As we observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15th to October 15th, we bring you the stories and contributions made by our Latino community here in Ventura County. Latinos living in Ventura County come from many different countries including Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. The Museum will be featuring some of these stories over the next month.

Jesus Terrazas and his family owned the Sanitary Bakery in Santa Paula. Although advertised as a Panaderia, it was not your typical Mexican bakery. Jesus Terrazas was an astute businessman, so he baked wedding cakes, jelly rolls and Lady Fingers as well as his beloved pan dulce for residents of Santa Paula and the surrounding area.

Every recipe he acquired was written down in a precious ledger book that also contained the names, birth dates and death dates of family members. To the Terrazas family, this was highly prized as it contained both their important personal and professional information.

When the St. Francis Dam broke the night of March 12, 1928, the ledger book was stored safely away in a pie safe in the bakery. The flood destroyed the building, but the ledger survived intact, with little water damage and with the recipes and family information untouched.

The blank middle pages of the ledger are covered with a fine layer of silt. A chilling reminder of that fateful night.

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