Shot in 1879 or 1880 from the Newhall Depot looking west, this is perhaps the oldest known photograph of
downtown Newhall. According to Maggi Perkins (2010:53), a large load of pipes has arrived, ready for
transport to the Pico oil fields.
In January and February of 1878, the town of Newhall moved from the junction of modern-day Bouquet Canyon Road and
Magic Mountain Parkway, where it started in 1876, to the corner of Railroad Avenue and Eighth Street.
Sporting the blank frontage at left is Mike Powell's Palace Saloon. In the center is George Campton's general store, which was originally
established at Bouquet Junction in 1876 and housed the Newhall Post Office. At right is the Derrick Saloon, a favorite of the Pico Canyon oil drillers (Mentryville
was a "dry" town). Barely visible next to (behind) the Derrick is a "Billiard and Pool Room" which advertised
"soft drinks, cigars and tobacco" on its storefront sign. In the distance is the spire of the first Newhall School,
built about 1879. It burned down in 1890.
About the photographer: The image was made by Payne, Stanton & Co. of Los Angeles. The company's studio, named Elite Gallery, was located in downtown L.A.'s Temple Block. We know nothing of Mr. Stanton, but according to Newmark, Henry T. Payne was an early L.A. photographer who, by 1874,
"was probably the first to go out of town to take views in suburbs then just beginning to attract attention" (pg. 465). In 1876, Payne had a stereopticon
and displayed "nearly a thousand lantern slides" at the Philadelphia Exposition; the views were "designed to inform the spectator about Southern
California and to attract him hither" (Newmark, pg. 499). Apparently Payne, Stanton & Co. prospered; the Los Angeles Herald newspaper reported in April 1881
that the partners would be shutting their gallery for a week so they could give it a "thorough renovating, refitting and refurbishing." Five years later, on Oct. 14, 1886, Payne and another man, Edward Records, became the first publishers of L.A.'s first daily newspaper, the Tribune, when its first edition appeared. (Los Angeles
had weeklies and semi-weeklies, but this was the first paper to publish all seven days.)