Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures
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1915 Wall Calendar, Swall Store/Hotel
Newhall, California

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1915 twelve-month wall calendar (January-December) from Albert C. Swall's Newhall Cash Store at the southwest corner of Spruce and Market Streets. (Spruce is now called Main Street.)

Heavy off-white stock bound with ribbons to heavy blue stock. Tear-off calendar pages, all intact. Printed image of Cypress Point in Monterey. Overall 7.5x11.5 inches. Customized advertising ephemera such as this would have been ordered by Swall out of catalog.

This would be Swall's first calendar at his new location, having moved his general store in 1914 from the northwest corner of Market and Railroad Avenue.

The new location included Swall's two-story hotel, combination meat market (butcher shop) and cash store (grocery store), hardware store, and corner drug store as seen here. The location was popularly known as Ralph Williams' Newhall Pharmacy in the 1950s-1960s, complete with soda fountain. In the 1971 earthquake the original brick building was essentially destroyed. It was completely rebuilt in Spanish/Mediterranean style with a stucco façade. In the early 2000s the anchor tenant was Work Boots (Work Boot Warehouse). As of 2018 the building is being remodeled into a restaurant called The Old Town Junction.



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According to property owner Susan Davy (pers. comm. 1-26-2017), daughter of Newhall pharmacist Ralph Williams, the pharmacy building was completely torn down after the earthquake, the soil was compacted, and the structure was "rebuilt from scratch."

"The months prior — about 1 year — to the earthquake, my husband and I spent remodeling the pharmacy building and all the store fronts beginning with 24263-65-67-69-71-73-75 San Fernando Road."

"The night before the earthquake, we took some of the subcontractors out to Tip's to celebrate the finish of the pharmacy remodeling. You can imagine how everyone felt the morning of February 9, 1971."


J.A. "Jake" Swall Sr. and his three boys — Albert, Henry and Jake Jr. — harvested wheat in the western Santa Clarita Valley in the 1890s.

According to historian Arthur B. Perkins[1], the Swall family leased land that "ran from Newhall Ave. westerly to the Pico foothills." The Newhall Land and Farming Co. was the landowner; we know from Rolle's examination of company records[2] that at the time, Newhall Land leased its farmland to tenant farmers, rather than farming the land with its own staff.

Of the bunch, Albert C. Swall[3] left the biggest mark on the community in 1914 when he established a hotel at the southwest corner of Market and Spruce streets.

According to Perkins[4], Albert had left the family harvesting business in 1904 to establish a meat market on Newhall's main street, which was today's Railroad Avenue. "Two years later he joined his cousin in operating the old General Merchandise store," Perkins writes (we don't know what "cousin" Perkins means).

Then in 1914, "through the maneuvers of Swall, Ed Pardee, T.M. Frew and other owners of property in Newhall," Perkins writes[5], "the State Highway was re-routed down a back street."

That "back street" was Spruce Street, one block to the west of Railroad. Albert Swall quickly set up a hotel at the corner of Market and Spruce, and most of Newhall's merchants followed his lead. Today we know Spruce Street as Main Street.

"By 1920," Perkins writes," the old Newhall townsite [at Railroad Avenue] was dead, and on the new highway the Swall-inspired community — dependent upon traffic for its existence — was beginning."

J.A. Swall Sr. is buried in the Pioneer Cemetery section of Eternal Valley Memorial Park.


[1] "The Pico Ghost Camp," 1962.
[2] Rolle, Andrew, Henry Mayo Newhall and His Times: A California Legacy, Huntington Library, 1991.
[3] Renolds ("Santa Clarita: Valley of the Golden Dream," 1992) tells us Albert C. Swall arrived in Newhall from Tracy, Calif., in 1890 at age 19.
[4] "History of Eternal Valley From 1769" by A.B. Perkins, Eternal Valley Memorial Park, 1958.
[5] ibid.


LW3373: 9600 dpi jpeg from original calendar purchased 2018 by Leon Worden.
SWALL HOTEL / NEWHALL PHARMACY

• Swall Family
• Swall-Gulley Store


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1915 Calendar

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1920

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Medicine Bottle 1920s-30s

Jones Family Proprietors 1920s-60s


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1931

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~1952 x2

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Pharmacy (Int/Ext) 1952 x3

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