Sunday, March 20, 2011

Ramona Epic #7: Rancho Camulos (Part 2)

(GPS: N34° 24.290 W118° 45.400)

AKA The Oldest Movie Location

This is the second part of my visit to Rancho Camulos. In this blog I will spend a little more time on the fiction involved here. As I mentioned last time Helen Hunt Jackson spent a few hours talking to some of the family members that lived here. From the way she describes the rancho in Ramona it has made many people believe that this rancho is what she had in mind for her novel. So, it is considered the "Home of Ramona."

In 1910, D.W. Griffith filmed his Ramona movie here. Mary Pickford played the part of Ramona. In the following picture Alessandro tries to talk to Ramona only to be chased off by Senora Moreno. They filmed this at the south veranda of Rancho Camulos. The window to the right is supposed to be the window to Ramona's room; that's what the fictional history says at Rancho Camulos.

In the above picture, if you head staight forward you encounter where Felipe would have been resting at the beginning of the novel. A lot of the dialogue would have happened around here. The priest's room would be the door on the other side. This is the fountain and the chapel. I mentioned Ysabel del Valle in my last blog. She was very religious. Since living out here would be too far away from attending mass or church services she had this chapel built out here. Priests would come here and stay. Ysabel also had daily prayers anyone could be apart of. In the 1910 movie, the chapel is where Alessandro is introduced to Ramona here by Felipe. Here Ramona (Mary Pickford) watches as Alessandro and Felipe walk away. The chapel 100 years later! The inside. After the Northridge quake many items were stolen from the chapel. The following is the walnut tree. Unfortunately, it died some years back. It was said to be around 150 years old. Many old pictures were taken of it. This wraps up my time at Rancho Camulos. A lot more could be said and shown here. Near the end of the year as I start to finish up this series I will be coming back here one more time. Another reason I wanted to come here and do this series was I knew I would be able to get to the oldest movie location I will probably ever experience. At this point I can't imagine finding anything earlier than 1910, so this is probably it.

Ramona Epic #7: Rancho Camulos (Youtube Version)

Ramona Epic #7: Rancho Camulos (Vimeo Version)

A few links:

Rancho Camulos (Wikipedia Article)

Rancho Camulos: a comprehensive history(Santa Clarita Valley site)

Rancho Camulos (Official Site)