Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures
George Campton's General Store
Newhall, California

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Version 3 (1882-1891)


R.E. Nickel Photo

Born in July of 1839 in the British West Indies, George Campton emigrated to the United States during the Civil War and married a 19-year-old native Californian named Gregeria. He opened Newhall's first general store at the junction of modern-day Bouquet Canyon Road and Magic Mountain Parkway in September 1876. A year and a half later, Campton and the rest of Newhall picked up and moved two miles south, to the corner of Railroad Avenue and Eighth Streets. Campton's store housed the Newhall Post Office.

This is Campton's store as it appeared in the 1880s. When it comes to dating the photograph, we know it's not the 1870s because at that time, Campton's name appeared on a narrow board above the facade. It's probably not the 1890s, because Campton added the words, "Established 1876," above his name on the facade.

One of the signs on the building identifies William N. Forker as notary public. Forker and Campton were related by marriage; they married sisters (read the details here). We don't know when Forker arrived in Newhall; he was married in Bakersfield in 1886 but that doesn't necessarily mean he lived there. Forker and his wife, the former Docliciana Fermina Soto, had four children, of which the last three were born in Newhall. The first, a daughter, was born in Salinas in 1887, but the baby's father was listed as a Newhall resident. The Forkers lived at the northeast corner of 9th and Chestnut streets.

Other signs on the building (the ones we can read) identify Campton's as an agency for the German-American Insurance Co. of New York and the American Central Insurance Co. of St. Louis. Campton had been appointed postmaster for Newhall in January 1877, when Newhall was still in its original location.

Further reading: George Campton biography in "Pen Pictures from the Garden of the World," 1889.

AP0616: 19,200 dpi jpeg from copy print | Same as AP0410.
Newhall 1870s-90s

See Also:
• Railroad Avenue
Biography 1889
Campton Story by Pollack

Newhall ~1879

Store ~1879

Store Explodes 1882

Ver. 3 (1880s) x2

Ver. 4 (1890s)

Billhead 1892

Interior 1908

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