Rancho Camulos Buggy on Display

Wm. L. Morris Chevrolet Agency has teamed with the Rancho Camulos Museum to display the recently restored buggy used by Senora Ysabel del Valle at the ranch after 1855. Everyone is invited to view the buggy and the newest 2010 model autos in the Agency showroom.

The rockaway buggy dates from 1850-1855 and probably was bought for Ysabel when they lived in Los Angeles and came with her when they moved to Rancho Camulos. She used it for social calls and administrating to the ill near the ranch and Piru.

The buggy was very comfortable with rain curtains for the coach section and a seat for the driving in front.
Ralph and Pat Rees spent 22 months restoring the buggy “from the ground up.” The new upholstery and antique carriage lamps makes you feel like “taking a ride” at any moment. Some of the undercarriage had to be hand carved to replace bad wood. Leather straps were replaced and the axles were all worked over until, as Ralph said, it is good for another 100,000 miles. John Morgan gave Ralph direction when needed. This antique buggy is now in mint condition and as strong as the day it rolled out of the building of Miner and Steven Manufacture in New York.

Marie Wren spearheaded the fundraising for the $7300 needed to pay out-of-pocket expenses that Ralph Rees could not do himself. Museum Board members, the Rancho Camulos Docent Council, and friends of the Museum all contributed cash. Glass and hardware were donated by Patterson Hardware and Fillmore Building Supply. Jack Schleimer provided a trailer for moving the buggy when necessary. Michl Tool Shop in Santa Paula did the axle work and donated part of their time also. The beautiful upholstery was done by Quality Upholstery in Ventura. This project was truly a labor of love by everyone who was involved.

It is interesting to see this old-fashioned carriage setting next to the new Chevy cars, but it does not have a FOR SALE on it; however, Wm. L. Morris would be happy to quote you a price on any of their new cars while you inspect the buggy. Community support has been outstanding.

The del Valle buggy will be in the Morris showroom for about a month, so stop by and see how transportation has changed in 160 years.