Historical Site Tours

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Adobe Reyes House

Visitors to the Reyes Adobe Historical Site can view how the Reyes generations lived through room furnishings in the house depicting several time periods during the Reyes legacy. Tour begins here in the court yard.
 
Adobe Reyes House Second RoomSecondary Room, circa 1830 - 1850
This room was most likely a bedroom for family members. However, if travelers of prominence or importance visited the adobe, the family members occupying this room would move into another room or sleep in the main room and the guests would sleep in here. If the family did not know the guest well, they may have slept in the barn or in the courtyard near their horses.

The Reyes home was one of the last watering holes between here and Santa Barbara from Los Angeles. The Reyes family was known to accommodate travelers' from the El Camino Real occasionally, including mission padres. Rumor has it that even "bad man" Jacquin Murietta stayed at the rancho. The Reyes' also hosted a regional rodeo that brought many guests from around the state to their homestead.
 
Adobe Reyes House Main RoomMain Room, circa 1850 - 1880
The sala, the main or great room, generally served as the place to prepare food, entertain guests by the fire and sometimes used as a bedroom. On display in the Reyes Adobe main room is a cast iron stove donated to the city by the Valdez family who had property just adjacent to the Reyes property.

The step grandfather of George Valdez, Juan Robert Chavez, was born in the Reyes Adobe house in November 1878. Mr. Valdez is the last known descendent of the Reyes Family to have owned a portion of what was originally Rancho Las Virgenes. Also on display, is furniture, utensils, a bed warmer, metate and butter churn among other artifacts used during the period.

Bedroom of the Adobe Reyes HouseBedroom, circa 1900's
The Californio women loved refined items imported from New England and China such as silk shawls, blue dishware and other items. Most homes had a mirror in which the people could admire their fine clothes. Photos or portraits of a woman's family, especially of her children and grandchildren would be displayed in the bedroom. As many Hispanic and Mexican families were Roman Catholic, homes had a make shift alter as well as a religious image of Jesus, the Virgin Mary or a favorite saint.

Candles and incense burners might be set along with a crucifix and photos of loved departed ones. Wooden boxes or trunks stored blankets, clothing or other personal items. Most families didn't have many possessions, and could pack everything very quickly if they had to leave the area right away.

Adobe Reyes Home Brick OvenGrounds
As the rancho period was an active, outdoor lifestyle that relied on the land, the Reyes Adobe Historical Site features outdoor displays that bring the era to life for visitors. Site features include a replica horno or beehive-shaped oven as most of the cooking was done outdoors. The oven would stay warm enough to bake 40-50 loaves of bread at one time. Soon to come will be a cook's garden with herbs and vegetables.

A grape arbor was important, providing shade in the warm climate. Grapes, for eating and making wine, were a common crop.

A water feature replaces the original stream that provided fresh water and also a place to do laundry during the rancho period. It was a major task to transport clothes to and from the stream, so laundry was done only every few weeks and our educational tours offer a demonstration on hand washing by the stream.

Adobe Reyes House MuseumBarn / Museum
The barn is now a museum displaying a site timeline with illustrations of the grants, artifacts and photos relating to the property, courtesy of the families associated with the Reyes Adobe. Mr. Ernest Marquez, a direct descendent of Juan Francisco Reyes, provided the City with the Rancho Las Virgenes Land Title Records from the National Archives. Due to his extensive genealogical research of the Reyes Family, he also provided the City with genealogical records back to Juan Francisco Reyes.

Mr. George Valdez whose step-grandfather was born in the Reyes Adobe and later lived on the property next to the Rancho Las Virgenes, provided the City with photos, artifacts and wonderful recounts of living in the area. Also on display in the barn, is the adobe construction, including marks where horses gnawed away at the organic walls when staying inside the barn.

Malcolm McKenzie purchased the property in 1935. His preservation efforts in the 1930’s are in large measure why the adobe can be enjoyed today. Scott McKenzie, Malcolm McKenzie’s son has donated many artifacts to the site including; the hitching post, pictures, books and other documentation that you can see on site and in the museum.

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