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Adobe Day at Historic Adobe in Chino

The San Bernardino County Museum will hold a Family Fun Day, “Adobe Day: Making History,” at the Yorba and Slaughter Families Adobe in Chino on Saturday, June 4 from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

The day will include guided tours of the historic adobe ranch house, and family and children’s activities that reflect how children lived in California in the 1800s. Among the activities are candle-dipping, rug-beating, and making adobe bricks. Children can paddle a butter churn and make some fresh butter, cross-stitch a bookmark, make a broom, and wash clothes the old-fashioned way. The family activities, led by the Museum Youth Club, are designed for families with children ages 4 to 13. Some activities have a $1 or $2 fee to help cover the cost of materials.

“This is a great chance for families to experience some of the everyday activities that people did in California in the 1800s,” said Museum Educator Nancy Kirkwood. “Most people have very little idea of what it was like living in California 150 years ago, but ‘Adobe Day’ will give them an opportunity to try it out at a historic location that was built then.”

The Yorba-Slaughter adobe ranch house was constructed in 1852-53 by Raymundo Yorba. In 1868, Fenton Slaughter purchased the ranch, and with his wife and 10 children, lived and worked at the site for many years. Slaughter family descendants lived at the site into the 1970s. Over the years, the ranch property included a post office and general store, a saloon, a blacksmith shop, a dairy, Fenton Slaughter’s grape growing operation, and the Vine Slope Winery. It was even an occasional stagecoach stop for the Butterfield Overland Mail from 1858 to the start of the Civil War.

Julia Slaughter Fuqua, the third child of Fenton and Dolores Alvarado Slaughter, recognized the historic importance of the property and began restoration in 1928. The property, now a historic site of the San Bernardino County Museum, includes the adobe home, a caretaker’s home built in the early 1900s, a re-created post office and general store, and a large barn/winery building Julia Slaughter Fuqua re-constructed in the 1920s. The site was purchased in 1971 by the San Bernardino County Museum Association. Major restoration and seismic retrofitting was completed by the county in 2000. The historic adobe residence is filled with furnishings from the Slaughter family era at the turn of the last century. Exhibits located in the post office and general store explain how the ranch was used for raising sheep and horses, and how local residents obtained everyday supplies. The Yorba-Slaughter Adobe is registered as California State Historical Landmark #191.

The Yorba and Slaughter Families Adobe is at 17127 Pomona Rincon Road in Chino. To reach the site, take Highway 71 to Euclid Avenue and turn north on Pomona-Rincon Road. No admission fee is charged; donations of $2 (adult) and $1 (child) are requested. For more information about “Making History at the Yorba and Slaughter Families Adobe,” call the Museum Education division at (909) 307-2669, ext. 271 or ext. 256, TDD/TTY: (909) 792-1462, or visit


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