Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Ramona Epic #21: La Casa De Estudillo (Part 2)

(AKA The Marriage Place of Ramona and Alessandro)

"The road on which they must go
into old San Diego, where Father Gaspara lived, was the public
road from San Diego to San Luis Rey, and they were almost sure
to meet travellers on it."

In the real world, the comandante of the nearby San Diego Presidio, Jose Maria Estudillo retired in 1827 and was given this land to build his home on. He died in 1830 and his son, Jose Antonio Estudillo, continued building the home. By 1887 the family moved to Los Angeles and the home was left with a caretaker. By 1906 the place was almost in ruins, it was purchased by Nat Titus. It was eventually sold again. By 1908, the place was restored by architect Hazel Waterman and converted into the "Marriage Place of Ramona" tourist spot. By 1968 the home was restored as a museum in the California State Park system.

When the museum opens up there are a couple of ways to enter it. I entered it from the front. In this next picture I went into the midde of the casa and turned around to where I came in from. Just imagine there are two sides: one on my left and one on my right. The chapel we will get to in the next blog just happens to be the first room on the right side. You can barely see the door entrance in this picture.
For this blog, I am skipping the chapel for now, but will show you some of the rooms on the right side (from the perspective of the above picture) of the casa. The room in the above picture is the storage room. If you turn to your left there is a short entrance to the guest bedroom:
Another room on that side is the dining room which I will skipping here, but the next room down is a bedroom:
The next room down is the kitchen. And, just looking over to the right side of the kitchen:
Outside there is an oven next to the kitchen. Keep in mind that a lot of the items you see in these pictures are there just to keep the feel of the old California days and not items that go back to those times.

Back to our historical fiction and this place. While there is nothing in the book to indicate that this is the spot Helen Hunt Jackson had in mind for Ramona and Alessandro's wedding place, it would make since for someone to think it was nearby. First, we know that they end up in San Diego. Second, the only place of significance for that time would have been what is known as Old Town San Diego. This area that the casa is contained in.

Once we start talking talking about where Father Gaspara wrote down their names in the marriage book and where they were actually married it gets a little more problematic. I'll finish this one up next time.

Ramona Epic #21: The Marriage Place of Ramona (Youtube Version)

Ramona Epic #21: The Marriage Place of Ramona (Vimeo Version)