Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures
SPRR Section House, Other Structures on Soledad
Acton, California

Click image to enlarge | Original scan

Homes along Soledad Canyon Road, south of the intersection of Soledad and Crown Valley Road, looking east. See purple area of map below. A Southern Pacific train is nearing Aliso Canyon Road in the distance.

Photo contributor Don Milburn, son of Jack and Marie Milburn, grew up in the two-story house at left in the 1950s. The property at center was later owned by longtime Acton resident Tom Haile, whose house apparently has not yet been built in this photograph. The structures at right are one or more Southern Pacific Railroad section houses and associated outbuildings seen in this photograph. See this area in the 1950s here.

According to Acton historian Bob Buechner (pers. comm. 2017), this photograph likely dates to sometime between 1894 — when a Mr. Davidson and partners established the Acton Farmers Cooperative store at left (the later Milburn property) — and 1906, when the house later owned by Haile (3449 Soledad) was built (per L.A. County Assessor records).

Milburn remembers (pers. comm. 2017): "When I was a kid, the second story of our house consisted of multiple small identical rooms, much like an old hotel or boarding house. As a little kid, I was always afraid that there were ghosts there, so I avoided going up to those rooms. The second story caught fire in the late (19)50s on a Thanksgiving Day. We had lots of relatives there for dinner, so all the men were able to put the fire out. However, there was so much damage, my dad just removed the whole thing [the second story]. We demolished the old barn in the picture in the (19)70s, as it was just too unsafe to go into."

Regarding the section house(s), Milburn remembers: Joe Paradiso and family "lived in the main two story house. There was a smaller, one-story house to the south of it, plus a handcar shed. If it was in this picture, it is behind the trees to the right of the water tank. This picture shows a building to the north that I do not remember, so it may have been removed prior to my coming into the scene in 1950.

"North of that building, near where the road crosses the train tracks, was where the Acton mail stop was. Jon Labadie (we called him Grandpa John, as he was old and related to us somehow) would hang the town's outgoing daily mail on a post for pickup by a morning train. The moving train's mail car would extent a mechanical arm which would grab the bag and pull it into the car, while at the same time a mail car employee would throw the incoming Acton mail out the door. Mr Labadi would retrieve the bag and deliver it to the Acton post office.

"I have great memories of Grandpa John letting us kids chase down the delivered mail bag and drag it back to his car for him. We thought it was fantastic that he would let us do that for him — he thought it was funny to let these little country kids do his job for him. Small town life, family fun, wonderful memories."

North is at top. Purple area is location of structures in photograph. Click image to enlarge; click here for wider area view. (Ed: Layered Photoshop file on server.)

DO1701: 9600 dpi jpeg courtesy of Don Milburn, 2017.


Railroad Construction 1870s


Fatal Wreck 1902


Section House & More ~1894-1906


Section House 1920s?


Depot 1930s-40s


Section House & More 1950s


Wreck 1967-70 (x3)


SPRR Features
1967-70 (x5)

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