at 805 524-0948 or email us at fillmore.museum@gmail.com. We can scan the originals and return them to you.

 


 
On Wednesday, July 8th, actress Naya Rivera went missing in Lake Piru after renting a pontoon for herself and her 4-year old son. Her son was found asleep on the boat, wearing a life jacket, about three hours after they left the docks. An extensive search took place until July 13th, when her body was recovered in the northeast end of the lake. Her death was ruled an accidental drowning. Photos courtesy Ventura County Sheriff ’s Department.
On Wednesday, July 8th, actress Naya Rivera went missing in Lake Piru after renting a pontoon for herself and her 4-year old son. Her son was found asleep on the boat, wearing a life jacket, about three hours after they left the docks. An extensive search took place until July 13th, when her body was recovered in the northeast end of the lake. Her death was ruled an accidental drowning. Photos courtesy Ventura County Sheriff ’s Department.
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Naya Rivera
Naya Rivera

Ryan Dorsey, ex-husband of late Glee star Naya Rivera, 33, has filed a lawsuit on behalf of his and Rivera’s 4-year-old son, Josey, for wrongful death and negligent infliction of emotional distress. The move comes after Rivera’s tragic death from drowning at Lake Piru in early July 2020.

The lawsuit names Ventura County/Operators of the lake property, the United Water Conservation District and Parks and Recreation Management as defendants.

According to the court filings, the pontoon Rivera rented at Lake Piru did not contain certain important safety features, including a safely accessible ladder, adequate rope, an anchor, a radio and more. The suit also says the boat did not come with floatation devices, although other boaters at the scene said they found Josey alone on the boat with Rivera’s purse, her wallet, and a life jacket.

“There are no signs warning visitors about the dangers of swimming in the lake, to wear life vests when swimming or boating, or that dozens of others have drowned in Lake Piru,” the filing says.

It is believed, as Rivera and her son swam in the lake, the boat drifted away. According to earlier reports, the child told authorities that his mother helped him onto the boat, but she was not able to climb on and disappeared under the water surface. Her body was recovered five days later.

According to the filing, the wrongful death claim, which typically proceeds a formal lawsuit against a government entity, was rejected by the County on September 8th. The United Water Conservation District rejected the wrongful death claim on October 14, 2020.

 


 
On Monday, December 1st the City of Fillmore hosted their Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing guidelines this year’s ceremony was done virtually with Fillmore Mayor Tim Holmgren hosting the event. This year’s tree was donated by Prancers Farm. Visit the City of Fillmore Facebook page to see video.
On Monday, December 1st the City of Fillmore hosted their Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing guidelines this year’s ceremony was done virtually with Fillmore Mayor Tim Holmgren hosting the event. This year’s tree was donated by Prancers Farm. Visit the City of Fillmore Facebook page to see video.
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Southern California Edison is facing a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) event in several areas within Ventura County. The Fillmore Active Adult and Community Center will be a Community Resource Center staffed with a Customer Service Team to support customers impacted by this event. SCE’s staff will follow COVID-19 guidelines for indoor and outdoor facility operations. The details for this Public Safety Power Shutoff event are as follow: Location Address: 533 Santa Clara St., Fillmore 93015. Start Date: Thursday, 12/03/2020. End Date: Saturday, 12/05/2020. Hours of Operation: 8 AM – 10 PM.

 


 
With what seems like housing going up almost everywhere in Fillmore, the Heritage Grove Development has been making steady progress despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Heritage Grove Housing Development is located near the El Dorado Mobile Home Park. The development is broken into three sections: Iron Horse, East Bridge, and the Orchards, and has plans for a park as well.
With what seems like housing going up almost everywhere in Fillmore, the Heritage Grove Development has been making steady progress despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Heritage Grove Housing Development is located near the El Dorado Mobile Home Park. The development is broken into three sections: Iron Horse, East Bridge, and the Orchards, and has plans for a park as well.
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Pictured is the Arundell family circa 1910. Tommy Arundell put his first beehives in Pole Creek in 1879. Photos courtesy Fillmore Historical Museum.
Pictured is the Arundell family circa 1910. Tommy Arundell put his first beehives in Pole Creek in 1879. Photos courtesy Fillmore Historical Museum.
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Based on interviews by Charles Jarrett in 1934
Basolo Family circa 1890.
Basolo Family circa 1890.
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George Henley
George Henley
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Caswell Carl Elkins
Caswell Carl Elkins
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Courtesy Fillmore Historical Museum

In prior articles you’ve read how families like the Peytons and Atmores came to our community, there are many other ways folks got here. Some came directly here because they already had friends or family, but many had more convoluted journeys.
Tommy Arundell, who was a well-known beekeeper in Pole Creek, started out in Dubuque, Iowa. He left at age 10 traveling down the east coast and traveling across Central America through Nicaragua. From there his family took a sidewheeler up the Pacific Coast to San Francisco arriving in the spring in 1865. His family then traveled to Jackson County Oregon where his mother died. Over the next 6 years Tommy and his father made three round trips from Iowa to the Pacific Coast. Tommy finally settled in Ventura county in July of 1874. In 1879 he put his first hives out in Pole Creek, finally homesteading there in 1885.

Carlo Basolo was born in Urgialo, Italy in 1860, one of six children. He worked digging tunnels in Italy, coming to the United States in 1889. His first stayed in Illinois working the coal mines. He and his two brothers, Dominic and Anton, brought their families to Bardsdale in 1898.

George Henley, who in later years was involved in the Central Avenue shootout with Mason Bradford, was born in New Jersey in 1857 where his father worked in quarries. By 1880, George was working for railroads in Colorado. He then was involved in mining operations throughout the west. In 1886 he was in the Puget Sound area when his brother, Philip, told him of the brownstone deposits in Sespe. He had a successful mining operation until the introduction of Portland cement replaced much of the use of cut stone in building. He continued, however, to be involved in oil exploration, attempts to develop the Sespe as a recreational area and also in research into native languages for the fledgling Smithsonian Museum.

Judge C. C. Elkins may have taken one of the most circuitous routes to Fillmore. He was born in Indiana in 1847, he was just 10 years old when he headed to Colorado (at that time part of Kansas) with a group of men looking for gold. Traveling by oxcart and side-wheeler river boat, they reached their destination, but like many others, found little gold. After another arduous trek, he returned to Indiana where he finished school, taught school, and married Annie Phillips. A few years later, the couple and two children again headed to Colorado. While Mrs. Elkins drove the wagon, he herded a hundred head of cattle. After a few years, he grew tired of cattle ranching and returned to Indiana.

In 1884, he traveled to New Orleans for the World Cotton Centennial and spent some time traveling in the South, including Florida. While in Florida he bought 50 acres of orange groves near Orlando. A few years after returning to Indiana, the railroads began a price war. A round-trip ticket to Los Angeles could be had for $10, so the Elkins family came west once again. They original settled in Colton, but after a few years succumbed to Fillmore’s allure where he opened a store and bought property.

Does your family have a story about how they got to Fillmore? Let us know and we’ll add it to our archives.

 
Ricardo Magana, 20, of Fillmore.
Ricardo Magana, 20, of Fillmore.

On November 19, 2020, detectives from the Simi Valley Police Department had a search warrant to obtain DNA from documented gang member Ricardo Magana reference an active investigation. Pursuant to the search warrant, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Gang Unit assisted the Simi Valley Police by locating Magana in the area of Telegraph Road at Willard Road in the city of Santa Paula. Magana was driving a vehicle at the time and a traffic stop was made.

During the traffic stop, Magana displayed symptoms of being under the influence of a controlled substance and was arrested for several narcotic related charges. During a search of Magana’s vehicle, a loaded Glock .45 caliber handgun was also located in the glove compartment.

As result of the contact and arrest, Magana was booked into custody at the Ventura County Sheriff’s Main Jail facility for violation of PC 29800(a)(1) – Felon in Possession of a Firearm, PC 30305(a)(1) – Felon in Possession of Ammunition, PC 25400(a)(1) – Carry a Concealed Firearm in a vehicle, PC 23900- Remove, Alter, Obliterate a Serial Number, H&S 11550(e)-Under the Influence with a Firearm, H&S 11370.1- Possession of a Controlled Substance with a Firearm and H&S 11350(a)-Possession of a Controlled Substance. Magana is currently being held on $70,000 bail.

Nature of Incident: Gang Member Arrested for Unlawful Possession of a Firearm
Report Number: 20-160607
Location: Telegraph Road at Willard Road, Santa Paula
Date & Time: November 19, 2020 / 11:30 AM
Unit(s) Responsible: Simi Valley Police Department, Sheriff’s Gang Unit
(S)uspects, (V)ictims, (P)arty, (D)ecedent, City of Residence, Age
(S) Ricardo Magana, Fillmore, 36
Prepared by: Detective Laura Sedillos, Sheriff’s Gang Unit 805-797-6348
Approved by: Captain Randy Downard

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).

 
On Wednesday, November 18th from 1pm – 3pm at the Fillmore Active Adult Center Amazon.com partnered with the Santa Clara Valley Boys & Girls Club and the City of Fillmore in giving out free turkey dinners to families throughout the Fillmore community.
On Wednesday, November 18th from 1pm – 3pm at the Fillmore Active Adult Center Amazon.com partnered with the Santa Clara Valley Boys & Girls Club and the City of Fillmore in giving out free turkey dinners to families throughout the Fillmore community.
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A photo from taken in 2018 of Laura Bartels with three young ladies wearing their new coats. Photo courtesy Bob Crum.
A photo from taken in 2018 of Laura Bartels with three young ladies wearing their new coats. Photo courtesy Bob Crum.
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Because of distancing the Santa Clara Valley Legal Aid is not able to give coats away this year, but keeping with the spirit of warmth, they will be giving a brand new fluffy blanket to every child who comes through the line December 12, 2020. Please consider keeping a family warm this year. Use this Go Fund Me Link to donate: https://www.gf.me/u/y9yp5c