Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures

Ed Pardee, Lawman
Newhall, California

Ed Pardee, a Pennsylvanian born in 1851, joined his brother Charles in Pico Canyon (Mentryville) in 1883. Ed's wife and baby daughter, Pearl (later Russell), came out the following year. Charles had experience working the oil fields in Titusville, Penn.; Ed evidently was not as passionate about the industry for, by 1887, he had moved to Newhall and opened a livery stable (facing west on what is now Main Street, between 6th and Market).

That career seems not to have satisfied him either; by 1893 Ed had been elected constable (peace officer), hauling in the crooks to face Justice of the Peace for the Soledad Judicial District. In 1913, when Los Angeles became a chartered county and the Sheriff's Department took on the job of policing the unincorporated county territories, constables became ex-officio Deputy Sheriffs.

Ed didn't really get to enjoy the upgrade. He died in a 1914 car crash.

The Pardee House was initially a Good Templars Hall, built in 1890 by noted prohibitionist Henry Clay Needham. Located on Pine Street in Newhall, it was sold to Pardee, who moved it in 1893 to the "triangle" formed by Newhall Avenue, Market and Walnut streets. Pardee converted it into the family home.

Charles (foreground) and Ed Pardee in Pico Canyon

In later years the Pardee House would come into play during film shoots by Tom Mix, who set up several "Mixvilles" early in his career including one in Newhall, between Spruce Street (now San Fernando Road) and Newhall Avenue. The Pardee House was used as a dressing room and, probably, as a place for Mix to cavort with the ladies. In 1946 Pearl (Pardee) Russell sold the building to the Pacific Telephone Co., which used it as a telephone exchange.

The Santa Clarita Valley Boys Club (later Boys & Girls Club) occupied the building from 1969- 1977, after which it was leased by the Newhall-Saugus-Valencia Chamber of Commerce. In 1987, when the city of Santa Clarita was formed, the chamber, later named the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce, moved out, and the house reverted to Pacific Bell.

The house was given to the SCV Historical Society which, through a grant from the city, relocated it to Heritage Junction Historic Park in August 1992.

Pearl Russell, incidentally, was one of the founders of the first Newhall PTA on Nov. 17, 1916. Strikingly beautiful, she was named "Queen of the Ball" at many high-society functions around town.

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