June 1, 2013
Members of our costume guild attended the SOHO (Save Our Heritage Organization) grand opening of the Warner Carrillo Rancho museum in Warner Springs, CA on this day.
Through our contacts in Old Town San Diego, we were invited to attend the opening fund raiser there. We had a costume range of 1857-1920 so we had some room to move. Because of the predicted temperatures of high 90s many of us chose to wear something in cotton. Good decision. We heard various temperature ranges of 97-103d while we were there.
The adobe house was built in 1857 and was a huge cattle ranch and stagecoach stopover. You can see it on the right in my photo with the red roof. The old barn is on the left behind the people there. This barn survived the Great Easter Earthquake of 2010 (a 7.0) where it really knocked our socks off. The support structure built under it kept it from falling down even though the earthquake caused it to shift off its foundation. This article by the Ramona Centennial gives a very succinct story of the rancho. http://www.ramonasentinel.com/2013/05/31/grand-opening-for-historic-warner-carrillo-ranch-house-museum-slated-for-saturday/
The area is high desert and as you can see, very dusty. The day we were there, the wind was blowing like a son of a gun along with all the dirt. I think the wind was the only thing that kept us all from dying from the heat. Except me, I felt faint quite a few times. But I don’t handle heat very well.
About nine of us showed up, and on arrival we moved some tables out of the direct sun under a tree and had our picnic. Then the wind started picking up. Quite a few times we had to lower our parasols and fans to protect ourselves from the dust. Alana Coons from SOHO came over to talk to us and commented that her lovely tan wasn’t really a tan but she was actually covered in dust. I wore my 1873 gown of white w/ black polka dots, and changed out the red ribbons to all black. I really like this color better than the red. The red cherries on my hat added a spot of color to it.
The Grand Opening Ceremonies began with soldiers marching and a band playing. Then we stood out in the sun and listened to all the speeches. At this point I started feeling the heat and had to go sit in the shade on the porch of the adobe house. But we were pleased that our costumed group was acknowledged in one of the welcoming speeches.
These were the ladies attending it with me, and if you notice the young lady in blue on the far right discovered us and has decided to join our guild and be part of the fun.
You’ll notice *I’m not in that photo*. That’s because I’d just discovered the tintype photographer was set up at the other end and I was going to get my photo taken at the carriage there. Nick is the same photographer from Old Town San Diego that had taken the lovely one of me in my Bloomers during Twainfest last year. So I was excited at the possibility of another one. And these were a larger one with a donation going to SOHO.
It took two times for a decent one to come out because of the wind blowing my dress around. I felt like Mary Poppins about to take off with my parasol. Nick had to deal with the liquids drying out too. Sadly one of his large cameras on a tripod was blown over and damaged. Nick has also decided he wants to join our guild to further his hobby of old timey photography.
If you notice, my dress looks white. It actually has black polka dots on it that you can’t see. So that’s fun to know when looking at old black and white tintypes. Here it is in color.
After about three hours, some of us headed over to the Julian Mining Company in Wynola to see what was happening with the Julian Gold Rush Days there. Not too much but we visited with some of our friends, and even the animals had their photo taken with us.
I ran into my friends Shelley Peters, who was packing up, and Paige, who was part of the Civil War encampment there.
Then we headed into Julian and met up with the other ladies at Mom’s Apple Pies for some nice homemade pie and ice cream on top. After all the heat, it was a welcome treat.
We walked around town, did a little shopping, and many people stopped us asking why we were dressed like we were. And of course they had to take our photos.
We ended up in a shady yard at the Julian Grill to finally cool off. I think this was the prettiest spot to sit in.
These are my favorite pictures of the day with Cindy. And Randy finally got some shade.
Later that evening when I got home I put my dress into the bathtub with cold water and soap and let it soak overnight. The water was pretty dingy when I took it out to rinse it. I let most of the water drain out of the dress in the tub, then rolled it up in towels to get the excess water out, and hung it on a rod to dry for a day. And I had a layer of dirt on me also. My shoelaces were so dirty in my boots that I pulled them out and tossed them in the wash. My white socks are no longer white. But we got a real authentic feel of what life was like in the old stagecoach days, I’ll give you that.
*My appreciation goes to Cindy P.,Gina L., and Trudy F. for the use of some of these photos.*