Warner Springs Ranch Resort
PO Box 70 • 31652 Hwy 79, Warner Springs, California 92086 T: (760) 782-4200 F: (760) 782-9242
Operated by Pacific Hospitality Group, Inc.
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Warner Spring Ranch History - Julio Ortega
As written by Kathryn Fletcher, Warner Springs Historical Society, October 2009
He said the valley was much more beautiful when he was young: "There was water everywhere and the grass was so high. There were some 8,000 or more cattle here all the time, and Andres and Pio Pico had their ranches here. Governor Downey bought land here as well.” Once the ranch became a resort under Henshaw, Julio became part of it, working as a wrangler, greeting visitors and showing them to their casita on horseback. He was a fine story teller and his stories ranged from present to prehistory, and demonstrated that he was self-educated, particularly about his Native American and Spanish ancestors. In his later years, Julio lived on a pension in a cabin on the ranch and kept his old saddle, spurs and bridle inside.
Julio Oreta "went west" for the last time in the 1970s and left behind his wonderful stories, six children, 20 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren. He is buried in the little cemetery on Mesa Grande.