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Madame Modjeska

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Madame Modjeska visiting El Toro train station print was donated by the Moulton family. She was a friend of Lewis and Nellie Gail Moulton. (2022.04.09)

The El Toro Station is a key part of the Moulton Ranch story. It was the center of town for commerce and community. In this historic print, it features Madame Modjeska and her husband “Count” Charles Bozenta Chlaplowski at the station. This 1969 print shows the couple arriving likely from one of her Shakespearean performances. Modjeska was a world renowned actress originally from Poland. The couple resided in Arden from 1888 until 1906. You can visit this historic home called Arden that is managed by the OC Parks located in Silverado Canyon.

In Nellie Gail Moulton’s 1969 oral history she stated, “They used to be a little group, a little social group, here in those days.
Madame Modjeska was up in the hills; her husband was Count Bozenta. She used to come down and spend the day with Mr. Moulton. Before she came, she would write him. There were no phones then, you know.” She continued to state, “When Madam Modjeska was not
traveling and was living up here in her home, well, that was just a little group of friends would get together sometime.” [Nellie Gail Moulton, interview by Helen Smith, February 21, 1969, OH 3639, Center for Oral and Public History, California State University, Fullerton.]

Learn more about Modjeska with this online exhibit.