Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures
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1888 Mitchell House
Soledad Canyon at Lost Canyon


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Undated photograph of Thomas F. and Martha Mitchell's permanent home in Soledad Canyon: a 2-story, wood-frame structure built in 1888 on the east (actually southeast) side of the Santa Clara River in Soledad Canyon, near Solead and Lost Canyon roads. For the family, the house replaced the old Mitchell Adobe home, which continued to stand until August 1986 when both the adobe and this house were razed by a developer's bulldozer for homes that were never built.

But never say never: As of 2013, the area is part of the planned Vista Canyon Ranch, a mixed-use development.

Although the wood-frame house was lost, the adobe bricks were recovered by member of the Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society and removed to Heritage Junction Historic Park in Newhall, where they were reassembed.


About the Mitchell Adobe.


Restored Mitchell adobe at Heritage Junction Historic Park, Newhall. Photo ©Jessica Boyer 2016. Click to enlarge.

Colonel Thomas Finley Mitchell, a veteran of the Mexican-American War, moved a miner's shack to Soledad and Sand Canyons in 1860 where he lived and headquartered his 160-acre ranch. After he married Martha Catherine Taylor in 1865, he constructed a large adobe, using parts of the miner's shack.

After the Colonel had increased his holdings to 1,000 acres, Martha began the Sulphur Springs School in 1872, with classes being held regularly in the kitchen of the adobe. It moved to the Lang Hotel and Spa in 1879. The first students were from the Mitchell, Stewart and Lang families. In 1886, a regular school was built by John Lang and Sanford Lyon on land donated by the Mitchells.

By 1919, the old adobe had fallen into ruin, but was salvaged by the Colonel's son-in-law, Walter Murphy. He used the remaining adobe bricks to erect a home for the ranch foreman. It later served as a guest house, apiary and tack room until it was destroyed by developers on August 14, 1986. What remained was moved to Heritage Junction, dedicated on November 5, 1989, and has been restored.

The adobe was originally 45 x 60 feet, and made of clay dug from a layer deep in a hand-dug well. The roof was covered with either split redwood shake or a very thin cedar shake. It had a wooden floor constructed of light-colored wainscoting.

As of 2012, the original Mitchell home site and the surrounding land are set to be developed into the mixed-use Vista Canyon Ranch project.

Further reading:

Tom Mitchell of the Soledad by Richard F. Mitchell, 2002.

Tales of Lang and Soledad: The Story of an Adobe by A.B. Perkins, 1961.

Story of Sulphur Springs School by Leon Worden, 1997.


AP2226: 19200 dpi jpeg from copy print.

MITCHELL FAMILY,
HOMESTEAD, CEMETERY
(Vista Canyon Ranch)

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Book by Richard F. Mitchell 2002

• Perkins Story


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Cemetery ~1961

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Adobe Home Early 1960s x2

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1888 Mitchell House

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R.F. Mitchell 1919-2002

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Dyer Family, SCVTV 2009

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Geo. Walters, 1874-1940

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Archive Video 2008

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Lost Cyn Bridge Widening 2012

VISTA CANYON RANCH DEVELOPMENT

• Specific Plan


• Appendix


• Revisions to EIR


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