Every hacienda on every rancho had a room devoted to sewing. All of the clothing worn on the rancho had to be handmade. Imagine women sewing here, mending and embroidering - all under the watchful eye of Doña Teodora, Don Raymundo's wife. Sewing was hard, monotonous work, and required a great deal of time and effort.
This room is believed to be the main dining room for the Olivas family. However, it was also the entertainment center of Max Fleischmann, the last man to own the house and maintain it as a private residence. Mr. Fleischmann bought the property in 1927. After his death in 1951, the Fleischmann Foundation gave the Adobe to the City of Ventura with the provision that it be used as a living history museum. Therefore, this room is kept as Mr. Fleischmann left it as a memorial for his gift to the city.
Although much of the cooking was done out of doors, the kitchen was a room of constant activity. The meals of the day would have been prepared by skilled Chumash servants. Beef, mutton, chicken, vegetables and fruits were important parts of the menu, as well as breads and stone ground corn tortillas. During fiestas, hundreds of meals were served, and the kitchen was a place of nonstop preparations.
Don Raymundo's 8 daughters slept in this room. It was accepted in those days that more than one person slept in a bed, and custom dictated that daughters slept near their parents. Young marriages were common, so it is unlikely that all 8 girls would have been present at one time. Don Raymundo's 13 sons may have slept in rooms enclosed on each end of the balcony or in the small adobe building across the courtyard.
This room was carefully attended by the servants and family. Here the pacing footsteps of Don Raymundo echoed as he pondered the effects of the floods of 1860 and the terrible drought and economic depression of 1861 - 1862. It is believed that Don Raymundo died in this room on February 24, 1879 at almost 70 years of age.
The family chapel was the spiritual center of the Rancho. Weddings, baptisms and daily prayers made this an active room, where the flicker of votive candles and the hushed whisper of prayer would fill it each night before the family retired.