Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures
County Library Dedication 1957
Newhall, California

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November 18, 1957— Dedication of the Newhall Branch of the Los Angeles County Public Library in a new building at 22704 9th Street.

From left: County Librarian John D. Henderson, Paul Palmer, Judge C.M. MacDougall, Arthur B. Perkins, Supervisor Warren Dorn.

John D. Henderson was the Los Angeles County Librarian at the time of the 1957 opening. He shepherded the library system through a period of rapid postwar growth that coincided with changing service expectations from faster-paced 1950s teenagers. In fact, in a 1961 paper published by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's Graduate School of Library Science, he wrote: "Whether or not Sputnik I is to receive the credit, it is a fact that since its launching in October 1957 there has been an upsurge in library use, with increased stress on formal and informal education, particularly in the fields of science, foreign languages, and mathematics. There has also been drastic change in the ways in which the public uses the library. Modern readers, particularly students, are in a hurry; the majority come on specific missions and expect prompt and complete service." Henderson was still librarian in 1961 but not in 1963 when he wrote a paper on the County Library's decision to publish its catalog in book form.

Paul Palmer was a big wheel in town; he was a Los Angeles-area attorney and Sand Canyon resident who was active in local civic affairs. For one thing, he helped engineer the deal that created Placerita Canyon State and County Park. He passed down a legacy of community service to his daughter, Paula Palmer, who became Paula Cox when she married Leona Cox's son, Clem Cox. All have been heavily involved in civic affairs.

Judge C.M. MacDougall served on the bench of the Newhall Judicial District. He was appointed in the late 1940s and served alone in that capacity until 1970 when a second bench was added (it was filled by Adrian Adams). MacDougall was influential and active in civic affairs, as was his wife, Olive. Prior to becoming judge, C.M. and Olive had run MacDougall's restaurant, which adjoined the Solemint Store near the southeast corner of Sierra Highway and Soledad Canyon Road in Mint Canyon (later called Canyon Country). After his appointment he turned over the business to he nephew, Dick Cone, who with his wife Ruth renamed it the Solemint Café.

Arthur B. Perkins' name was synonymous with the Santa Clarita Valley, both literally and figuratively (he invented the name). Perkins (1891-1977) ran the water company, served as justice of the peace, built homes and office buildings, and kept the valley's history. In fact, this photograph comes from his collection.

Warren Dorn (1918-2006) had been elected to his first of three terms as Los Angeles County supervisor for the Fifth District a year prior to this library dedication.

The bigger library was a vast improvement over prior buildings that had housed library services in Newhall since 1916. In time, the community outgrew even this new building; by the end of the first decade of the 21st Century it was clear that more space was needed for books and a more modern building was needed to accommodate the technological revolution that wasn't even a glimmer in anyone's eye in 1957.

The city of Santa Clarita took over the county libraries inside its municipal borders and established its own library system, which took effect July 1, 2011. Before that process started, the city began buying land on the north side of Lyons Avenue at Spruce Street for a significantly larger, two-story library, which opened Sept. 29, 2012. Meanwhile the county library buiding (this building), which had become city property in July 2011, was closed. As of 2013 the future use of the building is undetermined.

New Library Opens with Impressive Dedication Theme

Newhall's new and handsome County Library branch was dedicated and opened with due ceremonies Monday afternoon, with a substantial assemblage of community leaders present for the program.

The store of books in the old library on the village main stem was moved and augmented with a like number of additional books so that the shelves presented a well-filled appearance.

Mrs. Rose Buddell, who has been the branch librarian for two years, was introduced as the permanent occupant of that job.

New Flag Raised

The program started at 2:30 p.m. by a flag raising under the auspices of Post No. 507, American Legion. Commander Anthon "Buck" Pryde presented a flag to a squad of the Hart High School Cadet Corps, which hoisted it on the flag pole while everybody stood at attention.

The people were then moved inside to the capacious and well-lighted reading room, where Judge C.M. MacDougall delivered some graceful and sincere words of welcome. Thereafter Paul Palmer took over and introduced the speakers bearing the dedication message.

Supervisor Warren M. Dorn was on hand for the program and made some well chosen remarks as principal speaker.

Perkins Tells History

"Our Library of Yesterday" was the topic of A.B. Perkins. He traced the life and growth of the institution from its beginning in 1916, as a small group of books in a cafe corner, to its present state of thousands of books in a beautiful, modern and functional setting. The library branch began in the late Bob Woodard's café, in what is now the Smidt Pharmacy building, with Mrs. Woodard as librarian in charge.

It was moved, in 1919, Mr. Perkins said, to the old Hardison-Stewart building, which was torn down several years ago. The next librarian was G.L. Lawson, who officiated from 1919 to 1921. He was succeeded by Mrs. Addie Young who had the job for two years. In 1923 another move was made to the Swall building, and this room was occupied continuously until the new structure was completed in 1957.

Mrs. Eveline Kee was librarian from 1923 to 1927. In 1928 the place was held by Mrs. Florence Brooman and Mrs. Cleo Howard. In 1929 Mrs. Blanche Brown, widow of the founder of the Newhall Signal, became librarian and held this place until 1937. Next in succession were Margaret Taylor and Mary Brunner, the latter serving until 1955, when Mrs. Buddell took over.

Big County Organization

The next speaker was County Librarian John D. Henderson, who outlines the immense scope of the County Library organization, with more than 100 branches, 600 employees and over a million books, serving a population of two million people.

Mr. Henderson called attention to the fact that the County had purchased the property directly west of the Library lots, and planned to develop it as a parking area until needed for more library structures.

The invocation was delivered by Rev. Garland Anderson of the First Baptist Church, the benediction by Fr. Henry Banks of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church. After the conclusion of the program refreshments were served by courtesy of the Hart PTA with Mrs. C.G. Hart and Mrs. Walter MacKay acting as hospitality committee.

AP0826: 19200 dpi jpeg from copy print.

Also: City of Santa Clarita Public Library 2011—


1957 Dedication



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