Ray Trussell's cows, circa 1900.
Ray Trussell's Cows, circa 1900
     Ray wasn't born a dairyman, but it didn't take him long to figure out it was a good fit for his San Pasqual outfit. He began by exploring a lot of avenues and, at one point, it seemed as if God had sent a message. Ray bought a few sows for family use and one morning three got loose. Apparently these weren't the first in the valley to escape, For when he searched the woods along the river to find them, he not only found the original three, he found twenty wild piglets as well. It seemed a message from heaven ...
      But Ray was the kind of man who measured everything, even free pigs. In August 1894 he sat down, did his accounts and decided that he hadn't made $10 on the pigs during the past year. The cows, on the other hand, had been very profitable. So right then and there, he decided to run a serious dairy and by 1898 he was milking 32 head. Ray was firm that dairying was what he would do, but that did not mean he loved it. The sight in the photo above made him both proud and disgusted at the same time. His diary:

August, 1898 - "Milk, milk, milk, is all that I wish I didn' t have to do."

July 1899 - "As soon as I get the place paid for I am going to grow trees and berries along. Oh, garden some and go camping one half the time."

     Nevertheless, Ray had decided that dairying was his ticket to good fortune, so milk he did. Later on he did build a milk barn and the milking operation became a little more like it was during my youth. Note the milk stool tied to Harry's behind. This tradition carried a little longer.

Milking in the Trussell Corral
The photo below shows Harry Brown milking one of Cinderella's bovine relatives in the Trussell Corral. In those days, the milk barn had not yet been built and it was customary to milk cows in the corral. A more pleasant proposition in California than in the Midwest. Nevertheless Ray Trussell complained:

"I don't like to get up early very well, much less to get 16 cows milked before I can see sunshine on the hilltops as I do now these cold mornings. ... I don't find it any fun milking cows these shabby mornings."

Milking in the Trussell Corral