Fillmore Historical Museum
Entry 1 of 4

The Bunkhouse was built in 1919 based on a design by the Pasadena firm of Greene and Greene. It was one of 3 buildings which served as dormitories for ranch workers. It had 14 rooms, each approximately 7 ft. by 13 ft. The Hull/Spalding family owned Rancho Sespe from 1895 until 1961. The ranch was then deeded to the California Institute of Technology and later sold multiple times. The large ranch was finally divided into 40 acre parcels and sold off. The James P. Finch family bought the headquarters parcel and donated Bunkhouse #2 to the Fillmore Historical Museum. It was moved in the middle of the night along Highway 126 approximately 3 miles from Rancho Sespe to Fillmore. The bunkhouse contains displays of clothing and accessories, local school history, Native American artifacts, the history of the Fillmore insectary and general displays of the history of our area. The walls are covered with some or our extensive vintage photographs. You will also find the museum office and gift shop and the Ynez Haase Library which is available to researchers by appointment.


  • 1919 Rancho Sespe Bunkhouse
    1919 Rancho Sespe Bunkhouse
  • Dress Room
    Dress Room
  • Exhibits in the dress room include "beauty" aids such as the hair curling machine shown in the corner
    Exhibits in the dress room include "beauty" aids such as the hair curling machine shown in the corner
  • The Dress Room features the 1902 Regina Music box which once played in the Star Vaudeville Theater
    The Dress Room features the 1902 Regina Music box which once played in the Star Vaudeville Theater
  • Exhibit of the ranching activities at Rancho Sespe during its 1920s heyday
    Exhibit of the ranching activities at Rancho Sespe during its 1920s heyday
  • School Room
    School Room
  • Exhibit of early local schools and classes
    Exhibit of early local schools and classes
  • Doll Display, School Room
    Doll Display, School Room
  • Native American artifact and geological exhibit
    Native American artifact and geological exhibit
  • Native American pestles and mortars found in the local area
    Native American pestles and mortars found in the local area
  • Metate and Pestle
    Metate and Pestle
  • Condor Exhibit
    Condor Exhibit
  • Fillmore's World War II Veterans
    Fillmore's World War II Veterans
  • Main exhibit Room
    Main exhibit Room
  • Fillmore Insectary Exhibit
    Fillmore Insectary Exhibit
  • Fillmore Unified High School Room
    Fillmore Unified High School Room
  • El Camino Real - the book behind the Museum
    El Camino Real - the book behind the Museum

The Rancho Sespe Bunkhouse contains the core of the Museum's exhibits. Everything on display has been donated to the Museum by local residents. Each of the smaller rooms would have been one ranch workers living quarters. There was a separate dining hall and bath house. A few of the rooms have been combined to allow for better display of our collection.

In the dress room you will see clothing and accessories which span the late 19th century through the mid-20th century. Some items of particular note include early 20th century bathing costumes and a display of vintage purses. You will also find a Regina Music box from 1902 which originally graced the Star Vaudeville Theater in Fillmore. It plays 27” metal disks. Also on display is a portable Edison wax cylinder player from 1900.

The early history of Rancho Sespe is reflected in the story of T. Wallace More who bought the Rancho from Don Carlos Antonio Carrillo’s heirs. In a dispute over land ownership and water rights, More was murdered. Morton Hull purchased a major portion of the Rancho from one of More’s heirs and this eventually was owned by his daughter, Eudora Hull Spalding. The “Rancho Sespe” room gives a glimpse into the workings of Rancho Sespe when it was owned by Eudora Hull Spalding. The Ranch concentrated on citrus and cattle during this period

Education was of great importance to the settlers in the Santa Clara River Valley. Grammar schools were built throughout the area including Bardsdale, Sespe, Willow Grove and Buckhorn, to name just a few. The School Room provides a glimpse into these school and some of the students who attended them. Children’s toys and games including stereopticons are also on display.

Exhibits of Native American baskets, stone tools and arrowheads can also be seen. Many of the stone tools were found by local ranchers as they plowed their fields.

A display telling of the resurgence of the California condor can also be seen. The Sespe Condor Sanctuary is only a few miles from the Museum in Hopper Canyon.

Also on the main floor of the Bunkhouse is the Ynez Haase Library which is available to researchers by appointment. Ynez was a Fillmore native, writer and cartographer who was instrumental in the development of the Museum.

On the second floor of the Museum displays include information on Fillmore and its residents during the Civil, Spanish American and World Wars. The Museum is in the process of developing exhibits to reflect service during the later conflicts.

The Fillmore Protective District was organized in 1922 to assist in the eradication of red scale which was threatening the area’s citrus crop. Four years later it built an insectary for the purpose of raising wasps to control mealy bug. The insectary continued until 2004 developing a worldwide reputation for development of beneficial insects to control pest. A room is dedicated to the history and successes of the insectary.

Of interest to the locals is the High School room with photos, memorabilia and Copa de Ora yearbooks from 1913 through to the present. Alumni and their children can page through the books recalling memories from the past.

Also on display are several volumes of ­El Camino Real, a text book written by Edith Moore Jarrett, the founder of the Fillmore Historical Museum. 

https://www.fillmorehistoricalmuseum.org/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rancho_Sespe

Outland, Charles. SESPE GUNSMOKE: An Epic Case of Rancher Versus Squatters. Ventura, CA. Ventura County Museum of History & Art , 1991.

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Fillmore Historical Museum

Fillmore Historical Museum

Fillmore Historical Museum

Fillmore Historical Museum

Fillmore Historical Museum

Fillmore Historical Museum

Fillmore Historical Museum

Fillmore Historical Museum

Fillmore Historical Museum

Fillmore Historical Museum

Fillmore Historical Museum

Fillmore Historical Museum

Fillmore Historical Museum

Fillmore Historical Museum

Fillmore Historical Museum

Fillmore Historical Museum

Fillmore Historical Museum