Happy Valentine's Day!

It's a season of love as we prepare for Valentine's Day. When Lewis met Nellie, he asked her father John Gail, the El Toro Postmaster, if he could court his daughter. This 20th century dating practice was when another person would join the date. Victorian virtues were maintained with courting as a family would help determine future spouses. View more images of courting and marriage at the Smithsonian Museum.
El Toro General Store & Post Office, Operated by John Lockwood Gail, 1902-1904
Nellie Gail wrote in her personal memoir, "You see, my dears, I want you to know that this ancestor of yours was no wallflower." (2019.16.02, page 43) Nellie described her meeting Mr. Moulton in 1903 in El Toro where her father ran the general store. She stated, "One day a Mr. Moulton, one of the ranchers, came in to get his mail and make a few purchases. Father introduced me and I helped wait on him. We exchanged some pleasantries, then, his errands done, he left. Nothing more. My only immediate impression was that he seemed a very nice gentleman of a customer. That was the summer of 1903. Five years later I became Mrs. Moulton."

They had Seattle dates where Lewis visited her during her teaching and principle assignments. Mr. Moulton secured them box seats to Ben Hur at the Grand Opera House in Seattle in 1903. They were married in 1908. The had their honeymoon in Hawaii where they went sight seeing in Honolulu.
Lewis and Nellie Gail Moulton, 1908
Read the O.C. Register article, "Nellie Gail and Lewis Moulton: A Love Story."
Louise Moulton Hanson stated ”In February 1895, Father purchased Rawson's 17,000 acres. A few months later Mr. Daguerre bought a one-third interest in it.” “Niguel was sold by the grantee to C. B. Rawson and sold by him to Lewis F. Moulton. The original grant was patented for 13,316.01 acres but the ranch has been enlarged by purchase until it now has an acreage of about 22,000 acres.”
Local History | Then & Now
This photo of the exterior of the Moulton Ranch house was taken near 1908 when Lewis built this house for Nellie Gail Moulton as a wedding present. (2018.39.26) In 1976, the Moulton house was removed from the site which would later become the El Torito Mexican Restaurant at Oakbrook Village Shopping Center next to the Laguna Hills Mall.

Reata Oakbrook Village Timeline
24391 Avenida de la Carlota #100, Laguna Hills, CA 92653

Near the Moulton Ranch homestead, this historic timeline was created by Shea Homes as a public art installation. Visit it to see the local history of Laguna Hills. The street Avenida de la Carlota was aptly named for Charlotte Moulton Mathis, the oldest daughter of Lewis and Nellie Gail Moulton.

From the Archive

Los Olivos
February 19th '93

Mr. Lewis F. Moulton
El Toro

Dear Sir,

I have heard you have some sheep for sale, I would like to buy 1500 or two thousand heads of sheep. If it is not too much trouble for you please let me know what kind of sheep you have for sale, and the last price a man could buy them.

Favor me with an answer.

I remain yours truly
B. Liben
for A. C. Calkins

Address. A. C. Calkins
Care of first National Bank.
Santa Barbara, Co

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