15th Gourd Art Festival

The Festival

    Photo Gallery
    Contact Us

Stay Connected

    Join Mailing List

Welburn Gourd Farm

   Festival History

   The Gourd Farm



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 were made.

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.

Over 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.

  © 2016 Welburn Gourd Art Festival