In 1997 the current 4.49-acre property was given to the City of Camarillo by the Centex Corporation. Centex had acquired it from the Camarillo family with the intention of rezoning the area to industrial. Instead, along with the house (1892) the city received the Mule Barn (ca.1905) and the stables (1967). The barn and stables were moved from their original positions east of the house to their present locations.
In 1998 the City of Camarillo established the Camarillo Ranch Foundation, Inc., a nonprofit public benefit corporation. The City Council appointed a 15-person Board of Directors to operate the Foundation. Over the next 3 years, the Board completely restored the buildings and grounds through several projects funded by grants, fundraisers, annual memberships, and naming opportunities in the rooms and gardens. The property was restored to its 1892-1915 appearance and made accessible to visitors by the following:
- Camarillo Ranch House: Seismic retrofit upgrades, and the installation of exterior lighting, a new roof, utilities and a ranch-style fence around the perimeter of the property. Later additions to the house (after 1915) removed to preserve the original design. Inside, original paint, wallpaper, and woodwork stain matched as closely as possible. Fixtures, furniture, carpets, window coverings, and pictures acquired to reflect the turn of the century and the tastes of the Camarillo family.
- Grounds: Maintained the four historic trees planted by Adolfo in 1892. Enhanced landscape with ornamental and educational gardens. Installed paved driveway and parking lot for greater public accessibility.
In 2003 the Foundation successfully applied to have the Camarillo Ranch House listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Today, the Foundation manages this compelling piece of California history for the education and enjoyment of the community.
THE CAMARILLO RANCH WAS GIFTED TO THE CITY OF CAMARILLO IN 1997.
The 1905 Mule Barn was originally located east of the Camarillo Ranch House near Calleguas Creek. In 1999 the Foundation relocated the entire structure to its present spot behind the house. Moving the enormous building in one piece was a delicate process managed carefully over a period of two weeks.
In 2009 the Foundation completed its renovation of the Mule Barn, with financial assistance from the City of Camarillo. This included construction of a new roof, and the addition of a concrete floor slab, a catering kitchen, restroom facilities, a storage area, fire sprinklers and alarm, and fresh paint.
The barn was also outfitted with a state-of-the-art audio visual system and projector screen, as well as an LCD projector and monitors. As a finishing touch, historical photographs of Rancho Calleguas are mounted on the walls for visitors to admire. With the addition of the barn, the Camarillo Ranch has become a year-round venue for weddings, corporate meetings, and nonprofit events.
Interested in learning more about the history of the Mule Barn? Click here to view a map and photos of the Mule Barn in its original location.