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Chronological History of the Needham Ranch at Santa Clarita


Note: This one-page, typed document was used in a 2002 draft of the environmental impact report for the planned Gate-King Industrial Park on the Needham Ranch. The same information was included in the final EIR of June 2003. Some of the earlier dates are off (see footnotes we've added), but the later information is instructive, especially beginning with H.C. Needham.

1797 The Santa Clarita Valley was part of the Mission San Fernando Rey de Espana until the secularization of the mission lands in 1833.
1842 Discovery of gold in Placerita Canyon, three miles east of the area known today as Needham Ranch.
1850[1] Lyon's Station opened as a stagecoach stop (today the site of Eternal Valley Cemetery).
1860 Discovery of gold and other metals in the Soledad Canyon area and petroleum skimming in Santa Clarita Valley focused attention on the area.
1863[2] Edward Beale excavated a 93-foot by 20-foot cut in the hill adjacent to Needham Ranch. Beale's toll road was the main trail to Los Angeles through the Santa Susana and San Gabriel mountains. For a thirty-year period from 1910, Beale's Cut served as a location for numerous "western" movie scenes.
1866[3] Two petroleum stills erected at Lyon's Station.
1875 The Southern Pacific Railroad began constructing the San Fernando tunnel through the present Needham Ranch site, with a mail stop and hamlet for the construction workers, called "The Tunnel." At 6,940 feet long, the tunnel ranked third longest in the country and fourth in the world at the time.
1875 Henry Mayo Newhall bought the property and sold a right of way to Southern Pacific. Teh town of Newhall was founded the following year[4], situated in a narrow canyon that provided the most feasible route for transport, utility and communications from the Central Valley to Los Angeles.
1876 The two petroleum stills were moved from Lyon's Station to Pine Street, operating as the Pioneer Oil Refinery until 1884[5].
1883 Newhall Land and Farming Company incorporated.
1888 Kansas Governor John St. John purchased over 10,000 acres from Newhall and sent Henry Clay Needham (1851-1936) to establish the "St. John's Prohibition Colony." The dry colony failed, but H. Clay Needham remained in the area and engaged in many civic and political activities, opening a hardware-lumber store and establishing the water company. A devoutly religious man, he permitted burials on his 750-acre property.
1899 H. Clay Needham founded The Pearle and Zenith Oil companies for oil drilling on the Needham property.
1920 Numerous oil wells were drilled on the property. Production continued through 1953.
1957 Gates, Kingsley and Gates, Incorporated, purchased the Needham ranch.
1958 Los Angeles County approved, on the basis of the existing cemetery, the use of approximately 200 acres of the property for the Eternal Valley Cemetery, owned and operated by the Gates family.
1965 Approximately 200 acres of the Needham Ranch was purchased by the State of California for the construction of the Antelope Valley Freeway.
1972 The Gates family sold Eternal Valley Memorial Park to Service Corporation International, but retained ownership of the remainder of the Needham Ranch.
1977 A right of way for an underground tunnel to transport water was sold to the Metropolitan Water District in connection with the State Water Project.
1982 Thirty-five acres on the south side of Sierra Highway were sold to the Newhall Refinery.
Notes (not part of original document)
1. Maybe; the first known use was 1854.
2. Beale's Cut was completed in 1864.
3. The correct date is 1874.
4. The town of Newhall was established in 1876 at the later site of Saugus. In 1878, Newhall moved to its current location.
5. Until 1888.

NEEDHAM RANCH

SEE ALSO:
• H. Clay Needham
• Eternal Valley Memorial Park


Chronology


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Structures n.d.

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1914 Tour x2

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Aerial 1930

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Live Oak Manor Arch Erected 1926, Moved 1930

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Live Oak Manor Cacti Gardens 1930s

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Sale to Gates Kingsley Gates 1957

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Mark T. Gates Sr.

Gate-King Development: Community Benefits 2002


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Gate-King Industrial Park Final EIR 2003

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Gate-King Site

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Needham Ranch Tour 2/4/2002 x9

Appellate Ruling 2009


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TCC, Clarion to Build Phase 1 (2017)

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Phase 1 Groundbreaking 12/12/2017

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Brochure CBRE 2017

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Grading: Drone Video 6/18/2018

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Rock Arch Moved 8/30/2018

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