A very Happy Thanksgiving to all from the Museum of Ventura County! While most of us are settling in at home to celebrate a much quieter holiday than in past years, most will still put a roasted turkey on the table. To residents of the Santa Clara River Valley, a Deeter turkey was always part of the celebration in times past.

The Deeters left Oklahoma and settled in Fillmore in 1938 and opened the Deeter Turkey Ranch that same year. Son, Calvin Deeter, took over the ranch in the 1950’s. They raised approximately 20,000 turkeys every year. The Deeter Ranch supplied turkeys to families in Ventura County for decades. To those lucky Fillmore residents who lived nearby, the plus was calling to reserve a turkey and pick up right from the ranch. Those that lived further away could find the famous Deeter Turkeys at select markets around the county.

The ranch was eventually wiped out by an Exotic Newcastle epidemic in the 1970’s which also closed Julius Goldman’s Egg City.

Share your favorite Thanksgiving tradition in the comments thread, whether it’s a special menu item, a family activity or trip you would normally be taking this time of year.

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