Sierra Northern Railway, Ventura Division, has moved its operational headquarters to the former Santa Paula Hay and Grain. Fillmore City Manager Dave Rowlands said, “We are not involved with Sierra Northern. Their agreement with VCTC allows them to use the rail lines.” Photo credit Sierra Northern Railway.
Sierra Northern Railway, Ventura Division, has moved its operational headquarters to the former Santa Paula Hay and Grain. Fillmore City Manager Dave Rowlands said, “We are not involved with Sierra Northern. Their agreement with VCTC allows them to use the rail lines.” Photo credit Sierra Northern Railway.
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SANTA PAULA, CA - Sierra Northern Railway, Ventura Division has moved its operational headquarters to the former Santa Paula Hay and Grain facility from nearby Fillmore as of July 1st.

The move allows for a much-needed expansion of facilities in anticipation of future operations, including passenger excursions, movie and television shoots, freight and transload customers, and RailBike rentals. The railway will continue to have a presence in Fillmore.

“We are pleased to partner with Santa Paula Hay and Grain and the city of Santa Paula to develop our new base of operations,” said Kennan Beard, President of Sierra Northern. “We are looking forward to integrating ourselves into the community.”

“We are eager to get started in Santa Paula. The city has been welcoming and gracious, and we are looking forward to having a permanent home for our operations. The 4,000 square-foot shop and 1.5 acres of yard are an excellent fit for the needs of the railroad,” said Matt Blackburn, Sierra Northern, Ventura Division Manager.

Sierra Northern Railway leases the 30 miles of railroad right-of-way from Ventura County Transportation Commission on a 35-year lease. The line extends from Ventura on the west to Piru on the east and has been seen worldwide in movies, television shows, and commercials featuring railroad locations.

The Sierra Northern Railway was formed in August 2003 through the merger of two Northern California short line railroads: the Sierra Railroad Company and the Yolo Short Line Railroad. It currently operates about 100 miles of track in Northern California, and 30 miles of track in the Santa Clara River Valley in Southern California.

For additional information, contact Kennan Beard at KBeard@Sierrarailroad.com

 


 
On Saturday, July 2nd, 2022, at 11:30am, the Fillmore Police Department was in the Carl’s Jr parking lot, suited up in their armor tactical gear. Per radio traffic, a male subject was reported barricaded inside his vehicle and would not comply with officers. Minutes later the subject complied with officers’ commands and subject was arrested by deputies. No other information as provided. Photo credit Angel Esquivel-AE News.
On Saturday, July 2nd, 2022, at 11:30am, the Fillmore Police Department was in the Carl’s Jr parking lot, suited up in their armor tactical gear. Per radio traffic, a male subject was reported barricaded inside his vehicle and would not comply with officers. Minutes later the subject complied with officers’ commands and subject was arrested by deputies. No other information as provided. Photo credit Angel Esquivel-AE News.
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Ventura County Sheriff's Department
Ventura County Sheriff's Department

A 32-year-old man and a 39-year-old woman from Ventura were arrested for forgery and conspiracy to commit a crime. The male stole the victim’s check from her residence while working as a contractor in the victim’s residence and the female later attempted to deposit the stolen check into her bank account.

Patrol deputies and detectives conducted follow-up with financial institutions and conducted open-source internet searches. Additional evidence was obtained and led to the positive identification of Arevalo and Salinas.

On June 28th, 2022, at approximately 2:50 p.m., Arevalo and Salinas were arrested in the Isla Vista area of Santa Barbara County; The last known area where both suspects were working. Arevalo and Salinas were both taken into custody, a search of their vehicle yielded additional stolen mail and financial documents. Detectives are continuing to investigate in order to identify other potential victims. Both subjects were booked into custody at the Ventura County Pre-Trial Detention Facility for violations of forgery of a check, fictitious or altered bills notes, and conspiracy to commit a crime. Arevalo remains in custody with his bail set at $120,000. His next court date is 7/12/2022. Salinas remains in custody with her bail set at $50,000. Her next court date is 7/12/2022.

Nature of Incident: Suspects Arrested for Forgery and Conspiracy to Commit a Crime
Report Number: RB# 22-33963
Location: City of Fillmore
Date & Time: June 28, 2022 @ 2:30 P.M.
Unit(s) Responsible: Fillmore Detective Bureau, Narcotics Street Team, Fillmore Patrol Services
(S)uspects, (V)ictims, (P)arty, (D)ecedent City of Residence Age
(A-1) Francisco Arevalo, Ventura, 32
(A-2) Rosalia Salinas, Ventura, 39
Prepared by: Detective John Lemar
Approved by: Captain Garo Kuredjian

Ventura County Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1,000 reward for information, which leads to the arrest and criminal complaint against the person(s) responsible for this crime. The caller may remain anonymous. The call is not recorded. Call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477).

 


 
On Sunday, July 3rd, the City of Fillmore hosted their Annual 4th of July fireworks display at Fillmore Middle School. This year’s show was held a day before the fourth at 9pm (sundown). Photo credit Angel Esquivel-AE News.
On Sunday, July 3rd, the City of Fillmore hosted their Annual 4th of July fireworks display at Fillmore Middle School. This year’s show was held a day before the fourth at 9pm (sundown). Photo credit Angel Esquivel-AE News.
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The loading blocks at Brownstone Siding in 1890. A hoist was used to load the cut stone onto a wagon which would then be hauled to the “Brownstone” stop on the train line. Photos courtesy Fillmore Historical Museum.
The loading blocks at Brownstone Siding in 1890. A hoist was used to load the cut stone onto a wagon which would then be hauled to the “Brownstone” stop on the train line. Photos courtesy Fillmore Historical Museum.
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George Henley.
George Henley.
Closeup of bank.
Closeup of bank.
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The foundation of what was to be the Henley Home with keystone showing circa 1919.
The foundation of what was to be the Henley Home with keystone showing circa 1919.
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Cover of Call Newspaper Special Edition, December 1987, showing their new building.
Cover of Call Newspaper Special Edition, December 1987, showing their new building.
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Courtesy Fillmore Historical Museum

In the 1880s settlers were coming to the Santa Clara River Valley generally in search of one of two things – good land for agriculture or oil deposits. One man came to the Valley for something entirely different – rock.

George Henley was born in New Jersey in 1857. Although Henley’s daughter, Clara, claimed her grandfather owned a stone quarry in New Jersey, it appears he was a quarry foreman. Either way, George and his brothers, Phillip and William, became interested in stone from an early age. He also had what his daughter called, “an itchy foot.” Shortly after finishing his schooling he went to Cuba for a visit. Again, according to Clara, “he liked the sound of the language,” so when he returned to New Jersey, he proceeded to learn Spanish.

Being conversant in Spanish would serve him well. For the next ten years he roamed the western United States and Mexico, generally working in mining. In a 1931 interview with Charles Jarrett, he recounted many adventures, from sitting in on the trial of Billy the Kid, to bringing in the desperadoes who had killed his mining partners, to acting as a young American’s attorney in a trial in Juarez, Mexico.

In 1887, he was in Washington State when he received a letter from his brother, Phil, who had been contracting as a quarryman in the Los Angeles area. In it, Phil told of brownstone being found in Sespe canyon. When George arrived, there were two “quarries” working, one near the Kentuck oil lease and one just above the Sespe Land and Water Company dam. George Henley worked for a time as a foreman at one of these but soon, he and his brother, Phil, went into partnership to quarry and sell brownstone.

Despite the term “quarry”, according to Clara Henley Turley, the property her father had that was to be the quarry was never used. (The area that would have been the quarry is now part of the condor preserve.) Instead, the large boulders which were in the Sespe Canyon were mined. It was not an easy task. To break the stone, a series of holes would be drilled in the rock and then wedges inserted. The wedges were then hammered into the rock breaking the stone. A hoist would then be used to load the cut stone onto a wagon which would then be hauled to the “Brownstone” stop on the train line. This was located approximately at the foot of what is now Grand Avenue.

The stone was shipped throughout the country but was mainly used on the west coast. Some of the buildings which used Sespe brownstone included the Call Newspaper Building in San Francisco, the Bradbury Building in Los Angeles, and the Methodist Episcopal Church (now Community Church at Holliston) in Pasadena. The Fillmore State Bank was faced with the stone and Greek style columns adorned the corner entrance of the Bank. The columns were preserved by Earl Campbell when the building was renovated in the 1930s. His daughter, Elizabeth Campbell Thomas, donated them to the Museum and they can be seen at the Historical Park on Main Street.

Brownstone was often used for memorial and cemetery monuments, many of which were carved by William Henley, the younger brother of George and Philip.

By 1912, the market for stone hit a slump. Concrete had been perfected as a building material and virtually killed the market for building stone.

George Henley had broad interests. His linguistic interests were not limited to learning Spanish after his trip to Cuba. He had learned German as a child as it was spoken at home, and according to his daughter, Clara, he also spoke some Portuguese. He is also known, along with Dr. Francis Bizzell, to have spent many hours over a two year period interviewing Candalaria Valenzuela and documenting the language of the Sespe band of Native Americans. Copies of their notes are in the archives of several museums including the Smithsonian.

Henley was very diverse in his business interests. Oil had been found in the Sespe and he tried his hand at that. He was not successful, finding artesian springs instead of oil. He did draw attention from one of his neighbors, Joe Dye. (For more information on Joe Dye, go to https://www.fillmorehistoricalmuseum.org/stories-2/joe-dye-and-sespe-oil) Dye had several oil leases in the area as well as interest in the brownstone. Henley related to Charles Jarrett that their disagreement stemmed from the payment of royalties for the stone used to build the Potomac block on Fort Street in Los Angeles. The dispute grew and came to a head as the two men met near the bank building on the northeast corner of Main and Central. Henley was armed with a 45 caliber revolver and Dye was also believed to be armed. The situation was defused when Dr James S. Crawford, a dentist who was also a partner with Dye on some of the leases, stepped between them and led Dye into a nearby saloon. The “Dye Problem” was solved for Henley when a few weeks later in May of 1891, Mason Bradfield killed Dye from ambush in Los Angeles. Bradfield was acquitted of Dye’s murder but was convicted of attempted murder of Henley in 1916 and served time in San Quentin. (For more on the Bradfield/Henley “gun fight” go to https://www.fillmorehistoricalmuseum.org/stories-2/the-law-in-fillmore}
In 1920 Henley was one of the biggest honey shippers in the area. But with the demise of the market for brownstone, his main business was the fishing camp he established on the Sespe at Coldwater Flats. Fishermen would come from Los Angeles and other far-off places to try their hand at fishing on the Sespe. The limit at first was 50 fish, but later was decreased to 20.

One argument George Henley had with his wife, Malitta, was where to build the family home. When they first settled in Sespe Canyon, a small home was built on Cold Water Flat, and they later moved down the canyon, just below Pine Creek. They never built the fine home Malitta hoped for. George wanted to build near where their existing cabin was, and actually began construction. Malitta wanted the house built near the road, however, George thought that was too close to the Sespe and would be washed away. Neither “won” the argument. George got no further than the foundation of his home, but he was proven right about the site Malitta wanted. In 1938, the site she had chosen was washed away in by a flood.

Henley put a gate across the road up the Sespe and some accused him of establishing a tollgate. His daughter, Clara, insisted that this was not a tollgate but only people who were going to be staying on their property or parking their cars on the property were asked to pay. The camp was badly damaged in a fire in 1916 but continued on until the flood of 1938 completely destroyed it. By then Henley’s wife had passed away and he moved into Fillmore and later in with his daughter in Compton where he died in 1953.

 


 
On Thursday, June 16th, 2022, Fillmore Citizen Patrol awarded three scholarships to high school seniors interested in the first responder professions. Izaac Mercado is interested in the fire service as a career and was awarded the John Harm Memorial Scholarship in the amount of $1,500. Oscar Villalta was awarded $1,000 and is also looking to go into the fire service. Kayla Cervantez was awarded $1,000 and is interested in going into law enforcement. Pictured are (l-r): Captain Garo Kuredjian, Izaac Mercado, Oscar Villalta, Citizen Patrol Secretary Lisa Hammond, Citizen Patrol member Jerry Peterson, and Citizen Patrol member German Cea. Not pictured: Kayla Cervantez. Photo credit Angel Esquivel-AE News.
On Thursday, June 16th, 2022, Fillmore Citizen Patrol awarded three scholarships to high school seniors interested in the first responder professions. Izaac Mercado is interested in the fire service as a career and was awarded the John Harm Memorial Scholarship in the amount of $1,500. Oscar Villalta was awarded $1,000 and is also looking to go into the fire service. Kayla Cervantez was awarded $1,000 and is interested in going into law enforcement. Pictured are (l-r): Captain Garo Kuredjian, Izaac Mercado, Oscar Villalta, Citizen Patrol Secretary Lisa Hammond, Citizen Patrol member Jerry Peterson, and Citizen Patrol member German Cea. Not pictured: Kayla Cervantez. Photo credit Angel Esquivel-AE News.
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Two Brush Fires in Fillmore & Santa Paula
On Wednesday, June 15th at 7:25am, a brush fire broke out in the 1400 block of Boosey Road near Toland Park. And at 8:09am firefighters responded to a second brush fire in 2400 block of Grand Avenue, Fillmore. Both fires burned in remote areas with structures near the area and by 9am the fires were declared out according to authorities. Later authorities reported that the fires were under investigation but were suspected to have been caused by lightning.
On Wednesday, June 15th at 7:25am, a brush fire broke out in the 1400 block of Boosey Road near Toland Park. And at 8:09am firefighters responded to a second brush fire in 2400 block of Grand Avenue, Fillmore. Both fires burned in remote areas with structures near the area and by 9am the fires were declared out according to authorities. Later authorities reported that the fires were under investigation but were suspected to have been caused by lightning.
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On Wednesday, June 30th at 8:30am, at Sespe and Central Avenue, film crews were swarming to set up filming along Central Avenue. Equipment trucks, along with Fillmore Police and Fire personnel, could be seen along Sespe Avenue, while film crews were around the corner setting up a giant lighting modifier to hang over the street.
On Wednesday, June 30th at 8:30am, at Sespe and Central Avenue, film crews were swarming to set up filming along Central Avenue. Equipment trucks, along with Fillmore Police and Fire personnel, could be seen along Sespe Avenue, while film crews were around the corner setting up a giant lighting modifier to hang over the street.
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Fillmore's Fireworks Show
Fillmore's Fireworks Show
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Fireworks sales have started! On Tuesday, June 28th, noon booths throughout Fillmore opened, with sales ending Tuesday, July 5th at noon. All booths support Fillmore non-profit organizations. The Fillmore Fireworks Show will be on Sunday, July 3rd, at 9pm (sundown). The community can watch the show from their residence or parks. Also, don’t forget about the Fillmore FFA Annual Pancake Breakfast to take place Monday, July 4th at 7:30am, at the Veteran’s Memorial Building, and the 34th Annual Sespe Creek Car Show will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Monday, July 4th in downtown Fillmore.

 
Congratulations Alexis Velasco and Adrian Estrella for your 3rd place win (which came with a $200 cash prize) in the NatGeo/MERITO “Tales of Exploration” Competition, that included 68 student teams from around Ventura County. Alexis and Adrian combined photojournalism with ecological fieldwork in the Channel Islands, studying how humans have impacted symbiotic relationships between species on Santa Cruz Island. Courtesy Fillmore High Flashes Blog.
Congratulations Alexis Velasco and Adrian Estrella for your 3rd place win (which came with a $200 cash prize) in the NatGeo/MERITO “Tales of Exploration” Competition, that included 68 student teams from around Ventura County. Alexis and Adrian combined photojournalism with ecological fieldwork in the Channel Islands, studying how humans have impacted symbiotic relationships between species on Santa Cruz Island. Courtesy Fillmore High Flashes Blog.
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