The Santa Ana Valley Ranchos before Casitas dam and Casitas lake.

by Vonciel
(Jackson County, Oregon)

What was the name and/or number of the road that went up coyote creek and through the santa ana valley to casitas pass in 1952-1953.

I remember traveling this road with my parents through Rancho Casitas(owned by the Hoffman family) and spending time at El Rancho Cola (owned by the Alison family) when my grandfather worked at El Rancho Cola.

Comments for The Santa Ana Valley Ranchos before Casitas dam and Casitas lake.

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Jun 11, 2014
Casitas Pass Road
by: T. Drew Mashburn


I'm employed as a Parks Services Ranger II with the Ventura County Parks Department which oversees Foster Memorial Park. At present, Casitas Vista Road runs from the Ojai Freeway (AKA: Hwy. 33) to Casitas Dam. Coyote Creek runs next to Casitas Vista Road. Coyote Creek is the creek which Casitas Dam is built over. Casitas Vista Road used to run through the Santa Ana Valley and join Highway 150 (AKA: Casitas Pass Road). Foster Park lies on both sides of Casitas Vista Road.

I have a map of Foster Park that was printed in the 1930's when the Civil Conservation Corps assited in developing the park under the guises of the National Park Service. Of course, this was many years before Casitas Dam and Lake existed. On this map, what's now known as Casitas Vista Road is listed as Casitas Pass Road.

Jul 03, 2015
El Rancho Cola
by: Tom Alison

My parents bought the 1750 acres, which they named El Rancho Cola in the early 1950s. I was raised there as a child and road my horse Bozo every day after school. We would hunt and fish on weekends and over the summer. Great memories, but the government condemned the property to build Lake Casitas and we moved to Palm Springs. I graduated from Nordhoff High School in 1962 and now live in Atlanta GA. I go back to Ojai for high school reunions and cherish all the great times we had growing up on El Rancho Cola.

Tom Alison

Nov 19, 2015
Santa Ana Road
by: Edward Selby

My Grandfather John Lloyd Selby and his wife Zora Claire Percy Selby had a ranch (1910) and raised 6 children there. I spent a lot of time there and on their property at Coyote Creek. Doc and Dortha Roberts and their brood were close neighbors. I was too young but their Rodeo's and BBQ's were pretty well attended. Grandad also had a baby elephant named Babe, my Dad and uncle bought him for his birthday.I remember her very well. Used to love to play the piano.

Dec 27, 2015
Thank You
by: Vonciel Russell

Thank you very much for your responses to my question. I have such special memories of my childhood and youth spent in Foster Park, Casitas Springs, Oak View, Ojai and Ventura. The Santa Ana Valley and the ranches were beautiful and it was quiet sad to see it all destroyed by the dam and the lake.

So much real beauty is lost due to growth and development.

Mar 02, 2016
My dad worked at El Rancho Cola
by: Patricia Begg Wimpee

I wonder if anyone knew my dad, Patrick Begg, he worked at El Rancho Cola, according to my mother Bonnie Crow Begg. She told me today that he worked with the horses. My grand mother Virginia Lopez Begg was married to a Scottish man Woodson Begg. They worked on several ranches in that same area. My dad's cousin was Danny Lopez. I thought I would google this ranch and see if it would come up, so glad it did.

May 01, 2016
Lake Casitas History
by: Joe Hesse

My Grand Parents also had a ranch in the Santa Ana Valley. The Dunlap ranch. Tom Alison's mother who owned Rancho Cola was very instrumental in getting some legal help to file a class action suit against the county for only giving all the land owners a fraction of the true value of their land. A few years later the county was forced to cough up more money to them even though they never were compensated for the true value of their land I guess that's progress though. I too had many good memories on that Ranch.

May 11, 2016
More Memories
by: Russell

The Dunlap Ranch. Another ranch and name I had forgot about. There were several beautiful ranches in the Santa Anna Valley and up into the Ojai Valley. We used to ride our horses on trail rides through Rancho Matillaja when I was a child. The last time I drove through the land that used to be the main part of Rancho Matillaja it was a housing development.

As an adult it is sad to hear that the ranch owners were not fairly compensated for the value of their land and homes.

The eleven years I lived in Ventura County as an adult I only visited Lake Casitas one time. I was not impressed with the lake or the facilities. I guess I had too many good memories of the area and how it was before the lake.

Jun 25, 2016
Rancho Santa Ana
by: Millennium Twain

Matilija University is researching and archiving the whole history and prehistory of Rancho Santa Ana, the Santa Ana Valley, before Lake Casitas. The families, the land, the stories. If anyone wants to review or join the collaboration, ask to join the Rancho Santa Ana group on facebook.

Sep 03, 2016
Grateful Remembrance
by: The Rev William Ferguson

I visited El Rancho Cola with my Uncle in 1952. He had sold Mr. Alison a couple of Arabian horses. I remember a small boy, who I believe was called "Slick." He was a terrific kid, who carried on easily with others. I also remember a lovely girl of about 16 years old. I think I told her I invented the A-Bomb, or some such nonsense. I was 14 years old, and with all boys of that age exceptionally stupid. Not to worry though, I began to mature at around 25. I am sorry that all that loveliness was condemned to satisfy someone's ego. I do NOT believe in eminent domain except for National defense. I am still grateful for the hospitality shown me. I wish you all God's richest blessings.

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