Ortega Adobe

Phyliss Miranda sig line for P&P BluebonnetIn my last blog I wrote about the Mission La Purisima on the Camino Real in California.  I promised to write more about it and some personal things that have happened in the ol’ haunted mission.  Before I publish, what I think is an intriguing finish to my personal story about the La Purisima, I wanted to explore some more places along the King’s Highway that I’ve visited or became intrigued with.Ortega Taco Pix

I’m gonna bet if you make any Tex-Mex or even Mexican dishes you’ve used Ortega brand products.  Here’s my story about Ortega Adobe, Ortega Chili Company, and a mysterious little girl.

Ortega Old Pix use

The picture to the left is one of the middle class adobe homes and also one of the last houses of its type still standing in California.  Built in 1857 by local rancher Emedigio Ortega, he raised nine of his children.

In 1897, one of his sons began the Ortega Chili Company that exists today.  Obviously, the international company has outgrown the small three room house.

The building has been used as a Mexican restaurant, a Chinese laundry, a pottery shop, an employment agency, a VFW hall, a speakeasy, the Ventura police state, and lastly, a boy’s and girl’s club.  In the 1960’s it became an historic museum.  The tiles on the roof were purchasedOrtega Old Pix from the Old Mission San Buenaventura after the earthquake of 1857.

Now for the more interesting part of this mission, as I promised.

Supernatural events have become a part of the adobe museum’s crew’s jobs. Staff have caught a glimpse of a man with a derby hat standing on the porch. A visitor who believes she has a psychic gift saw a ghostly little girl in the house standing in the doorway. She had a dark shawl over her head. The house also has a very cold spot in the largest of the rooms where some have heard voices! The story of soft music emanating from a phantom guitar remind us of the history and many different lives that have passed through this house and of some spirits that may have chosen to stick around.

The Ortega Adobe isn’t a mission but I found its story very interesting.  I love going to California and this year, as many of you all know, I spent over two months in central California in order to celebrate graduation and birthdays for my grandchildren.  I’m eager to write more about my adventures.

Earlier this month when I wrote about the Mission La Pursima, which you haven’t heard the last of, I received a lot of wonderful comments on missions, so I’ll ask you the same question … please share with us any of your experiences on missions, the Camino Real, and ghosts.

The Troubled Texan GoodTo one lucky reader who comments, I’ll give you a choice of one of my eBook’s, including any anthology I’m in or one of my short stories. I’m looking forward to reading all of your comments.

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A native Texan, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Phyliss Miranda still believes in the Code of the Old West and loves to share her love for antiques, the lost art of quilting, and the Wild West.

Visit her at phylissmiranda.com

17 thoughts on “Ortega Adobe”

  1. I’ve visited just two missions both in Texas, one the Alamo, of course. So, it’s so very interesting to read your posts and about your experiences. Thank you. (P.S. I don’t have an e-reader so please don’t enter me into the contest.)

    • I am sorry that I’m late with responding, but it’s been one of those days! Rainy, which is good in this part of Texas. I love the Alamo and all of the stories about it. Thanks for stopping by. If I draw your name, I’ll work out something else besides an e-reader. I have one and it was great when I went on our cruise and for other travel, but I still like the feel of a good old paperback in my hands! In Texas you can find a lot of “super human” events at the Forts! Have a great day. Hugs, Phyliss

  2. What a beautiful article, I love your Historical information about the missions. I’ve never visited a mission that I can recall but your info makes me want too.

    • Hi Tonya, oh gosh you need to visit some if possible. In Texas, and I think you’re from here but not sure, the Forts have a lot of things to offer. But if you can ever get out to California, the missions there are absolutely out of this world. The majority, but not all, still hold services. Beautiful sites and exhibits to say the least. Hugs from Texas, Phyliss

  3. I have never visited a mission, but I would love to go one day. One time when we were in Galveston, we had a strange feeling at one of the historical homes. We had planned to visit but a tropical storm was on the way. When we got to the house, the guy was surprised that we were still there. no one else had shown up for the tour. he said all of the tourists had left the island in the morning because the storm had become a hurricane and they have left the island. He asked if we still wanted the tour. We were there, why not have a private tour. We both had the feeling of being watched while we were going from one room to the next. A couple areas, I found it hard to breath for some reason. it just felt like we weren’t alone. I think it was the ghost trying to scare us off so we would go home. After the tour, we went back to the hotel and packed our stuff in the car and headed back home. We took the warning. The hurricane missed Galveston that time and hit further up the coast. It wasn’t a bad one at all. But you just never know when it comes to mother nature and what she wants to do.

    • Oh Janine, what a great story and I totally believe it. I love Galveston and the old beautiful houses are out of this world. I think you are right either one of two things. The ghost wanted you to leave for your own safety or maybe they were inhabitants who lived there during one of the many old, old hurricanes. We used to go down there and take the ferry over to the little island of Port Bolivar where we’d rent a big old house that would fit three families. There is a huge, original lighthouse near our house and it has a thrilling history of a ship being stranded there during a storm and how the lighthouse fit into the story. I might write about that one day. It’s really an interesting story! Janine, thanks again for sharing your great adventure. I love, love it. Big hugs from the Texas Panhandle, Phyliss

    • Debra G, thanks for dropping by. Since you were in Southern California, I bet you went to the Mission San Juan Capistrano. Have you ever seen the swallows as they return to the mission? That’s one thing I have on my Bucket List, but since my kids live in Santa Barbara County (Lompoc)area, I doubt we’ll make it to San Diego, but I’d love to. Thanks again for leaving a comment. Big hugs from Texas, Phyliss

  4. I love learning little interesting tidbits from all of the blog posts you all share here! 🙂 My sister has a ghost that has followed her for years. I myself last year saw him walk by my nephew’s room while I was babysitting. Shocked me big time!

    • Hi Colleen, oh my gosh! I can’t imagine having a personal ghost. Did something tragic or unusual happen in the house she lives in? Maybe, although it scared you, he’s a good ghost. Chills are running down my spine right now. I’ve been to the Winchester Mansion in San Jose and it’s definitely haunted, but Mrs. Winchester made it that way herself. Another long story. She wore a size 4 shoe and had all the steps made to her specifications, so with a knee replacement, I doubt I can ever walk those crazy stairs again. I’m glad you enjoy our tidbits. All the Fillies and our guest try to give you all something maybe you’ve not hear about before. Lots of times it’s stuff we just found out ourselves. In my case that’s what happened. I came across the story about Ortega in a book about the Ghosts on the Kings Highway. Have a wonderful rest of the day and evening, Colleen. Hugs, Phyliss

      • We have no clue who he is… he just has followed her from house to house for years. She has seen him standing by her bed… my youngest nephew has seen him around the house… the ghost just pops in every so often.

  5. HI Phyliss,
    I love ghostly tales from the past. I think there’s something to be said about it, as I have heard from acquaintances they’ve encountered the same thing, but this was in the Old South. I just returned from a trip to Sonoma and it’s lovely, a bit farther north than central Ca, though. Happy blogging today!

    • Thanks, Sister Filly. I think most everyone is intrigued with ghostly tales from the past. We do have a lot of ghosts who live (for lack of any other word) in the Forts and of course places like Galveston. I’ve heard stories from all across the south, too! Maybe I’ll get up to Sonoma one of these days. When my oldest daughter, who is with the American Cancer Society, was in charge of just California and the kids were little, I’d go with her up to San Fran and Oakland periodically. Had some wonderful times, but now she travels all over the United States and the kids are older. I just got back from spending nearly three months up there … graduation, birthday parties, and the like. I love California, but am such a Texan at heart. Take care and have a great evening, Charlene. Hugs, Phyliss

  6. Hi Phyliss, I love Ortega chilis and eat them often. They are a staple in our household. And I know exactly where this is Thanks for being my locale to life. Love you….

  7. Hi Sister Filly, I’m glad I wrote about the Ortega’s, too. We do a lot of Tex-Mex here and I love Ortega products. My mouth doesn’t handle hot, hot too well, so I have to stay away from real Mexican food; but every other eatery here is either Tex-Mex or true Mexican. I’m so glad I was able to bring your locale to life. We really need to get together and compare Ortega products when I’m in Calfornia next year! A big hug and much love to my friend, Tanya. Phyliss

  8. We visited several old missions while we were out West. All were special and interesting in their own way. As for ghosts, we have had several experiences at .

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