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Camino Real Bell, records, 1969-2000
MVC067  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
The collection contains the records for Villa Caliente Enterprises of La Jolla, California. The Business was started in 1968 to celebrate San Diego's 200th anniversary and the California Bicentennial. The business was the proprietorship of Virginia "Chris" Borgen, who handled the day to day duties. The business sold commemorative memorabilia, focusing primarily on miniature replica El Camino Real bells. After the bicentennial, the bells were generally marketed to appeal to California history and were sold in gift shops along California's famous stretch of highway. The collection contains financial records, business correspondence, advertising/promotional materials, and historical reference information pertaining to El Camino Real history.
Background
Virginia Borgen, aka "Chris," formed Villa Caliente Enterprises in 1968 to sell memorabilia commemorating San Diego's 200th anniversary and California's bicentennial, shifting into souvenir production in subsequent years. The business' main product was miniature replica El Camino Real bells, which were manufactured in Mexico and shipped to its headquarters in La Jolla, California. Borgen corresponded with gift shops and stores all along California's famous stretch of highway and marketed the bells in connection to California's history. Villa Caliente Enterprises went out of business in 1979. Villa Caliente Enterprises is representative of Borgen's entrepreneurial ambition. Borgen handled business correspondence, selected and created the advertisement and promotional materials, kept detailed financial records, collected historical references material that pertained to her merchandise, and organized the international shipping of her product from Mexico to several California sites. The collection consists of Ms. Borgen's business records for Villa Caliente Enterprises. This includes receipts and bills for most of the years the business was in operation, as well as a list of buyers. Additionally, the collection contains various correspondences pertaining to its day-to-day operations, including manufacturing, shipping, and customer relations. Promotional correspondences and advertisement materials, such as ad mock-ups, historical reference material, photos, and original ink sketches/photographs by artist Richard McConagy, are also included. Finally, the collection contains supplemental research on the Camino Real's history from Max Kurillo, a local historian.
Extent
1.65 Cubic Feet 2 boxes
Restrictions
Property rights to the physical object belong to the Museum of Ventura County. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where the museum does not hold the copyright.
Availability
COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE: Open for research. All requests to access materials must be made in advance by contacting the Research Library staff.