Alvino Romero is believed to have homesteaded the top of the canyon that bears his surname in 1913, although Los Angeles County Assessor records give a date of 1912 for his tiny one-room, 192-square-foot homestead cabin. It’s a crude board-and-batt structure with horizontal wooden boards for walls, a corrugated metal roof and no insulation.
The cabin still stands, and Alvino’s descendants still own the property as of 2014.
Alvino Romero (sometimes incorrectly cited as Albino Romero) was born Jan. 7, 1851, probably in Santa Barbara. The 1860 Federal Census for the town of Santa Barbara lists him as the fourth of eight children (the seven youngest being boys) of Pedro and Josefa Romero.
Pedro, then 50, was listed as a stock raiser who owned his own home; both Pedro and Josefa, then 48, were native Californians. At least two other Romero families, probably related, lived in Santa Barbara at the same time.
The 1860 Census shows that Alivno was enrolled in school. However, the last federal Census in which he would appear, in 1940, when he was 89, indicated he had zero years of schooling. The 1860 Census lists his parents and older sister as illiterate.
Alvino came to Castaic and farmed the land he homesteaded, as required under the Homestead Act. He raised his children in the small cabin.
According to Marylynn Butters, nee Winkler, whose parents in 1922 homesteaded the property immediately south of the Romeros (and immediately north of the future Castaic High School), Alivno was known to the locals as “Old Man Romero.”
He earned the nickname. Alvino Romero died July 3, 1947, at the ripe old age of 96. He is buried at Santa Barbara Cemetery, 901 Channel Drive.
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