Postal cover from May 5, 1962, commemorating the 75th anniversary, more or less, of the founding of the Acton
Post Office in 1887.
Sometime in late 1887 Richard E. Nickel, then 31, moved the old Soledad Post Office, as it was known
by locals, from Ravenna to the general store that he built in Acton (with his home above) in November of that year. Nickel
officially became Acton's first postmaster on Jan. 24, 1888. Nickel would become the leading citizen
of Acton (he had been its second permanent resident). Nickel built the Acton Hotel, lauched the area's first
water company and, in 1891, started the Santa Clarita Valley's first newspaper, the Acton
Rooster. It came out on the 15th of every month for the next 22 years, keeping
the town's sparse but growing population apprised of the local mining activity, events at the Acton
community church, and such things.
Of course, the former Soledad Post Office wasn't actually the Soledad Post Office. In 1868, folks in the little mining camp of "Soledad City," which had finally "landed" about four miles
southwest of the future community of Acton after moving around from one ore strike to the next, petitioned
the United States Postal Service for a post office. The USPS rejected the name "Soledad" because there
already was a Soledad, California, so the miners decided to rename their town after one of their most
important and influential people — Manuel Ravenna, the saloonkeeper. Thus, on June 12, 1868, was the
town of Ravenna officially born, and a few months later, on Oct. 8, the townsfolk got their post office.
George Gleason, head of the area's Gleason Mining District, was Ravenna's first postmaster.
As if all that wasn't confusing enough, your webmaster has no idea what "Hi Canyon Country" is
supposed to mean. It isn't some sort of strange shout-out to a neighboring Santa Clarita Valley
community, because Canyon Country wasn't called "Canyon Country" until about 1971, a decade
after this cover was printed. One supposes it could refer to "high" canyons, as Acton
is higher in elevation than the rest of the Santa Clarita Valley to the southwest, or the Mojave Desert
to the northeast.