Newhall Ranch House at its original location — between present-day Magic Mountain amusement park on the south and Highway 126 on the north.
Undated photograph; probably 1950s.
About the Newhall Ranch House.
Newhall Ranch House at Heritage Junction Historic Park. Photo ©Jessica Boyer 2016. Click to enlarge.
Thomas R. Bard, who bought the 48,612-acre Rancho San Francisco (western Santa Clarita Valley) in 1865, as an agent for his uncle Thomas A. Scott, may have erected the original small house (with a basement) that eventually became the Newhall Ranch House.
In present-day context, it was located in the west (overflow) parking lot of the Magic Mountain amusement park in Valencia.
In 1875, Henry M. Newhall bought the rancho at a sheriff's sale. He had the financial wherewithal to make improvements, but the main, two-story front portion was probably ordered by his son, Henry Gregory, in 1893. Henry G. Newhall spent more time in the house than other family members. After his death in 1903, a younger brother, Walter Scott Newhall, visited often until his death in 1906.
The house then became the ranch foreman's residence. It was heavily damaged during the 1971 earthquake but was repaired and occupied until 1973.
In 1979, The Newhall Land and Farming Co. sold Magic Mountain to Six Flags Corp., which was then a subsidiary of the Pennsylvania Railroad. Six Flags was sold and resold in the 1980s, and by the end of the decade, the abandoned building had to go.
With a grant from the three-year-old City of Santa Clarita, the Santa Clarita Valley Historical Soceity rescued the house and moved it to Heritage Junction Historic Park (at Hart Park in Newhall) on the nights of August 14 and 15, 1990.
The two-story, 4,000-square-foot Victorian house with gabled roof and 8-foot-wide veranda on three sides began as a shed-like structure built over a brick cellar. The original portion now houses the kitchen and was made with hand-hammered, square nails and rough-hewn redwood. The larger, gabled portion is also constructed of redwood, including its hand-chiseled, wooden gutters. The interior had been greatly modified, with its 14-foot ceilings lowered. It had three to four fireplaces and wrought-iron registers for heat.
Said to be haunted by a "blue lady" named Martha and an 8-year-old boy named Timothy and possibly other spirits, the structure has been a favorite hunting ground for paranormal investigators.