Home located at 239 Third St. Fillmore

239 Third St. on Home Tour

March 28, 2001
Hospice Home Tour April 22
Santa Paula News
By Molly King Fifty-two years of warm greetings will be repeated at the entrance to 239 Third Street in Fillmore, the home of Josephine Myers and Richard Schmittou, as they welcome guests to Santa Clara Valley Hospice’s 18th Annual Home Tour on April 22 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.The cottage was built in 1924, and “most windows original and much of the furniture is even older; it belonged to my mother,” explains Josephine Myers. Is this a real house or a doll house? It’s full of dolls and other family keepsakes, with illustrated photographs. Most of the 1924 bathroom is still in place. “We live in every room every day.”You will go back in time as you enter what may seem like a small cottage, the “as it was” part of the home in which Aaron and Josephine Myers, both Fillmore natives, raised their son Don, now with his family in Thousand Oaks. Josephine was part of the heart and lives of hundreds of Fillmore schoolchildren who enjoyed the lunches she prepared in the San Cayetano School cafeteria in the Fillmore School District.This is a storybook house, and you’ll turn the pages carefully, wondering how it can be so meticulously maintained, lived in without respite. Walls, kitchen sink, cabinets (meal unit by Sears) are original. The 1949 Magic Chef was new in 1949. Cellotex walls and ceilings are original.It was only the force of an earthquake that prompted Josephine and Dick Schmittou - whose hobbies are gardening (you may see him at work), traveling, and reading - to move into the new century and a new addition to the cozy domicile on Third Street, next to homes now occupied by other houses on what was the large garden and orchard. Family room, bedroom and spacious bath tie into the original house in both interior and exterior appearance. The patio in back began as Mrs. Wileman’s chicken house and has evolved over the years with repairs and additions of oil field and ranch materials and the labor of many friends and neighbors.The plans were drawn for the 1997 addition by Don Carruthers and the contractor was Lance Montee, “both of Fillmore and absolutely excellent,” says Josephine Myers.
The sycamore tree in front, the Toyon on the west side, the camphor bush at the corner and the two Pittosporum on the east side were all here before 1949. With the loquat tree planted by son Don when he was very young, the house is shaded so that air conditioning is not necessary. The yard, including the citrus trees planted and re-budded by Aaron Myers over the years, continues to be a work in progress.Take your time. Everything has a story. Some stories you may not recognize, but some you certainly will.The cottage is one of the four homes and Trinity Episcopal Church on the Hospice Home Tour. You will have a day in the country from the foothills of San Cayetano, across Sespe Creek, through the country roads of Bardsdale looking across orchards, up the barrancas toward Topa Topa. The Sunday drive would be gratification enough, but Santa Clara Valley Hospice would not ask you to contribute funds to its volunteer hospice activities just for the ride. In addition to the Myers/Schmittou home, you will see the Bardsdale renovation of Bob and Pat Morris, the hospitable ranch-style home of Shirley Wright on East Telegraph Road, and the new home of Larry and Judy Dunst at 1405 Oak Avenue in Fillmore.Tickets at $12.50 will be available in advance in Fillmore at Mirage Clothing (326 Central); in Santa Paula at The Mill, Santa Paula Times, Mr. Nichols, and from the Hospice office at 133 N. Mill St.; and in Ventura Garden Memories (28 S. California St.). For more information call the Hospice office at 525-1333. On the day of the tour tickets are $15 at any of the sites.“Hospice of Santa Clara Valley provides medical, emotional, social and spiritual support to persons with life-threatening illness,” explains Board of Directors President Cathy Barringer. “The patient and family are the unit of care, with trained volunteers placed to provide respite care and other services as appropriate. Bereavement services are also provided for a period of one year or more, and are also provided for the community at large. No fees are charged for any Hospice service. Other services include equipment loans, referrals, and community education, a library which includes books on tape and videos. Support groups for many different needs are available to all, regardless of any association with our Hospice.”

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