Discover Historical Bardsdale: The Town that Never Was!

By Dick Diaz

On Saturday, November 7th, from 10:00am-3:00pm, the Bardsdale United Methodist Church will sponsor a home tour of four homes and the historical church, built in 1898. The cost of the tour is $25.00.

The tour will feature a working ranch, a registered county landmark Mediteranian style villa, a California craftsman home and an Italian influenced style home. In addition to the four homes, the registered county landmark, Bardsdale Church, is on the tour. All of the selected sites are situated among orange groves, row crops and in the part of the Santa Clara valley known as Bardsdale.

Bardsdale is known as, “The Town that Never Was!” When the train reached the City of Fillmore in 1887 it brought with it hopeful Mid-westerners interested in buying, or homesteading land in the Santa Clara River Valley. By 1889 Bardsdale was mapped out by Royce Surdam, for Thomas Bard, and land became available for sale. Trains from Los Angeles brought in many German families who scattered throughout the Santa Clara Valley to farm this new, agriculturally rich land and were some of Bardsdale’s first residents. There was a functioning German Evangelical Church in Bardsdale on what is now Owen St. in 1892.

For those that have traveled south on State Route 23, from Fillmore towards Moorpark you will know when you are in Bardsdale when you see the row of stately Washingtonian palm trees alongside the roadway. Although Bardsdale never developed into an incorporated town it did have a church, built in 1898, a school and a small post office. The church still remains as a working church; however, the school is now a private residence, and the small post office was moved and can be viewed at the Fillmore Historical Museum.

If you have never been to Bardsdale you will surely love Bardsdale once you visit this beautiful area. You may even recognize the area from one of the Sunkist Orange Juice commercials, or a recent Subaru commercial featuring a wedding filmed there. Or, from one of the many scenes from movies, such as Charlie Chaplin and La Bamba, that have filmed in the area. So please join the tour on Saturday, November 7th from 10:00am-3:00pm as the Bardsdale congregation hosts this wonderful event. Light refreshments will be available at the church.

Tickets are available at the church located at 1498 Bardsdale Ave, Fillmore, 805-524-2070, or at the Fillmore Historical Museum, 340 Main St, Fillmore, 805-524-0948. You may call for a reservation, and also purchase tickets the day of the tour.

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