Rudolph Eugene Nickel, the so-called Father of Acton (he became its second resident in 1887) was kind enough to take this picture of
downtown Newhall for us from the hill above Pine Street in 1890 or 1891.
Well. Not for us, exactly. Probably for someone who paid a nickel for it, if you'll pardon the pun.
Anyway. How do we know it's 1890 or 1891?
We know it's not earlier than 1890 because we see the second Newhall School at far right. It replaced the first one, which burned down in 1890.
The second Newhall School faces 9th Street; it's about the only thing in the block between 9th and 10th (later called Lyons), Walnut Street and Newhall Avenue.
See Campton's General Store in the middle of the photograph? You see the way George Campton's name is painted, and notice the awning? That's how we know it's not later than 1891.
Campton's store blew up in 1891 when some stored ammo went off. No kidding. He rebuilt the place, but it didn't look quite like this (see Scorza
& Wright 1876-1926:14-15).
Those are the big things that narrow down the date, but some other things corroborate it. See the Pacific Coast Oil Co. building just to (your) left of Campton's store?
That's the old Hardison and Stewart building. PCO bought them out in 1889. Hardison and Stewart ran off to Santa Paula and started a new little venture called Union Oil.
Closer to the foreground, in front of the box cars that are in front of the ex-Hardison and Stewart warehouse, are some low-slung buildings. That was a pretty major fruit
drying and packing operation in 1885. Now the tents are gone and the buildings look derelict. Large chunks of the roof are missing.
Going back to Campton's store for a moment, you see the two-story building in front and to the right of it? That was called the Ashbridge Hotel. It's possible it was
also called the Arlington at some point. We don't know much about it. OK, we don't actually know anything about it. We need to figure it out one of these days.
And of course, at far left is the Southern Pacific Newhall Depot — not to be confused with the Saugus Depot, which was in ... yes, Saugus. But you knew that.