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Ventura County Roundup / West | CAMARILLO

Demolition of Historic Ranch Buildings Begins

October 09, 1998|JENNIFER KNIGHT

A walnut barn that had stood for 99 years was torn down in 30 minutes this week, as workers began demolishing some of the more unstable structures on the historic Camarillo Ranch.

Also among the first scheduled for destruction was the old blacksmith shop, once used by city founder Adolfo Camarillo.

The shingled wood-frame shop, built in 1916 and used to shoe the famed Camarillo white horses, was deemed unsalvageable, along with the barn built in 1899, where daily harvests were stored and processed.

Other properties scheduled for demolition include a horse barn, a donkey stable and worker bunkhouses.

The property was sold in April to commercial real estate investor Centex Industrial Development, which is expected to deed four acres, including the Camarillo House, to the city for preservation sometime this month.

Once the property is transferred, the city is to build a museum and make repairs to the house with $225,000 it has already allocated. Workers will also relocate the red mule barn, which is still in good condition. There is talk of using that barn to revive the old-fashioned barbecues and dances for which the Camarillo family was known.

The eight-bedroom Victorian home was built in 1892 by Adolfo Camarillo. Once the restoration is complete, the site will be open to the public and available for weddings, tours and community events. Restoration is to be finished in the spring.

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