Powell family home (right) and garden on Railroad Avenue, 1890s or first decade of the 1900s.
John F. Powell, justice of the peace for the Soledad Judicial District (basically the Santa Clarita Valley), built his home in 1878 on Railroad Avenue, a couple of doors up from the general store at
Market Street, reportedly on a plot given to him by the development company that was laying out the town of Newhall. (Today, 2013, it's roughly where the Newhall Hardware building
sits.) John Powell lived here with his family until they moved away in about 1889. Evidently he left the home in the care of his brother, M.A. (Mike) Powell, who ran the Palace Saloon next door to the north.
John Powell returned to Newhall around 1896 (he was reelected justice in 1900) and evidently took back the house,
because it was around this time that J.F.'s wife, Dora (possibly Cora), took in boarders and operated the home as a rooming house known as the Powell Hotel.
We don't really know which Powell family is tending to the garden on the north side of the house — John's or Mike's. Either way,
the photographer is standing on the east side of Spruce Street (called Main Street today), looking east toward Railroad Avenue and beyond it, the Southern Pacific
Newhall Depot (which sits in roughly the same spot as today's Newhall Metrolink Station).