Back to all Post

July 2021

by in Newsletter

Happy 4th of July!

We hope that you are able to celebrate the heritage of our nation with family and friends! This year marks the 245th anniversary of Independence Day for the United States of America. Read our nation’s founding document at the National Archives’ website.

Franklin L. (Woody) Barnes, Jr. and Gratian Bidart cooking burgers on a range over fire at ranch branding, circa 1960. He holds a long trident to handle beef and a bucket.

Happy Birthday, Aliso Viejo Ranch!

The City of Aliso Viejo was incorporated on July 1, 2001. At this moment in history, the Aliso Viejo Ranch had a historic barn, bunkhouse, and three other buildings standing from the Moulton Ranch period. View the modern bird’s-eye view of the site.

National Day of the Cowboy

We celebrate this annual tradition on Saturday, July 24, 2021.

The caption in Orange County Rancho Life stated, "Branding a calf must be done quickly. Two men called bulldoggers throw the calf to the ground. They hold him while another man does the branding. The barrels on the ground hold the fire which heats the branding irons. Many irons must be heated so that there will always be a hot iron ready to use. The cowboy at the left has just brought in the calf and is coiling his rope. He will soon be ready to bring in another calf." Deke Mathis, Lewis and Nellie's grandson, was on fence to right. (2017.05.374)

From the Archive

Salustiano Sansinena (Si), foreman of Moulton Ranch, at the top of this photo. Ambrosio Serrano’s bride “Trini” Trinidad Galvan on left, Felediz Serrano bottom middle and Mary Serrano on the right, circa 1920. (2018.40.08)

Frank Serrano in blue shirt with black hat and Deke tailing the calf. (2018.39.69)

Deke Mathis shared in his oral history about Si [Salustiano] Sansinena that, “he was a great guy. A single man. He was our farm foreman for the cowboys.” Deke also shared that Frank Serrano, “worked on the ranch, lived on the ranch, worked with him. He was a versatile cowboy.”

At the Aliso Viejo Ranch, the original foreman’s house has been recreated as a bungalow which is operated by Gold Coast Farm. Visit it today at 100 Park Ave, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656. It has “over 2 acres of gorgeous groves of fruit and nut trees, winding natural paths through native flora, and 24 aquaponic gardening beds producing delicious food for the local community.”

Do you have any personal collections that pertain to Rancho Niguel or Moulton Ranch? Please send us a digital copy to

California History

July 5, 1910- Monsignor St. John O’Sullivan arrived at Mission San Juan Capistrano. He resided in a tent since the former living quarters of Father Mut had insects. He started the restoration (carving beams, plastering walls with adobe, and using square nails to restore parts of the Mission) of the once abandoned site that had been in disarray.  

Father O’Sullivan was a personal friend of Nellie Gail Moulton. Nellie shared in her 1969 oral history, “Yes. O’Sullivan was a priest. And Father O’Sullivan gave me fish to put in my little pool up on the ranch. And Father O’Sullivan was a greatly beloved man as I remember him.”

Nellie Gail Moulton, interview by Helen Smith, February 21, 1969, OH 3639, Center for Oral and Public History, California State University, Fullerton.
Photo courtesy Orange County Archives of Mission San Juan Capistrano, circa 1910.

Share this newsletter with a friend and follow us on our social media accounts @moultonmuseum. View it online at