Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures

Timeline: First Presbyterian Church.
From the 1880s to its 95th anniversary in 1986.

1880sRev. F.D. Seward (Synodical Missionary) preaches at Southern Hotel in Newhall, Newhall Refinery, Pico Oil Fields.

1889Newhall citizens ask Rev. Seward about a church in August and September; "Did not seem best at that time."

1891May 31. Rev. F.D. Seward organizes a church known as First Presbyterian Church of Newhall. Members are: Alex I. Fraser, Mrs. Maggie Fraser, Samuel C. and Callie Grier, Mrs. Flo B. Arnott, Alex and Annie Hume, Henry and Ellen Miller, Mrs. Barbara B. Lane, Miss Lillie M. Miller, Mrs. R.D. Shyrock, Mrs. Mary I. Mendenhall, P.V. Kinnear, Mrs. Ella Drew, Mrs. Ward. Ruling Elders were Alexander Hume and P.V. Kinnear.

June 7. Rev. Seward baptized Stella, Almer Pearl, Jessie Ethel and Flora Belle, children of Mrs. and Mrs. Grier, at Newhall Elementary.

July 4. George H. Newhall, Sect. of Newhall Land and Farming, donates 100 by 150 feet plot facing Newhall Ave. in townsite of Newhall to the church.

August 1. C.S. Hogan of Pacoima begins construction of church.

September 15. Church completed. Cost $1,225.

October 11. Church dedicated, debt free. Ed Pardee donates organ.

1893January 1. Rev. H.P. Wilber arrives. He goes to Europe in 1894, returns in 1895 and retires July of 1897.

1897The 97 Home Missionaries in Minnesota gave more to the church than an equal number in California — in fact 3 times as much.

1904June 5. Thomas E. Frew becomes a member.

1908Henry Clay Needham and H. Clay Wiley elected Elders.[1] A. Hume Associate Member and Clerk of the Sessions. Embark on an anti-saloon campaign.

1909J.R. Wylie, Pastor.

1910Manse built at cost of $572.58.

1913Rev. Wylie retires.

1914July 5. Rev. Wolcott H. Evans appointed Pastor. Congregation had been rapped for poor record keeping. Catholic Church built. Dr. Evans became "The Little Shepherd Of The Hills." He came from Calvary Presbyterian Church of Wilmington.

1916Manse enlarged. 3 Elders, 5 trustees, 23 members, 50 in Church School. Blanche Shaffer passed away. Frank Shaffer married her sister.

191732 members. Frank Hovey replaced Mr. Wiley as Elder.

1921Communion services held in Saugus. Alex Hume died March 28. All Newhall businesses close in his honor. Hume never ordained for some reason. Don Frew accepted on Sept. 17. 41 members.

1922October. Loan of $18,000 approved to move old church and erect a second chapel.

1923May 1. Original church moved back 100 feet. Construction (June 1) of second chapel begins. 42 members.

1925June 14. Second church dedicated at 11 a.m.

Mollar Theatre Pipe Organ purchased for $3,500. It was manufactured March 1915 by M.P. Mollar, sold to Strand movie house in Meridian, Miss., September 23, 1915.

1926Rev. Evans paid $1,500 per year (when he could get it). Asked Sessions for $100 to repair his Ford.

84 members. 110 in church school.

Two lots sold from Atwood Tract for $700 to pay off organ. Terms — $20 down, $20 per month at 6% interest.

Roof of new church leaks. Parishioners bring umbrellas inside.

Mrs. Mackie appointed organist.

1928March 12. St. Francis Dam disaster.

Dr. Evans attends general assembly of church in Tulsa, Okla.

1930July 1. Dr. Evans retires to two-acre orchard near Vista, Ca. Dr. Mackie replaces him.

193379 members; however, 250 pledge $1,200 to operate the church.

Ministry taken to CCC camp in Bear Canyon.

1934Rev. T.F. Barrie replaces Dr. Mackie. He asks for a garage next to the Manse and complains that he only got 1/3 of his promised salary. It was supposed to be $1,200 per year.

1935Congregation asks for the removal of Rev. Barrie. He resigns on November 1.

Herbert Hays becomes interim Pastor.

1937Rev. Hays becomes permanent Pastor at salary of $1,200 per year. Preaches at Saugus and at Castaic.

1940Dr. Hays stricken with paralysis and taken to Presbyterian Hosp.

1941January 15. Dr Hays submits resignation due to ill health.

1944June. After several interim ministers, Rev. Christianson arrives from Davenport, Wash., where he served for 11 years.

1951Rev. Christianson retires to Spokane, Wash., where he still lives at age 87. He is replaced by Dr. Weston, arriving from Englishtown, New Jersey. Salary is set at $1,800 per year. Sunday evening and Wednesday services are tried, but not successful.

1958Rev. Weston is replaced by Dr. Joseph Robertson. Salary is $2,200[?] per year.

1967Fellowship Hall and Nursery School started. Rev. Robertson retires to El Centro, Ca.

1968November 1. Rev. Robert Bingham becomes pastor. Attended Westminster College, graduate of Xenia Seminary, Pittsburgh, Pa. Served 12 years at Riverside, then 2½ years at Salinas.

1971February 9. Earthquake damages Church structure. Cheaper to build a new one than restore the old.

1976Construction of third church begins. Architect Robert R. Inslee; Contractor James A. Hill. March 7, groundbreaking ceremonies.

1977February 6. Third church dedicated. Stained glass windows by Jos Maess. Tile designed by Karl Weibach. Erwin Newman did copper work and head of Christ.

1986May 25. Church celebrates 95th anniversary with special services. 423 active members.

The author is unidentified, but it was most likely SCV Historical Society Curator Jerry Reynolds.


1. We don't know who is meant here. Henry Clay Wiley died in 1898.

HS8601: pdf of typewritten pages in Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society collection. Download individual pages here.


History 1891-1991


Timeline 1880s-1986

Reynolds Story


1st Church Building


Parsonage Construction 1914


Film Shoot ~1920


Chaplin in "The Pilgrim" 1923


Fellowship Hall Construction 1950s




1976 Cookbook


1977 Building Dedication

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