Non-essential businesses and personal gatherings are prohibited between 10 PM and 5 AM, November 21 at 10 PM to 5 am December 21.

Ventura, CA – The State has issued a limited Stay at Home Order generally requiring that non-essential work, movement and gatherings stop between 10 pm and 5 am in counties in the Purple Tier per the State’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy. The order will take effect at 10 p.m. Saturday, November 21 and remain in effect until 5 a.m., December 21, although it may be extended or revised as needed by the State.

The Order does not prevent restaurants from operating after 10 p.m. for takeout and does not prevent community members from going to the grocery store or pharmacy for essential needs or walking their dog in their neighborhood. The Order does not prevent members of the same household from leaving their residences together, as long as they do not intermingle with others while out. This is not an exhaustive list, but we hope these examples will help clarify what residents and businesses may be permitted to do under the State’s Order. It does mean that we must restrict our interactions with people outside of our households for non-essential activities or social gatherings.

Restaurant/Business Clarification:

Sit down dining may only take place with members of the same household, it must be outdoors and must end by 10 pm.

Restaurants can remain open for takeout or delivery past 10 pm. There is no required closure time.

Grocery stores and pharmacies may stay open after 10 pm.

All businesses not operating as part of California’s Critical Infrastructure workforce must close by 10 pm. View the list of essential workforces from the State at: https://covid19.ca.gov/essential-workforce/.

“We ask our residents to continue to protect themselves, their loved ones, and their communities from COVID-19 by limiting gathering with anyone you don’t live with, wearing a face covering whenever you leave home, maintaining at least 6 feet of distance from anyone you don’t live with, wash your hands frequently,” said Rigoberto Vargas, Public Health Director.

As a reminder, the County of Ventura is in the State’s Purple Tier:

In alignment with Purple Tier 1, the following sectors are permitted for OUTDOOR operations only until further notice. These sectors must still maintain mitigation measures (social distancing, face covering, and sanitization):

Cardrooms, satellite wagering

Family Entertainment Centers (e.g. bowling alleys, miniature golf, batting cages, kart racing, and arcades)

Gyms and Fitness Centers

Movie theaters

Museums, zoos, aquariums

Places of worship

Playgrounds and recreational facilities

Restaurants

Wineries

Bars, pubs, brewpubs and breweries may operate outdoors if they are offering sit-down, outdoor meals. Outdoor operations may be conducted under a tent, canopy, or other shelter if no more than one side is closed.

In alignment with Purple Tier 1, the following sectors are open for INDOOR operations. These sectors must still maintain mitigation measures (social distancing, face covering, and sanitization) and specific modifications in parenthesis below:

All retail (maximum 25% capacity)

Critical infrastructure

Hair salons and barbershops

Libraries (maximum 25% capacity)

Nail salons and electrolysis operations

Personal care services (e.g. body waxing, estheticians, tattoo, massage)

Professional sports (without live audiences)

Shopping centers (e.g. malls, destination centers, swap meets, excluding food courts and common areas) (maximum 25% capacity)

To learn more about the State’s Tier system and specific allowable activities for Ventura County, visit the State of California's COVID-19 Blueprint for a Safer Economy website.

 


 
Longtime Fillmore resident Josephine Myers
Longtime Fillmore resident Josephine Myers
Enlarge Photo
Josephine Myers
Josephine Myers

Longtime Fillmore resident Josephine Myers will turn 100 years young December the 3rd. Josephine has lived in the area for some 90 years during which she and has seen many changes to our special town. Josephine or Jo as her many friends call her, was born in Nogales Arizona, December 3rd, 1920, to John L. and Gertrude Schleimer. Her father was an Arizona State Senator and dabbled in real estate, while her mother was a stay at home wife. An interesting fact, Josephine was the first cesarean birth in the state of Arizona. Shortly after Josephine’s birth, the family moved to Los Angeles, where her father continued in politics. In addition to being the Vice Counsel to Venezuela, he was also an oil broker. The family soon grew by two with the birth of sons, Jack and Jim.

Her parents had many friends in the Ventra County area where the family would frequently visit. In the early 1920’s her father purchased a walnut orchard in lower Bardsdale, at the south east corner of Riverside Ave. and Sespe Street. This was Josephine’s first exposure to Fillmore. The family would often visit the ranch spending weekends and holidays there. Jo says she remembers her mother frequently hosting bridge games for her many friends in the county. There were always many visitors with lots kids to play with. One of her more vivid memories was coming up to the ranch shortly after the San Felicia Dam burst. The disaster which sent a massive wall of water sweeping through the Santa Clara Valley resulting in over 400 deaths. She remembers hearing neighbors saying that there were bodies caught in their walnut trees as well as trash, mattresses and furniture. Jo’s brother Jim recalls hearing his mother say that they eventually recovered 14 bodies off their property. The disaster occurred on a Monday and she remembers going to the ranch that weekend, only to return to L.A. on Saturday morning. A sprinkler system was being installed in the yard and the water to the house was turned off. Her parents did not want to put up with the nuisance. She often wondered, if the water hadn’t been turned off, would have the family returned home Sunday or Monday morning?

In 1932, circumstances changed for the family, Josephine her mother and two brothers, Jack and Jim, moved to the ranch thus becoming fulltime Fillmore area residents. Shortly thereafter, their circumstances again changed, and they moved this time into town. For a short time, they lived in town on Sespe Street. They all soon realized that city life was not for them, they preferred country living, so it was back to Bardsdale. They moved into a house on Don Shaw’s ranch where Josephine lived until she married. Jo’s mother, Gertrude Schleimer, continued to live in the house until she passed away in 1965.

When the family moved back to Bardsdale, Jo and her brothers started school at the Bardsdale Grammar School. Josephine often talks about living across the river, the experiences she had and the lifelong friends she made. She tells of them riding their horses to town on weekends, to go to the show. They would ride their horses across the river to town, where they would tie the horses to a tree behind Corio’s restaurant on the NW corner of Santa Clara St. and A St. The building is still there today. They would then walk uptown to the show. She said that she’s seen a lot of changes in her 90 plus years here. The buildings along most of downtown, Central Ave., today looks very similar to what it did in the “30’s. The 1994 Northridge Earthquake did alter the landscape a little. She remembers all buildings having awnings that the merchants rolled in and out every day. It was a very friendly environment. Everybody knew the merchants and they knew you, or at least your family. As a kid, you didn’t dare act up, because your parents would know about it before you got home. Everyone shopped right here in Fillmore, no one thought of going out of town to shop. Everything you needed was right here in Fillmore. On Central Ave. between Hwy. 126 and the High School, we had 5 full-service grocery stores. In North Fillmore we had 3 more grocery stores and on Main St. we had 2 or 3 small Mom and Pop grocery stores. We had 2 liquor stores and 2 theaters, we called them shows back then, 1 furniture store, 1 men’s and 3 women’s clothing stores, a couple shoe stores, 4 car dealer ships, 2 drug stores, 4 service stations (I think 12 in all), a pool hall and a miniature golf course. At one point we even had an air strip across the river in the vicinity of the present-day horse stables.

She recalls the Fillmore Festivals or May Day as it was called back then. Kids dancing around a May pole and feasting on pit B-B-Q prepared by one of the local service clubs. Playing bingo sitting on packing house field boxes, under the pepper trees along Sespe Street, feeling like a big winner if they won a 5-pound bag of sugar or some canned food. The men all grew beards, for this special event, so they didn’t get thrown in the temporary jail and or get fined. It was a much simpler time back then. At Christmas time there were Christmas trees all lit up in front of the stores along Central Ave. A big tree in the middle of the intersection of Sespe and Central. The lighting of the 60-foot Redwood tree at the high school. Fillmore was one big family.

During the war, the day of Pearl Harbor, Jo says that all their friends gathered at the service station at the SW corner of Santa Clara St. and Central Ave. to listen to the news. She remembers a potbelly stove a radio and 10 to 15 of her friends all listening intently. George Penrod a friend and longtime Fillmore businessman, ran the station. She also reminisces about the Potluck Club she and her friends started during the war. They would meet and share food once a week throughout the war. It was a close-knit support group as many of the husbands were off fighting. This group continued to meet, for some 63 years. At the end, grandchildren of the original 10 or 12 ladies were attending. Small town!

Her graduating class at Bardsdale, all 6 of them, graduated together from Fillmore Jr. High and then in 1939 from Fillmore High School. Miss Bee Albright, long time high school teacher, was their 6th grade teacher. It was Bee’s first job teaching. The Jr High at that time was on the high school campus in the present-day Art building. Those lifelong friend were Joyce (Patterson) Vosler, Winston Haase, Tommy Harris, Jean Anderson and Virginia Korton.

Shortly after graduating high school she married Aaron Myers, a native Fillmoreian. She recalls the night they got home from their honeymoon when their many family and friends showed up at their house to celebrate. The party was on, or rather a good old fashion ‘shivaree’ was on. They put Josephine in a wheelbarrow and paraded her and Aaron up and down Central Ave. They even went into the Fillmore Theater and as a movie was playing, they paraded them up onto the stage and introduced them as newlyweds. Then it was back to the wheelbarrow and up the street to Henrys Chili Hut for hamburgers. The night end with a party back at their new home. Got to love small towns. The marriage was a success, as they were married for 46 years until Aarons passing in 1985. They had one son, Don who now lives in Colorado with his wife Karen. After they married, they lived in a couple houses and in 1948 they purchased the only home Josephine has ever owned. The same house she now lives in and has for the past 72 years.

Josephine began working once Don started school. She first worked with her mother in her catering business, as well as cooking for local service clubs. There are many lady’s in Fillmore today that worked with Josephine and her mother, every Thursday, serving the Rotary Club at the Memorial building. She worked 18 years with her mother. She next worked 8 years for Orin Eberly in his Drug store next to the show. From 1973 to 1998 she worked at the cafeteria at San Cayetano Grammar school. She has said the reason she quit the cafeteria, at age 77, was that she realized she was then serving children of the children she first served when she started working there. It was time to retire.

After several years spent as a widow, longtime friend and widower Dick Schmittou, a long-time teacher and rancher in Fillmore, came into her life. They, with their late spouses had been friends for many years. Dick’s wife Corinne graduated at Fillmore with Josephine in 1939. Their friendship grew into something special and they have been happily together for more than 25 years. They have enjoyed many vacations and trips together. Dick is affectionately referred to as “Grampa Dick” by Jo’s many grandchildren and great grandkids

Over the years Josephine has been an avid traveler and ambassador for the City of Fillmore. At last count, she’s been on 27 Tauck or Maupin tours and a number of cruises. She’s been on tours in all 50 states, 6 of the nine Canadian Providences, 7 European countries and has done 3 major trips in and around Mexico. As far as being an Ambassador for Fillmore, this is how the conversation usually goes when she meets someone on one of her many trips. “Hello,” I’m Josephine Myers from Fillmore California”. Naturally they will eventually ask, where is Fillmore? Shortly thereafter these people know everything there is to know about her special town of Fillmore.

The family had a big party planned, but as fate would have it, Covid-19 has taken over our lives and any idea of a party is out. So, the family is asking that if those of you that know her (or if you do not know her, but appreciate her Fillmore Ambassador role) and would like in some way to help her celebrate, you might give her a call or better yet drop her a card or a note letting her know that you are thinking of her on this extra special birthday on December the 3rd. Her address is 239 Third St. Fillmore.

 


 
The Atmore home in Sespe purchased by Mathew Atmore. The Atmore family moved to the district in 1877. Photos courtesy Fillmore Historical Museum.
The Atmore home in Sespe purchased by Mathew Atmore. The Atmore family moved to the district in 1877. Photos courtesy Fillmore Historical Museum.
Enlarge Photo
Mathew Atmore of the Civil War Second California Cavalry.
Mathew Atmore of the Civil War Second California Cavalry.

Courtesy Fillmore Historical Museum

Matthew Atmore as told to Charles Jarrett by his son, “Buck” Atmore in 1934.

Prior to coming to our area, Mathew Atmore had an eventful life. He was one of four brothers who came to Michigan from England at an early age, settling in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He was just 15 when gold was discovered in California, and then began a life that was to be filled with adventure for many years to come. Parties were being organized everywhere to come to go California to search for gold and as the boy watched his older brothers making ready for he trip he determined that he would not be left behind. Secretly making his plans, he was all ready to run away and join a party when his father heard of it, and after presenting him with a hundred dollars, told him to go ahead. Crossing the plains with a wagon train, they reached Placerville in 1852. For four years he probably had about the same fortune as did the majority of gold seekers in California at that time. Books say the yellow metal was plentiful, but actual fortunes founded in Placerville were hard to find. It is likely that his mining ventures were about on a par with those of most “Forty-niners.”

In 1856 he decided to leave California for good. He took a boat at San Francisco bound for Panama. Aboard the old side—wheeler were all sorts of returning gold seekers. Some were penniless, some played cards for high stakes, and the ranged from the resplendent suave card sharps and swaggering road agents, to the men who had stakedeverything to search for gold and were now returning , disillusioned, empty handed and aloof in their own misery, Two years back in Michigan was enough for Mathew Atmore, and in 1858 he landed in Placerville the second time. He started freighting mining machinery from Sacramento to Virginia City, but the way of Lake Tahoe and the American river. Driving six head of oxen to a wagon, it took him seven days to do the trip one way. Hay was $80 a tonand sold in bundles tied with rawhide. He received 20 cents a pound for his hauling.

Driving an ox team over mountain roads was probably noteworthy for itsthrills, but a greater opportunity for adventure was soon to present itself. In 1861 he was turning his tired animals into the corral at Sacramento when word reached him that they were organizing the Second California Cavalry, and the regiment was all set to head for the south where it would be given an opportunity to help keep the Rebels on the run. Mathew apparently didn’t give the matter much consideration he simply locked the corral gate, sent word to one of his brothers he was going, and was gone. The Second California Volunteer Regiment of cavalry was soon to learn the fallacy of depending too much on army rumors. They weren’t needed just then to keep the Rebs on the run, but there were a lot of Indians whowerepot shooting the immigrants out in Nevada and, would the Second Regiment do something about it before they headed for the main event that was taking place below the Mason-Dixon line? The Second Regiment would, and did, but that attended to, they had another chore to do before they could go see about the war between the North and the South. The government wanted a fort built at Salt Lake City. Forone whole winter the brave cavalry men turned lumberjacks and hauled logs down from the mountains to build Ford Douglas and still stands a few miles out of the city (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Douglas).

After that they did manage to get in on a real fight. Some 700 Indians from a dozen tribes had banded together and they moved west through southern Idaho. The Indians had gone into winter quarters and two companies of the Second Californians were sent out to return them to reservation. During the ensuring fight, Atmore was thrown from a horse onto the frozen ground and broke his hip. Nowadays when a person breaks a bone they won’t let him bat an eye till it’s set and healed, but he had to take a four-day ride to Salt Lake City before he could have it attended to.The injury left one leg considerably shorter that the other for which the government awarded him six dollars a month pension during the later years of his life. He was mustered out at Fort Douglas in 1864 and returned to Michigan where he married Mary Elizabeth Gorham two years later. While in Michigan, they had 4 children, Haydee, Grace, Fred (Buck), and Ruby who died in infancy.

The Atmore family moved to this district in 1877, when Mathew Atmore purchased a relinquishment on a homestead located where the Calumet oil lease is now. Due to some error in the land titles he lost the ground he had located on, and a year or so later purchased a relinquishment on 80 acres of land located near the present Atmore place in Sespe.

 


 
Above are some of the toys that were collected from last year’s Holiday Toy Drive with Santa’s helpers loading up the truck.
Above are some of the toys that were collected from last year’s Holiday Toy Drive with Santa’s helpers loading up the truck.
Enlarge Photo

The Fillmore Fire Department in conjunction with the Fillmore Fire Foundation is kicking off the annual Holiday Toy Drive this week. Collection drop off boxes for new toys are available at the Fillmore Police and Fire Stations. As part of the Toy Drive, on Sunday, December 6th, the Fire Department will be holding the annual Chicken Dinner Fundraiser to collect donations that are used to purchase hundreds of toys for children in the Fillmore/Piru area. A complete chicken dinner meal is prepared for anyone wanting to donate ten dollars ($10) that will be used to purchase a new toy. Because of necessary COVID-19 precautions, this year the dinner will be held at the Fillmore/Piru Veteran’s Memorial Building City, 511 Second St. Dinner will be served from 4:30 -7 PM. Again, due to COVID-19 restrictions, all meals will be for take-out only and will be available via a contactless drive-thru process. For this year only, we are requesting a monetary donation in lieu of a new toy to avoid less person to person contact. The hundreds of toys purchased from this event will be combined with those that are donated by the Community and then distributed the following week on Saturday, December 12, in a huge Community Holiday Giveaway event. The Holiday Giveaway event will also be a drive-thru and reservations are mandatory. To order your tickets for the December 6th BBQ Chicken Dinner call 805-524-1500 ext 226. To register for the Community Holiday Giveaway, go to recreation@fillmoreca.gov and leave a message.

 


 
Fillmore Lions Club held their Annual Enchilada Dinner at the Veterans Memorial Building on Saturday, November 7th. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s dinner was slightly different—no sitting and eating together as they had in past years. Volunteers James and Colleen Chandler are shown assembling enchiladas.
Fillmore Lions Club held their Annual Enchilada Dinner at the Veterans Memorial Building on Saturday, November 7th. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s dinner was slightly different—no sitting and eating together as they had in past years. Volunteers James and Colleen Chandler are shown assembling enchiladas.
Enlarge Photo
Lion Club member Brandy Lengning holding up a thank you slip.
Lion Club member Brandy Lengning holding up a thank you slip.
Enlarge Photo

Saturday, November 7th, the Fillmore Lions Club pulled off their annual Enchilada Dinner with a few changes. With the help of several volunteers and Lions members, close to 500 drive through meals were served. Ticket sales were one of the best of all time. Community members were happy to support this fundraiser and eat some delicious food while doing so. Lions would like to thank Christine and David Landeros for cooking the meat and Chuy from El Pescador for cooking the rice, beans, and sauce. Proceeds from the Lions enchilada dinner help out local community organizations and clubs. Lions meet the 1st and 3rd Monday at 7pm every month. If you’d like to learn more about Fillmore Lions Club, please visit www.fillmorelionsclub.org.

 


 
On Wednesday, November 11th at 3:44pm a collision occurred at the intersection of Mountain View and Ventura Street involving at least four cars. Pictured is a white Schindler Elevator work van being towed away from the scene and (below) a dark colored SUV which was also involved in the crash. Cause of the accident is still under investigation.
On Wednesday, November 11th at 3:44pm a collision occurred at the intersection of Mountain View and Ventura Street involving at least four cars. Pictured is a white Schindler Elevator work van being towed away from the scene and (below) a dark colored SUV which was also involved in the crash. Cause of the accident is still under investigation.
Enlarge Photo
 
Pictured above is a mural in progress just outside Nova Storage at 455 A Street. Fillmore artist, musician and activist Gabriel Cardenas is the one responsible for this beautiful artwork.
Pictured above is a mural in progress just outside Nova Storage at 455 A Street. Fillmore artist, musician and activist Gabriel Cardenas is the one responsible for this beautiful artwork.
Enlarge Photo
The Fillmore Citrus Fruit Association label that inspired the mural.
The Fillmore Citrus Fruit Association label that inspired the mural.

Nova Storage is at it again. After the initial historic fruit label mural was so well received by the community, Nova committed to a public art project consisting of several more murals to be painted at 455 A St. The program was approved by the City of Fillmore Arts Commission on August 26th. Nova Storage reached out to the community by conducting an online poll where people voted on their favorite historic fruit label design. The community’s response was greater than expected and the winner was the SESPE label. Coming soon.

Talented local Fillmore artist, musician, and “artivist” Gabriel Cardenas of Fillmore will once again be beautifying another wall with the painting of the SESPE label. This mural, which began its process this past Saturday, November 14th, is one of a total of four murals scheduled to be painted on the Nova Storage property.

“Being part of the communities we serve is something we embrace at Nova Storage”, said Sam Arias – Sales & Marketing Manager for Nova. “Due to Covid- 19, we were unable to incorporate an Art Student Workshop on “How to Paint a Mural” as we had planned, but when it’s safer we will collaborate with Fillmore High School’s Visual & Performing Arts Dept. Chair Rosalind Mitzenmacher on future mural paintings”.

Nova Storage continues to be active in their local communities, with nine branches providing superior customer service and offering clean, safe and secure facilities at a great rate. Stop by one of their locations, like them on Facebook, follow on Instagram, and visit their website at www.NovaStorage.com.

 
Pictured above (l-r) are Theresa Robledo, Julie Latshaw, Martha Richardson, Ari Larson and Cindy Blatt of Fillmore Rotary Club who passed out books to Fillmore students as part of their Annual Dictionary Project.
Pictured above (l-r) are Theresa Robledo, Julie Latshaw, Martha Richardson, Ari Larson and Cindy Blatt of Fillmore Rotary Club who passed out books to Fillmore students as part of their Annual Dictionary Project.
Enlarge Photo
Rotary member Martha Richardson is shown handing a book to a Fillmore student as they drive by.
Rotary member Martha Richardson is shown handing a book to a Fillmore student as they drive by.
Enlarge Photo

The Rotary Club of Fillmore just completed their Dictionary Project. For several Years the Club has participated in this project. Members present a dictionary to each 3rd grader in the school district. This year, because of Covid-19, instead of going to each classroom members distributed the dictionaries during each schools distribution day. Each book has a label inside with Rotary’s 4-Way Test. The Club has been doing this project for close to 20 years and during that time we have donated 5,928 dictionaries to 3rd graders in Fillmore and Piru.

 
Pictured above is last year’s Annual Holiday Giveaway which will be held Saturday, December 12th from 9am to 12pm at the Veteran’s Memorial Building.
Pictured above is last year’s Annual Holiday Giveaway which will be held Saturday, December 12th from 9am to 12pm at the Veteran’s Memorial Building.
Enlarge Photo

This year’s annual Fillmore Community Holiday Giveaway will be held Saturday, December 12th from 9 AM – 12 PM outside of the Fillmore/Piru Veteran’s Memorial Building, 511 Second St. This is the annual event where holiday commodities are given to the children who reside within the Fillmore Unified School District boundaries. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the location and format of the Giveaway has changed. This event will be a drive-thru, contactless format. Anyone wishing to receive holiday commodities must preregister prior to December 9th. The age and gender of each child will need to be identified so that age appropriate toys and socks may be pre-package for pick up. Because of COVID-19 restrictions, personal sizing of coats will not be available, instead, nice warm individual blankets will be distributed to each child. As is customary, a holiday bag of groceries will also be available. To ensure that Santa is well for Christmas delivery of toys, he will only be available to wave at the children from a distance this year. Everyone must remain in their vehicle. To preregister for the Giveaway send an email to recreation@fillmoreca.gov, you must provide proof of residency within the School District.

Annual sponsors of the event include our local Fillmore Police and Fire Departments, Santa Clara Valley Legal Aid, One Step A La Vez, Soroptimist International of Fillmore, Rotary International of Fillmore, Fillmore Lions Club, Ventura County Deputy Sheriff’s Association, Fillmore Citizen’s Patrol, The Fillmore Fire Foundation and numerous other generous personal and business donors including NOVA Storage. Our sponsor list will be updated week to week.

If you would like to help donate to the Fillmore Community Holiday Giveaway, you may give new toys, socks or canned food; drop boxes are located at the Fillmore Police Station and at the Fillmore City Fire Station. Monetary donations are preferred this year to reduce person to person contact, checks may be made out to “The Fillmore Fire Foundation” with a notation of “Holiday Giveaway”. Donations may be mailed to Fillmore Fire Foundation, PO Box 331, Fillmore , CA 93016 or for drop off, please contact Scott Beylik (805) 732-1101 or Keith Gurrola (805) 558-0932.

 
Example of the temporary housing for the apricot crew.
Example of the temporary housing for the apricot crew.
Enlarge Photo
Apricot drying circa 1900.
Apricot drying circa 1900.
Enlarge Photo

Courtesy Fillmore Historical Museum

Before there was citrus in this valley, there were apricots. Apricots came to Ventura County with the Missions and spread throughout the county with the settlers.

David Cook planted apricots on his property in Piru in the early 1890s. He advertised “far and wide” in 1897 for workers for a two-week season, promising accommodations: “a pleasant and safe environment for most timid and refined ladies”. The accommodations were tents. He received three hundred applications. Pitting started upstream on Piru Creek and moved down as fruit ripened.

In 1893, S. A. Guiberson planted apricots and spent $1000 perfecting and patenting a pitting machine. By 1900 there were 290 acres planted in Bardsdale. Families with apricot orchards besides the Guibersons were the Bartels, Baldeschweiler (Balden), Daugherty, Stuart, Grimes, Michels, LeBards, Stolls, and Wengerts. Joseph McNab had a pitting shed in Fillmore on the corner of First and Saratoga. Tommy Arundell in Pole Creek was known for apricots which made the pitters drool.

Families came from as far away as Los Angeles in the late 19th and early 20th century to work in the apricot harvest. For many it was seen as a paid vacation from city life with housing provided by the ranchers.

In July 1904 it was reported that the apricot harvest was in full swing with the employment of hundreds of people young and old. There were said to be 500 pitters at work in the orchards near Piru alone.

By 1912 the citrus crop far outstripped apricots and other “deciduous fruits”. That year the sale of citrus fruits from Ventura County exceeded $37 million in value, while deciduous fruits were a mere $18 million.

The apricot harvest went on through the 1940s, although losing ground to the citrus industry, just as it seems today citrus is giving way to avocadoes. During the years of World War II, the local populace turned out to harvest the apricot crop, much of which was dried and sent overseas to the troops.