In the tradition of Lewis and Nellie Gail Moulton who, in the days of the Moulton Ranch, would host large dances each year in appreciation and for the benefit of the local fire department, the Moulton Company and its members are committed to giving back with passion and resources to those that enrich culture, expand education and provide great service to our communities.

Moulton Museum

The Moulton Museum works to keep the history of Orange County and its ranching era alive. The foundation actively archives, restores, and preserves Orange County historical artifacts. This includes farm implements and buggies to documents, artwork and images of the period. The Moulton Museum is committed to sharing its collection with the public. Expanding the collective understanding of the ranching era and its lasting impact on the economic, social, architectural and cultural fabric of Orange County is at the core of the Moulton Family Foundation’s mission. We are preparing to open the Moulton Museum in 2020. The archive collection is being digitized for public access. Please share archival materials with us by sending an email to You can view our collection page for more information.

The OC Register has featured the family’s history in a series of articles:

If you are interested in helping the Moulton Museum pursue its goals, please contact Jared Mathis at 949-450-6285

Laguna Playhouse & Moulton Theatre

The Moulton family has supported the Laguna Playhouse since its humble beginnings almost 100 years ago. Nellie Gail Moulton had a deep passion for the performing arts and helped create and sustain the Playhouse for many years. She was often front and center on opening nights and the Moulton family is committed to continuing her dream of delivering a rich cultural experience in the heart of Laguna. With a seat on the board of directors, The Moulton Company is actively participating in the current operations of the Playhouse as well as shaping its future. Jared Mathis serves on their Board of Directors.

On May 12, 2018, the Laguna Playhouse had its annual Gala at the Fashion Island Hotel. They honored the family and celebrated 50 years of the Moulton Theatre. View the event press coverage here:

Learn more about the history of the Laguna Playhouse. They are currently celebrating their centennial in 2020.

Laguna College of Art and Design

Nellie Gail Moulton was an artist from an early age and she loved to paint. As she developed her talent, she was fortunate to learn from some of the most prominent plein air artists in the country such as Edgar Payne, William Wendt and Anna Hills. As a former elementary school teacher and principal she merged her love of painting and education in her support of the Laguna College of Art and Design. It was her hope that founding LCAD would provide others the same opportunity she had to pursue their passions in the arts.

The Moulton Company participates on the LCAD board of directors, executive and facilities committees. The Moulton family also supports LCAD’s Nellie Gail Moulton Legacy Society.

For more information, visit the LCAD website and NGM Legacy Society link.

Portrait of Nellie Gail Moulton by LCAD Fine Arts BFA Alumna and MFA Candidate, Averi Endow

Moulton Elementary School

Located in Laguna Niguel on land where sheep and cattle used to roam on the Moulton ranch, Moulton Elementary has been teaching students for over 40 years. The Moulton Company supports the mission of Moulton Elementary School to provide a place where all students and teachers strive for excellence in academics, social and emotional growth. To that end, The Moulton Company is proud to have recently funded a new writing program for the school, its teachers and students.

In celebration of the 40th anniversary of Moulton Elementary, the Moulton Company held an exhibit on campus for students and the community displaying pictures and artifacts from the Moulton Ranch as well as artwork from Nellie Gail Moulton. In addition, Moulton Elementary commissioned Laguna Beach artist Walter Viszolay to  paint murals depicting the Moulton ranch on school walls. 

If they were around today, Lewis (depicted in the mural) and Nellie Gail Moulton would be big fans of the Moulton Hawks!

Chapman University

Chapman was so important to Nellie Gail Moulton that she donated all of the acreage that is now known as Nellie Gail Ranch in Laguna Hills to the college. It remains as one of the largest gifts in the history of the institution and helped Chapman College blossom into Chapman University. Her generosity didn’t stop there. As a result, in 1975 Chapman dedicated Moulton Hall in her memory. Moulton Hall contains the Guggenheim Art Gallery and Waltmar Theater and is a center for the performing and visual arts on campus.

The Moulton family continues to support and engage with Chapman University. This includes an active involvement with the Hilbert Museum of California Art.

Aliso Viejo Ranch

The Moulton Company has worked closely with concerned citizens and the Aliso Viejo City Council in an effort to save and restore the only remaining buildings from the Moulton Ranch. We are grateful to the city for its commitment to dedicate considerable resources to this historically significant project. The Moulton Family Foundation has agreed to contribute Moulton Ranch artifacts and artwork to the new development at Aliso Viejo Ranch. View Eddie Grijalva’s story in the small town of El Toro and experience on the Moulton Ranch.

The Moulton Company is proud to participate with an initiative that will benefit the entire Aliso Viejo community and the region – and bring history to life for people of all ages. View the Aliso Viejo Ranch Project to learn more about this ongoing historic preservation site with city programming.

Conservation and Open Space

Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park – over 4,500 acres of open space and over 30 miles of trails –  came from the development of the Moulton Ranch. Including additional open space dedicated by cities that succeeded the Moulton Ranch, (Laguna Niguel, Laguna Woods, Laguna Hills, Laguna Beach, Dana Point and Aliso Viejo) approximately 25% of the former 22,000 acre Moulton ranch has been preserved as open space for all to enjoy.

Taking it a step further, in 2013 Louise Hanson (daughter to Lewis and Nellie Gail Moulton) agreed to place her 14,000 acre cattle ranch near Santa Barbara under a conservation easement with the California Rangeland Trust. The easement protects critical habitat and ensures the ranch will stay open range forever, never to be developed. The Moulton family still owns and operates the ranch. In a 1994 interview, Louise Hanson said, “I think almost all ranchers are actually part of the environment; we live along with the environment. I mean, that’s part of our life — to preserve it and take care of it and be a part of it.”

OC Parks

The Orange County Board of Supervisors voted in 2017 to approve the creation of a Visitors Center at Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park. The park’s main entrance provides a staging area for hikers, bikers and equestrians to start their journey into the park. The next phase of improvements to the main entry include a visitor center, restrooms and park staff offices. Construction is anticipated to start this fall and be complete in spring 2018. The Moulton Family Foundation is taking part in the visioning process with OC Parks and their consultants in order to provide first-hand historical context, materials, artifacts and imagery for the visitors center. We are honored to contribute to the process.

Current Exhibitions

Who was Nellie Gail Moulton? Pioneer, Artist and so much more exhibition is at Casa Romantica with closing date of September 20, 2020.

The Laguna Hills Civic Center exhibits Terra Cotta Busts which are 6 life-sized terra cotta busts in the lobby that feature Lewis Fenno Moulton. His brand is a part of the Iron Work art installation with a vaquero on horseback amid cattle brands on lobby wall. They also display a Nellie Gail Display Case which is the history of the life of Nellie Gail Moulton and her family. It is shown in the lobby and open to the public during regular operating hours.

Past Exhibitions

Jared Mathis, The Moulton Company C.E.O., spoke with Laguna Woods Village This Day host, Cyndee Whitney, about the Nellie Gail Moulton and Jane Barnes art exhibit for the 40th Anniversary Art Exhibit that opened on October 24, 2017.

Jared K. Mathis and The Moulton Company were honorees for the 2015 Association of Fundraising Professionals, Orange County.

The Laguna Beach Arts Alliance honored the Moulton Company as the 2019 Corporate Arts Patron of the Year. This award was announced by Dee Dee Irwin. Nominees were Mo Honarkar’s Laguna Beach Co. and the National Charity League.

Jared K. Mathis and The Moulton Company were honorees for the 2015 Association of Fundraising Professionals, Orange County.

The Laguna Beach Arts Alliance honored the Moulton Company as the 2019 Corporate Arts Patron of the Year. This award was announced by Dee Dee Irwin. Nominees were Mo Honarkar’s Laguna Beach Co. and the National Charity League.

error: All images are copyright of Moulton Museum.

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