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Scheideck, California (also known as Camp Scheideck) is an unincorporated community in Ventura County in Southern California within the Cuyama Valley about 37 miles (60 km) due north of Ojai and 30 miles (48 km) from Frazier Park  in Kern County.
It is situated on Reyes Creek within the Los Padres National Forest 1.5 miles (2.4 km) from a county road leading from Lake of the Woods to California State Route 33. It is 3,780 feet (1,150 m) above sea level.
Founding and growth
The settlement was founded in 1888 by Eugene Scheideck, a German immigrant, on 160 acres (0.65 km2). A two-story wooden building was erected around 1900 to establish the Ozena station of the U.S. Post Office. As time passed, Sheideck built a lodge and tiny cabins along the Ozena Creek. By 1975 there were 54 of the little houses, which were owned individually but were built on both sides of Reyes Creek on 11 acres (45,000 m2) of land leased from the property owners.
In 1975 there were only two couples living year around in the settlement, one of which was Barbara and Harold Brake, who owned the gas station, bar, store and dance hall. By 1992 the permanent population had grown to nine residents, Bugs and Frances Lackey, Uncle Vane Fort. J.R. and Rose Putzier, Betsy Paine. John (The Painter) Hilton, Frances Hawkins. and Stephanie Rogers, according to a Los Angeles Times reporter, who called the settlement "a self-contained mountain colony" with no telephone service and only two mobile phones for communication outside the Ozena Valley.
The property was owned by the Scheideck family for nine decades. Eugene Scheideck's nephew, also named Eugene, was 81 years old when he had it in 1975. In 1978, however, Jim Cory, an Oxnard auto dealer, and four others bought the land from Jim Scheideck of Taft, and in 1990 it was sold to Ozzie Osborn, a rancher and plumbing contractor.
Published accounts of Camp Scheideck have stressed its unusual nature. In July 1979, for example, a golf tournament was held on a course scratched into the parched surface of the landscape, dodging "bushes, gullies and rattlesnake holes." Instead of greens, the course had "browns." Golf clubs were made from tree limbs of plastic pipe, or a croquet mallet. Tennis balls were used instead of golf balls; three-gallon containers replaced standard golf cups. Proceeds were turned over to a 4-H Club.
The place is so remote: 37 miles (60 km) due north of Ojai, up the tortuous California 33 beyond Matilija Canyon's cutoff and over much of the 6,500-foot (2,000 m) Pine Mountain before descending to 4,000 feet (1,200 m). Then two right turns take the car onto dirt and, in two crossings, through the winding Cuyama River before climbing again, this time over a mesa into a mile-long gash in the Earth called Ozena Valley. A long way for a beer.
But people find it. Some, from seeing a small, ridiculous sign on the paved Lockwood Valley Road: "Scheideck's Lodge. Cocktails and dining. Turn here, go in 1.5 miles." But most simply hear about it from the people who call Scheideck's home, the people who live here in cabins only steps from the bar. . . .
Scheideck's Lodge, while a curiosity to the day-tripper and oasis for hikers at nearby Reyes Creek Campground, performs many functions beyond pulling tap beer and keeping a jukebox current with Hank Williams Jr. and Bonnie Raitt. The bar is a window into a self-contained mountain colony, a tavern-as-nexus where information is traded in a phoneless society.
There are a myriad of old cabins, a mock cemetery called "Boot Hill," and a chapel where weddings have been performed. The place is a destination or a stopover for motorcycle riders.
In August 2011 the 120-year-old lodge was owned by Tony Virgilio.
- Leonard Reed, "Camp Nowhere: A tight-knit community of nine makes its home above Ojai and miles from any phone lines. A rustic bar is the center of their world,'" Los Angeles Times, Ventura County Edition, September 17, 1992, page 8.
- Charles Hillinger, "The workingman's weekend Shangri-la," Los Angeles Times, page C-5
- George Morton, "Camp Scheideck Golf Tourney a success despite bushes, gullies," Los Angeles Times, September 29, 1979, page H4
- Ventura County Star, February 21, 2008
- Madison Marasa, "My Summer Adventure at Camp Scheideck," The New Mountain Pioneer, August 2011, page 13.