Historic Packinghouses and Other Industrial Structures 
in Southern California

Virtual Tour of Fillmore and Santa Paula, CA
Ventura County

Copyright 2007, 2008, 2009 by James E. Lancaster

On April 18, 2007 Bob Chaparro and Jim Lancaster spent the day looking for packinghouses that still remain in Fillmore and Santa Paula, California. This web page summarizes what was found. It includes a few non-packinghouse buildings. Some of the buildings have been demolished and are listed for general interest.

Three references were used to identify the current and past names of the packinghouses:
  1. The current Sunkist Packinghouse Directory
  2. Sunkist packinghouses listed in the "Sunkist Growers, District Exchanges and Local Associations," dated December 20, 1957, plus a Sunkist map from the same time frame.
  3. Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps for Fillmore (1939) and Santa Paula (1950)
Not every packinghouse appears in all three references. For example, some packinghouses are no longer a part of Sunkist. Others never were.

Photos of each PH are included. Links to additional photos are in the bullets.

Unless otherwise indicated, all photos are by the author. No photo may be reproduced in any form (except for personal use) without permission.

A note about the photos: All of my photos were shot on Fuji 400-speed film and processed at a CVS one-hour counter, with digital images copied onto a Photo CD as jpegs. The jpegs have a resolution of 1500x1000 pixels. Using Photoshop I resize the images to a width of 800 pixels, use Auto Smart-Fix to adjust the color and do an Unsharp Mask. I then do a Save for Web to minimize the file size.  Except for the
Save for Web, I've used this process for quite some time. However, the resulting images used for this page look slightly grainy on my 1344x840 monitor. If you have any comments about the images please e-mail me at "ljames1@ix.netcom.com." J. L.


Saticoy Lemon Association - Plant #2 (Ref. 1)
Fillmore Lemon Ass'n (Ref. 2)
Fillmore Lemon Ass'n Lemon PH (Ref. 3)
Address: 348 A Street

The packinghouse consists of the older building shown above (from the southwest) and a newer warehouse. Only the warehouse seemed to be in use.
The Fillmore Lemon Ass'n also had a box and fertilizer warehouse south of the PH on the opposite side of the SP's Santa Paula Branch. The building has been demolished and the location is now filled with houses.

For additional views of this PH when it still had the  canopy over the loading doors, plus photos of Bob Smaus' model, see the earlier Fillmore PH web page.

Fillmore Citrus Ass'n (Ref. 2)   
Fillmore Citrus Fruit Ass'n Orange PH (Ref. 3)
Address: 341 A St. 

This does not seem to be an active PH. The view is of the north side.

This sawtooth roof ex-PH is unidentified. The view is looking north. A right-of-way for a spur to the north side is clearly visible in a Google satellite image.

Villa Park Orchards Ass'n - #2 (Ref. 1)
Rancho Sespe PH (Ref. 2)
Sespe Lemon PH (Ref. 3)
Address: 960 3rd and Telegraph

This is an active packinghouse. The view is of the south side.

Ventura County Citrus Ass'n (Ref. 2); Ventura County Orange & Lemon Ass'n (Ref. 3)
(Bruce Petty photo)

311 Central Ave,

The photo above was taken by Bruce Petty in 1973. The location is east of the Fillmore Lemon Ass'n Lemon packing house and the view is looking further east toward the SP Fillmore depot. On the near left is Globe Feeds, a corrugated steel building. Beyond it is the packing house. The location is now occupied by an apartment house.


Teague-McKevett Ass'n  (Ref. 2)
Teague McKevett Co. Lemon & Orange PH
(Ref. 3)
Location: 1 1/2 miles east of Santa Paula at intersection of Highway 126 and SP Railway

This ex-PH is on the National Register of Historic Buildings. The view above shows the east side.

The PH was photographed in June 1956 by Dallas Gilbertson. The view below shows the west end and the familiar sawtooth or factory roof with skylights facing north.

Sunkist Lemon Packing House, June 1956 (Dallas Gilbertson photo, Joe Shine collection)

Gilbertson also photographed the south side of the packing house next to the SP's Santa Paula Branch. In the photo below a PFE wood reefer is spotted at the southwest corner of the PH.

Sunkist Lemon Packing House, June 1956 (Dallas Gilbertson photo, Joe Shine collection)

Santa Paula

Blanchard's Packing House (David Coscia collection)
Address: Palm & Main Streets

Nathan Blanchard's Orange and Lemon packing house was built around 1888 and was the first packing house in Santa Paula. It appears on a Sanborn Fire Insurance map dated 1903 and was on successive maps through 1929. It no longer appeared on the 1950 update of the 1929 map. The photo probably dates to around 1900. It's from a postcard and was provided by David Coscia.

Santa Paula Orange Ass'n (Ref. 2)
Santa Paula Orange Ass'n PH (Ref. 3)
Address: 215 N. Ojai

This does not seem to be an active PH. The image above is of the south and east sides.

Southern Pacific Milling Company Grain and Bean Warehouse (Ref. 3)
Location: 1 block west and north of the SP depot

It's not a packing house but it's never-the-less an interesting old building. The view above is from the southwest.
Union Ice Company (Ref. 3)

The painting of the Union Ice Company is part of a mural on the south side of the Venture County building (see below). The building was just east of the SP Milling Co (see above). It has been demolished but Dallas Gilbertson photographed the ice house in June 1956. His photo below is similar to the painted scene.

Union Ice Company, June 1956 (Dallas Gilbertson photo, Joe Shine collection)

Another building that's been demolished was the
Santa Paula Walnut Ass'n PH (Ref. 3). It was located just west of the SP Milling Co.

Ventura County Agricultural Commission Fumigation Warehouse (Ref. 3)

Ventura County Citrus Exchange (Ref. 2)
Address: 144 Davis St.

This single-story stucco and art deco building is listed simply as "Office" in Reference 3.

Mupu Citrus Ass'n (Ref. 2)
Mupu Citrus Ass'n Citrus Fruit Packing (Ref. 3)
Address: 114 Palm Ave

The view above shows the south side of the ex-PH.
  • Here's a closer view of the shipping and receiving dock on the west side. 
  • It had a separate office (now a realty office) on the opposite side of the  street.  
  • The packing house name is still visible on the west side. 
  • I conjectured the PH might have a sawtooth roof behind the façade.  A Google satellite image verified this.
  • Closeup of a trackside loading door.
  • Bill Messecar took this photo from the southeast in 2004.

American Fruit Growers Orange PH (Ref. 3)

The view above is from the southwest. Some American Fruit Growers PHs packed under the Blue Goose brand.
  • We weren't sure this was an former PH  when we first saw it but a Sanborn map verified that it was. A Google satellite image shows a partial-sawtooth roof behind the facade.

Limoneria Company (Ref. 1; name is misspelled)
Limoneira Co. (Ref. 2)
The Limoneira Co. (Ref. 3)
Address: 1141 Cummings Road (4-1/2 miles west of Santa Paula)

The view above shows the north side of the lemon PH.

Reference 2 listed a Santa Paula Citrus Fruit Ass'n at 500 Santa Barbara St. but we couldn't find it. Reference 3 shows that it was a very large, multi-building PH complex a little east of American Fruit Growers. A Google satellite view shows that it has been demolished.

We did find the
Saticoy Lemon Association - Plant #3 at 103 N. Peck Road (Ref. 1) but its location made it difficult to photograph. It is an active complex and we first thought it was a modern PH but later discovered it had an older, sawtooth-roof building in the center. It was the Briggs Lemon Ass'n in References 2 and 3.

 Page created 4/19/07
Last Updated 11/9/08

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