Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures
Railroad Avenue
Newhall, California

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Railroad Avenue, Newhall, circa 1910, with Nick Rivera's Ford automobile parked in front of the Swall/Mayhue store.

Real photo postcard. The photographer is standing at Market Street and is looking north. The card says "Main Street" because Railroad Avenue was colloquially called Main Street. It was also officially designated San Fernando Road, at least as early as 1900. In the 1950s, the San Fernando Road designation was transfered one block west to Spruce Street and the Spruce Street name was eliminated (from street signs, not from angry residents' memories).

From left to right:

Albert Swall's general store is at left. Swall was a tenant in the building, which at the time was owned by William Mayhue.

Next, behind the car, is the old Powell family home. By this time it probably functioned as a boarding house known as the Powell Hotel. Between the Powell home and the next building is the Powells' garden.

The next building is Nick Rivera's saloon. More about that in a moment.

Then comes a little building with a sign out front that says, Lunch Room. Not sure about that one.

The next big building with the pointed rooftop is the Oil Exchange bar. It used to be Mike Powell's Palace Saloon.

Next is Campton's General Store, which isn't Campton's any more. It looks like it's still Lindenfeld & Landell. Later it would become H.W. Bricker's.

At the end of the street, actually on the far side of 9th Street, facing down the middle of Railroad Avenue, is the Derrick Saloon. It would become the Rendezvous bar, aka the VU.

Behind it is a feed store and livery. We still need to sort out who owned what back there, but there were a number of warehouse-type buildings jammed into the area that is roughly Railroad Avenue and Lyons today.

At right, pretty much out of view behind the tree (the so-called "hanging tree") is the Ashbridge Hotel. We don't know much about it.

To the right of the tree is the old Hardison & Stewart building, which at this time might still have been used by the Pacific Coast Oil Co. — but maybe not. At some point around this time, the widow Frances Phillips purchased the building for a rooming house and cafe. She later moved the building to Spruce Street where she owned the block on the east side of the street between 9th and 10th, we think.

Out of view at right would be the Southern Pacific Newhall depot.

We mentioned Nick Rivera's saloon. Well, Rosie Luce, Nick Rivera's granddaughter, has a copy of this photograph that was in the personal effects of her mother (Nick's stepdaughter), Irene Ruiz McKibben (1898-1995). (Irene's natural father was Martin Ruiz, who died in 1900).

On the back of her copy of this postcard, Irene writes:

The Ford parked in front of Mayhues store is the one we used to escort the train thru town during the war, our house is three doors up the street — this was known as Railroad Ave.

Escort the train through town? Too bad we can't ask her what she's talking about.

AP0516: 19200 dpi jpeg from copy print | Same as RL1602.

See Also:
• Campton's Store
• Gulley-Swall Store
• Powell Home
• Southern Hotel


New Townsite 1878


Newhall ~1879


Description 9-26-1882










Hanging Tree








Early 1910s


FILM: Broken Ways 1913


Film Clips: The Virginian 1914




Redevelopment Starts 1997

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