Madulce Station Retrospective

Madulce Station

Madulce Station, 1983
(click photo to open set)

Soon I will post a series covering my recent return to hiking the Los Padres after a nearly 25 year absence. But beyond seeing such places as Pine Mountain Lodge, Chorro Grande and Haddock I had another mission during my stay in Ojai August 12 to August 22, 2011.  I was convinced a cache of my old photographs existed that included photographs of the legendary Madulce Station in its prime after the restoration in the 1970s. In a cabinet in a garage in Ojai I found a plastic box that had not been opened since sometime before 1990. In the box, among a number of old Los Padres photographs, were not only the old prints of Madulce I had hoped to find; there was also a complete set of negatives in the original glassine envelopes. I have posted scans of these negatives on my photography site.

Sometimes it is good to revisit the past and appreciate what was lost if one does not dwell on it. Enjoy.

5 thoughts on “Madulce Station Retrospective

  1. Great, great, great stuff. Not just on a “gosh, wish I’d seen it in its prime” level, but as a service to history. Finding this sort of intel via regular USFS channels would be nearly impossible. Very much looking forward to the next in the series.

    • I hope this serves an informational purpose in the service of history.This is not the end of the my treatment of this story; the rest will come once I have revisited Madulce (I hope this fall). I have a story or two I have not told. I was lucky to have been an eyewitness to “prime Madulce” and fortunately I paid attention and took notes (and pictures – but I nearly managed to lose them). How those pictures got left behind when so much traveled with me these last 20+ years makes no sense, but tragedy averted.

  2. Got to your blog after stumbling upon your panorama galleries, I am really impressed by the pictures you have of Malduce. I spent a night there in April of this year. I wonder what this place looked like back then and now you have showed me! Bookmarking your blog now for excellent Los Padres pictures!

  3. Wow…brings back a ton of great memories. During my Junior and Senior years of high school, my buddies and I spent our Christmas breaks at the Old Madulce Station. Each visit was a week of pure bliss, exploration, snow storms and much more. Thanks so much for the pictures. We kept our horses at the corral and would ride all day exploring all around the area only to return to the cots with the old wood burning stove. Does anyone have the poem that was written on the door? I thought i took a picture of it but can’t seem to recall.

    • That stove was memorable, and I would have thought it would have been among my interior shots, but it was not. I am sure I transcribed the poem in my notes at one time, but I it is not among the many artifacts I have retained. I also remember a large alarm clock on the floor with a note that said the resident mouse would not bother visitors at night if they kept the clock wound and ticking. I am very happy these photos brought back some memories for you.

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