Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures

First Presbyterian Church
Newhall, California


First Presbyterian Church on Newhall Avenue as it appeared from 1923 to 1971, when it was heavily damaged in the earthquake of Feb. 9. Picture postcard, 1920s. Inset: Rev. Wolcott Evans.

Paraphrased from A.B. Perkins: The First Presbyterian Church in Newhall was an outgrowth of the Sunday School classes that were held during the late 1870s and 1880s in the lounge of the Southern Hotel, on the second floor of the Newhall School, and in parishioners' homes. The original wooden chapel opened for business on May 31, 1891 at Market Street and Newhall Avenue, on land donated by Margaret Jane (White) Newhall, widow of Henry Mayo Newhall, who had died three years earlier. The Newhall family donated about two-thirds of the construction costs.

In 1923, the wooden chapel was moved a couple of hundred feet toward Eighth Street and was remodeled by William J. Purrucher into the monumental structure seen in this picture postcard. Its minister was the Reverend Wolcott Evans, better known as "The Little Shepherd of the Hills," whose image is inset. Evans retired from his pulpit in 1930 to tend his avocado ranch in San Diego County.

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