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Long before it was the name of a retirement home on television's "South Park," Shady Acres was the short-lived name of Sleepy Valley in Mint Canyon-Agua Dulce in the early 1950s.
Whether the chicken or the egg came first, we're unsure. Wilson's Restaurant used the peculiar location name in 1951 and 1952, which we know from notices in The Signal newspaper about
the county Mobilibrary (bookmobile) stopping there on Tuesdays. However, the appellation was most commonly known from Phillip H. Willways'
Shady Acres Trailer Park in 1953 and 1954.
In 1952, Willways had intended to move his San Fernando Valley poultry hatchery, which he had run for the previous 37 years,
to an 18-acre site between Wilson's Restaurant and the Oaks Cafe (later known as Le Chene restaurant). That is when he was
notified the U.S. government was condemning his 15-acre ranch at 15843 Superior Street for something the government wanted to build there
— the Sepulveda VA Hospital.
It's not clear the hatchery ever moved to Sleepy Valley. Instead, by 1953, Willways established a trailer park
just west of the Oaks.
Click to enlarge.
Ironically, or perhaps not, during those same years a chicken ranch near Saxonia Park in Placerita Canyon, run by someone else, was called Shady Acres.
Maybe the other party, a Mr. Weibly, bought Willways' hatchery and moved it there — or maybe they're totally unrelated. Again, we don't know.
As of 2019, the trailer park still exists, under a different name.
Wilson's Restaurant building also exists; it remains the local home to the Holy Alamo Christian Foundation, even though the congregation's founder, Pastor Tony Alamo, died in prison in 2017.
Here is another example of a Wilson's Restaurant matchbook that is similar in all respects except it reads
"Saugus, California," instead of "Shady Acres, California."