"The Last Best Small Town In Southern California"
Fillmore’s economy is still largely driven by agriculture. Most agricultural industry in the Fillmore area is related to orange, lemon, avocado orchard farming and packing and, more recently, specimen tree farming. To a lesser extent, row crop farming and small industry and assembly are also present in and near Fillmore and in other parts of the Santa Clara River Valley. Fillmore has a classic “turn of the 20th century” downtown architecture, the one-screen Fillmore Towne Theatre, and many unique shops and businesses, including a local winery. Adjacent to the railroad tracks and a much-photographed city hall is the Railroad Visitor Center operated by the Santa Clara River Valley Railroad Historical Society, which has many displays as well as a fully operational 90-foot (27 m) train turntable and several restored railroad cars. A short walk down Main Street from the Railroad Visitor Center is the Fillmore Historical Museum, which includes the restored Southern Pacific Railroad Fillmore 1887 standard-design One Story Combination Depot No. 11 built in 1887, a 1956 Southern Pacific railroad caboose, and railroad-related displays.
The small post office from the community of Bardsdale and a 1919 farm worker bunkhouse from Rancho Sespe were moved to the site along with the 1906 Craftsman-style Hinckley House, the home of the community’s first dentist and druggist. The bunkhouse contains many displays illustrating the history of Fillmore and the nearby communities of Bardsdale and Piru. The Fillmore and Western Railway trains take tourists through the orchards. The Elkins Ranch Golf Course is nearby. Also located nearby are a fish hatchery and the Sespe Creek and Sespe Wilderness, home to the California condor Sespe sanctuary. Fillmore has provided a commercial and business center for the small community of Bardsdale, which is located about three miles (5 km) south of Fillmore, directly across the Santa Clara River. Well-preserved downtown Fillmore is a popular filming location for television and movies. The January 4, 2007, episode of CSI entitled Leaving Las Vegas prominently featured old-town Fillmore as the fictional town of “Larkston, Nevada”. Scenes in the television series Jericho and Big Love are also filmed there. The City of Fillmore is an established municipality within Ventura County, founded in 1888 and incorporated on July 10, 1914.