In the early 1880’s James Louis Garnsey and
Harry K. Day were among the homesteaders who came
to DeLuz to stake their claims to the land located
between two Spanish land grants – Rancho Santa
Rosa and Rancho Santa Margarita.
These two men were
the great-Grandfathers of the present-day owner of
the Ranch, Stephen Garnsey. James retired to his
DeLuz acreage to keep bees, while Gramp Day’s first
crop was the wood he cut, and later grapes, which
he dried, into raisins.
When mail service began in
1882, Gramp Day also delivered the mail three times
a week. For many years crops had to be “dry”:
raisins, brandy, wine, dried apricots, wood, charcoal,
and honey combs.
Louis Garnsey, son of James, raised Muscat grapes
on that portion of the ranch first developed by Gramp
Day. In 1916 he built an eight by eight foot post
office on his property and served as Postmaster for
several years. Gramp Day hauled the mail by horse
and buggy between Fallbrook and De Luz. The old post
office is preserved at the De Luz Ecology Center.
During the Great Depression Years of the 1930’s,
the family ranch was on the verge of being repossessed
for back taxes when Felix Garnsey, son of Louis, gave
up his plans of becoming an accountant and moved back
to the old homestead in DeLuz with his new bride,
Teddy, a city girl he met in college.
Life was pioneer
style (no electricity, no indoor plumbing, a horse
for cultivating crops) and the road to Fallbrook
narrow and unpaved. In spite of the hardships and
setbacks, the farm began to prosper and improvements
For many years the main crop remained Muscat grapes
that were sold to small retail grocery stores. Then
Felix tried other crops – peaches, sweet corn,
blackeyes, and nuts, and finally, in the late ‘60’s,
Indian corn, ornamental gourds, and hardshell gourds.
He retired in the late 1970’s so he and Teddy
could travel more and have more time to just sit back
and enjoy their beautiful corner of DeLuz.
25 years ago, Felix passed on his 10 person mailing
list & gourd growing knowledge to Doug Welburn.
Little did Felix know, that he was giving the Welburns
the beginning of what has become a long standing
prosperous family business, known to the world as
the Welburn Gourd Farm.