Classroom TOurs


Journey to 1874: Into the West with our interactive passport designed for Lewis Fenno Moulton’s exhibit.

Learn about the objects in our displays with our on-site scavenger hunt and activity pages.

Experience our augmented app designed for our exhibits that includes The Pioneer Spirit mural with Nellie Gail Moulton’s history.


Visit us and experience the pioneer history of Orange County! The Moulton Family established their ranch in the 1800s. Our exhibitions include interactive stations with our augmented application.

Explore the history of Moulton Ranch

We offer three dynamic tours of 1874: Into the West, Nellie’s Gallery, and Moulton Ranch Mural. Our lessons integrate with your local history curriculum. Explore the history of this area with our activity pages and passport. We use primary sources with our 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade classrooms with statewide standards.

El Toro, our mascot, helps the kids with our “Did You Know” exhibit labels and docents. Schedule your classroom tour today with the form below.


Classroom Tour Reservation Form

Your classroom will have a guided tour with a docent and a director. We have a Hands on the Past Program where we will showcase and handle actual artifacts with your group. Come prepared to learn and experience Orange County with our interactive passport.

Available in 2023

Learn what is was like to live on ranch land. Our community had farmers, ranch hands, and blacksmiths. They built the barns, sheds, foreman’s house, and bunkhouse. Participate in our Education Program where you’ll view our films, virtual reality Moulton Homestead, and complete a passport to the local history.

This map of Rancho Niguel was based on imagined by Charlotte Gail Moulton and Louise Marie Moulton.  The lower right-hand corner of the map reads, “El Toro California imagined as it was when Charlotte & Louise grew up prior to 1935 Orange County.” 

Nellie's Gallery Activity

Participate in our Moulton Roundup annual tradition of cowboys, horses, potluck, and music. Race to find the clues on the ranch and join the party at the end!

A group of students gets hands-on to help artist Walter Viszolay finish his murals at Moulton Elementary School.

Nellie Gail, Educator, Circa 1900

As a school teacher in the Seattle area, Nellie excelled in the classroom. She became the principal.

"I stayed at home until I graduated from high school, I was too young to teach school so I entered a seminary and received my teaching certificate and taught in the grammer school in Hebrun, teaching 51 students...
When the school term was over I was offered a teaching position in Chelen, but only taught one year as father decided to go to Southern Calif to El Toro where he started the little country store there, that was still in operation until 1969 when the freeway went through this property."

In 1903, "While at El Toro, I'd received a wire calling me to fill a vacancy at Port Orchard, Washington, where there was an overflow of students." (50) "After Port Orchard I was elected and assigned to a principalship at the Dunlap School, situated in the suburbs of Seattle, along Lake Washington. There were seven buildings, all part of the Seattle school system and all under one superintendent. I was a principal of one. It was a busy, active period."

El Toro Grammar School Class Photo with Louise Moulton, Circa 1920. (2018.30.65)
"Now, about going to school, we children in those days rode horses or ponies or donkeys to school well, quite a few of us did...I had several different ways. I went on one pony, standing up on two ponies, or in a buggy with two ponies, or in a buggy with one pony anything to be different."
Louise Moulton
An Oral History with Louise Moulton Hanson, March 15, 1994, Center for Oral and Public History at California State University, Fullerton (2017.08.02)
Charlotte Moulton points into the distance on Moulton Ranch with cattle in background, Circa 1915, 2017.05.165
Mother had been a teacher, so for some reason, when I entered school I was sent to Santa Ana. I stayed with friends there, and they put me right in the second grade. When Louise was about ready to enter school, I was still sort of recovering from the flu which had been so hard for me. In fact, I had had tuberculosis and was convalescing, and we had a governess. Well, when you had a governess, that's school twelve months of the year, not nine. The end result of this was that I became completely well and very husky. I entered Tustin High School when I was twelve, and Pomona College when I was sixteen.
Charlotte Moulton Mathis
An Oral History with Charlotte Moulton Mathis, May 28, 1991, OH 2205, Center for Oral and Public History, California State University, Fullerton. (2017.08.01)

Family History Handout

This lesson was created by the city of Laguna Hills based on Charlotte Moulton's memoir.

Lewis Fenno Moulton, Nellie Gail Moulton, and Charlotte & Louise with “Dickie” from the Pasadena Rose Parade

Witness History at Moulton Ranch


Read about the history of California!

Two Years Before The Mast

Written by Richard Henry Dana, Jr. and adapted by the Ocean Institute which tells of his journey to California.

Rancho San Felipie

A tale of adventure and an unlikely friendship on one of California's last ranchos. In fourth grade California students study the state's history including the missions and ranchos.

The West: An Illustrated History for Children

A compendium book for Ken Burns' documentary series with primary sources.

Oral Histories

Nellie Gail Moulton

Nellie Gail Moulton, interview by Helen Smith, February 21, 1969, OH 3639, Center for Oral and Public History, California State University, Fullerton.

Alice Genevieve Barnes

Written by Scott T. Barnes about his paternal grandmother who grew up in Julian, CA.

Charlotte Moulton Mathis

Charlotte Moulton Mathis, interview by Bettie Webber, May 28, 1991, OH 2205, Center for Oral and Public History, California State University, Fullerton.

Woody Barnes: A Farmer's Life in Julian

Written by Scott T. Barnes, Great-grandson of Lewis and Nellie Gail Moulton, about his father Woody.

Louise Moulton Hanson

Louise Moulton Hanson, interview Bettie Webber, March 16, 1994, OH 2355, Center for Oral and Public History, California State University, Fullerton.

Future Oral Histories

We are in the process of conducting more oral histories with Orange County pioneers. We are interested in learning more about those who lived and worked on Moulton Ranch.