In 1953, four years after the madness gripped Confusion Hill as wildcatters tripped over each other to exploit the Placerita Oil Field, the Santa Clarita Valley's biggest landowner — an agribusiness known as The Newhall Land and Farming Company — figured all those oil workers would need places to live. Plus, an estimated 60 percent of Bermite Powder's employees lived out of town. So, Newhall Land President Atholl McBean commissioned a top-secret, $6,500 study from his pals at the Stanford Research Institute to determine whether it would be lucrative to subdivide 9,500 acres of farmland in Newhall, Saugus and Castaic and build homes.
The report concluded that the company's land along the Saugus-U.S. Highway 99 road (Castaic Junction area) seemed well suited for the development of light industry such as electronics, hydraulics and instruments, but that "residential development on the property at the present time does not seem to hold good possibilities for success." On the other hand, the researchers concluded, if an "imaginative and well calculated" master plan is adopted and carefully implemented, modest areas could be opened to residential development "over perhaps several decades," and it could "become an ideal community."
The rest, as they say, is SCVHistory.
(Note: Several pages are missing from our copy.)
Photocopy courtesy of Tony Newhall, 2019. Download individual pages here.