Los Rios District, San Juan Capistrano
Los Rios District is considered the oldest neighborhood in California. It was larger in the earlier days than now, but we get the idea of what it was like two hundred or so years ago. Many of the oldest buildings are still private homes and not open to public visits. There are quite a few that have been turned into restaurants or other businesses and those we can tour or get a glimps of the insides.
The Combs House, named for Constable James Combs on Verdugo Street is now a gift shop called Hummingbird Cottage built about 1865 in a town which was located on what is now Camp Pendletown Marine base. The house was moved to Los Rios about 1878. Combs kept prisoners out back.
Ramos House, next door to Combs House was built about four years earlier in 1881. Now known as the Ramos House Cafe with an outdoor patio. I didn't ask at the time but later heard that the Ramos family is one of the oldest around and I was told that under the bedroom is a secret room to hide in during dangerous times. I would have liked to see that.
There are more older and not as old houses that though they might have been moved, restored or turned into a "cottage businesses" the give us a wonderful view of California's beginnngs.
The train station is located here as well as tourist kiosks and other restaurants
From those travelling to experience the city of SJC, you get the country- in the Los Rios District , that is. Proclaimed as the oldest neighborhood in California, Los Rios consist of farm land, and, well, plain dirt. There are no carefully lined streets on concrete. What's solid here is the foundation of tranquility and turn of the 20th century lifestyle.
It is lovely to walk around the grounds here in the ranch area of SJC, despite the sandy terrain getting stuck between the toes.
Los Rios is just a few steps away from the train tracks off Capistrano Dept. To sweeten the trip, come here by train.