Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures

The San Fernando (Newhall) Pass.
14. 1865-76: Oil and the San Fernando Pass.
By VERNETTE SNYDER RIPLEY
The Quarterly, Historical Society of Southern California, June 1948.
[TABLE OF CONTENTS][PREVIOUS SECTION][NEXT SECTION]

    The San Fernando Pass, through Reporter Ormiston's letter to the New York Herald in [18]58, at one time had been known from coast to coast for its treacherousness. Now, as the years followed the finishing of the turnpike road, it was known only to Californians as a hard grade for their stages and wagon trains going over. It was however still to be a famous pass. The oil from the first commercial oilfield in California was carried over the Divide through the deep cut.

1865. "In a lone spur of the San Fernando Range, about thirty-five miles from Los Angeles, oil was discovered in February 1865."1 "A Mexican,2 while hunting on the mountain, wounded a buck which he tracked into a ravine or canon,3 destined in all probability to become as famous in the future of California development as Oil Creek has been in the past of Pennsylvania. Close by the dying buck he saw a dark oily substance oozing from the mountain side, discoloring the water and emitting a disagreeable smell."4
    "Cognizant of the importance of their discovery, one remained on the ground to establish possession while his partner hurried off to Los Angeles to inform some of the most influential citizens — among them General Andres Pico, Dr. Vincent Gelcich, Colonel Baker and Messrs. Wiley,5 Leaming, Stevenson, Rice, Todd, Lyon and Andere — of this discovery."6
    The Mexican, Ramon Parero, it seemed, had filled a canteen with the oily scum on the water and stopped first at Lyon stage station at the foot of the San Fernando Pass on the north slope. After showing his find to Sanford Lyon, who said it was crude oil,7 Parero rode up the new turnpike road on the San Fernando grade and through the cut, to gallop his horse over the valley to the old San Fernando Mission where General Don Andres Pico lived.
    It happened that Dr. Vincent Gelcich who had married the young senorita, Petra Pico,8 a niece of the Picos, was staying there at the time. He had come to California from Pennsylvania as surgeon to the Fourth California Infantry. He had been familiar with those early Pennsylvania oil wells and recognized the black scum as similar to oil seepage in his home state.9
    The men to whom Parero showed the oily contents of his canteen, decided "to go out and stake claims measuring 1,500 x 600 feet apiece in conformity with the mining laws and instruct the discoverers how to protect their claims. The first claim was named Cañada Pico (General Pico's holding, later owned by the Star Oil Working Company, the second was called Wiley, the third Moore, the fourth Rice (this is now owned by Dr. Gelcich), the fifth after a man called Leaming, the sixth for Gelcich, and the seventh for Todd. Towards the close of 1865 the district was incorporated and several companies formed."10

1865. Los Angeles Evening Express. December 29, 1876.
    "Sanford Lyon, an old resident of Los Angeles County, organized a company some twelve years ago (1865) to save the oil. The company consisted of Col. R.S. Baker,11 General Beale, A. Pico, E.P. Foster and S. Lyon, and these located the first Pico oil claim."
    This was the year after General Beale had finished the deep cut and the turnpike road over the San Fernando Pass. He evidently became interested in the oil discovered up Pico canyon not very far from his road.
    "Mr. Lyon commenced operations by driving a tunnel into the hill near the level of the stream at a point where gas and oil were escaping. He drove a distance of twenty feet and he was forced to abandon it by gas. A well was then dug to collect the seepage which averaged about two barrels a day. This was all that was done (at that time) to develop the Pico oil springs. ... The seepage oil as was to be expected, was a heavy grade. It was shipped to San Francisco where it was refined and sold as a lubricator."12
    The crude oil Sanford Lyon's company was getting from the seepage oozing up in their well, was put into barrels far up in the wild mountain brush in Pico Canyon. The barrels were loaded onto wagons and hauled down over the rough canyon roads by horse or mule team to the new turnpike road making its way over the San Fernando Pass. Through the deep cut the oil was taken and then down the grade to be held up by O. P. Robbins, the toll collector, while the toll money was counted out. Then he raised the wooden pole and let the first crude oil from Pico Canyon go through to the market. It proved also, to be from the first commercial oilfield in California.13 It would have to be hauled across the valley and down to the wharf at San Pedro, to be loaded onto a ship.

1869.14 Los Angeles Times. January 3, 1886. Review of history of oil.
    "For many years after this,15 the industry lay dormant, until Sanford Lyon (to whom belongs the honor of making California oil an article of trade) commenced drilling a well in Pico cañon by hand power — and succeeded in getting a ten barrel well at depth of 250 feet, of a superior grade of green oil."

1870 or 1871. Los Angeles Evening Express. December 29, 1876.
    "Some five or six years ago (1870 or '71) a refinery was started at Lyon Station by a local association named the Star Company but they failed to treat the oil with success and the works were closed." The refinery was evidently started shortly after the above well came in. [Note: Standard Oil Co. records indicate this was 1873-74.]
    A.W. Lyon, son of Sanford Lyon, writes: "The Star Oil Company was the original company under which my father worked and they are the ones who tried unsuccessfully to distill oil at Lyon Station."
    The men backing this first refinery venture, would then be those who five years before, in 1865, Sanford Lyon had organized into the Star Oil Company, "Col. R.S. Baker, General Beale, A. Pico, and F.B. Foster."

1870. As some of the first green oil from Sanford Lyon's well in Pico Canyon made its way over the turnpike road on the San Fernando Pass, a change in management had taken place at the adobe toll house on the stream bank on the south slope of San Fernando Mountain. O.P. Robbins, the first toll collector, had sold out to a man by the name of Thomas Dunne who now "became the partner" of Colonel Beale, "until the franchise expired in 1883."16
    Tom Dunne was an Irishman from County Kildare, Ireland. In 1863, when he was twenty-one, he had landed in New York City. It was during the Civil War and he had then gone to Boston where he enlisted in the U.S. Army. When the war was over, in 1864, he attached himself to an emigrant train of prairie schooners going west and stopped off at the busy mining town of Virginia City. He stayed there six years and then found his way to southern California.l7
    There he was, in 1870, twenty-eight years old, living in the adobe toll house, seeing that the wooden pole across the dusty turnpike road was lifted to let the stages and freight wagons and cattle go through and now the wagon teams hauling the barrels of oil from those first oil wells up in Pico canyon, on their way to the ships at San Pedro.

1874. In 1874 the small adobe toll house there on the bank of the stream, welcomed a bride. Young Tom Dunne had not been too busy counting stage and freight teams and the pushing cattle or sheep, crowding the dusty road to and from the cut, to notice a little dark-eyed Spanish senorita down in the valley below. She was the daughter of Catalina and Geronimo Lopez and lived at the Lopez stage station near the old mission.18 Dona Luisa was just eighteen when she took up housekeeping in the small adobe toll house facing the turnpike, and planted her garden flowers about her.
    Over fifty years later, one day she came back. She pointed out "the very spot where the adobe house was built, and 'this was known as the toll house.' 'Here,' she explained, 'is the place.' She stood on the mound of ruins where the house had stood. 'And here, was the gate.'"19 There was a flowering almond tree in the yard, that remained a marker of where the toll house had stood, long after the old adobe had gone. The stream dredgers for the present new four-lane boulevard undermined the bank on which it stood, and finally, in the crumbling dirt, the flowering almond tree was laid low.20
    By the early eighteen seventies the traffic over the turnpike road on San Fernando Mountain had increased heavily. This was due to the rich Cerro Gordo mines producing their millions in silver, lead and some gold, high in the mountains "east of the north end or Owen's [sic] Lake."21
    The stage station kept by Geronimo Lopez in the valley to the west of the old mission, was made the headquarters of the Cerro Gordo Freighting Company. The company had been started to handle not only bullion but the general freight for the Owen's Valley settlements. A French Canadian, Remi Nadeau, was manager22 and held the contract to transport the ore from the mines down to the harbor at Wilmington where it was shipped to San Francisco by boat. He had fifty-six of these huge outfits on the road.21
    "The ore was loaded onto very large wagons, each drawn, on level stretches, by twelve or fourteen mules but requiring as many as twenty or more mules while crossing the San Fernando Mountains, always regarded as one of the worst places on the route."23
    In the early seventies then, Remi Nadeau's great wagons, heavy with freight and pulled by some twenty mules, left the large, dusty corral at Lopez Station to plod through the valley and up the steep turnpike road on the San Fernando Pass.

1874, March. A Frenchman by the name of Edmond Leuba, took a trip to Searles Lake in 1874.24
    On the way north from Los Angeles. "Settling down in the shade of some large trees on the bank of the creek, we decided to refresh ourselves, letting the warmest hours of the day pass. ... The road through San Fernando Pass crossed the creek but there was naturally no trace of a bridge. Although we got out to walk, our poor horses would never have been able to pull us to the other bank of the creek if Don Francisco25 [Vasquez] or Chico as he was called, and his brother-in-law, both on horseback, had not yoked themselves with their riatas and dragged us out of the mud. We parted good friends. ...
    "At some miles beyond the Mission of San Fernando, we reached the foot of the San Fernando Pass For a long distance, except for the Canon of Soledad, this is the only passage through this mountain chain either of which we might equally well take to gain the Mojave Desert.26
    "Naturally we had to pay a toll for the right to traverse the neck of San Fernando where the road on the two slopes is so steep that not only did we have to walk but also to aid the horses in pushing the wagon up the activity. At night fall we were in front of the station of Lyons or Petroliopolis,27 so named in honor of some springs of oil which they pretend to have discovered in this vicinity and which, with the need of exaggeration so dear to Americans, they are already comparing in richness to the oilfields of Pennsylvania.
    "They have summoned experts from the East and the earth has been penetrated a little everywhere; but I could not see that the time had been reached when they could recover enough oil to supply the factory or refinery which a company has built,28 long before, moreover, they were assured of sufficient fluid to operate."
    Well into the seventies the whole nature of the San Fernando Valley began to change. Northern investors,29 awake to the fertility of the vast plains, came down to take over the San Fernando ex-Mission Rancho. They were to turn thousands of acres into great sweeps of waving grain. Through the valley the railroad tracks of the Southern Pacific had been laid. Then, within a mile and a half of the old Mission on the north, a little stubby engine and train tooted its way to the foot of the San Fernando Pass. There it had stopped against the high ridge of impassable hills. The passengers transferred themselves from the stiff red plush seats of the train car to the stiffer seats of a stage waiting there, and six husky horses pulled them up the rough road of the Pass through the towering walls of standstone in the Cut on their way down the Santa Clara Valley to the coast towns, or over the mountains to the Tulare Valley and the mines beyond.
    In 1874 plans for a little town were made, to be laid out some three miles from the entrance to the Pass and a mile and a half north of the old Mission. Then Remi Nadeau moved his huge freight depot from Lopez Station over to the town of San Fernando on the Southern Pacific tracks. He had 1,600 mules and eighty teamsters to care for. He put up a hotel for the drivers, and barns and a blacksmith shop for the mules.
    Every morning, like clockwork, two immense wagons pulled by some twenty mules, left Nadeau's freight depot on the railroad, to lumber up the Pass; every evening two immense wagons filled with bullion from the mines, turned up the canyon on the north slope of the mountain, to crowd through the Cut and haul to a stop at Tom Dunne's toll house. Lucky for the stage coaches and local wagons, these great wagon trains from the mines carried tinkling bells on the mules to tell of their approach.30
    If the little town of San Fernando seemed busy with the noise and turmoil attendant upon the moving in of the huge freight outfits of Remi Nadeau, just three miles beyond there was an almost equal confusion.

1875, April.31 The Southern Pacific railroad was finally, after twenty years, taking Lieutenant Williamson's recommendation and putting a tunnel through the foothills of San Fernando Mountain. It was, however, up a canyon to the west of where the turnpike road cut through the high ridge of rock. There was the sharp ring of pick-axes hewing out the mountain side and the rattle of the heavy dump-carts. There was the high-pitched, nasal twang of hundreds of Chinamen working, not only from the south end but cutting through from the north. There were nearly a thousand of them altogether.
    This was the busy spectacle that greeted the passengers of the stubby little train chugging its way across the wide valley, as they alighted to transfer to the stage coach. When, with a lunge the six horses started to pull them up the heavy grade, doubtless they looked far back to get a last glimpse of the strange scene. A railroad going through a mountain was almost unheard of by Californians. On January 1, 1876, on the supplement of the Los Angeles Evening Herald was splashed the headline that it was "The Greatest Project Now Under Construction in the United States."32
    By 1875 interest in the few attempts to bring in the oil in Pico canyon was again awakening. Scouting over the rugged hills was C.A. Mentry, known as Alex Mentry, a driller of quite some experience in the oil fields in Pennsylvania. He had come over to Pico canyon from putting down an oil well for the Los Angeles Oil Company in Grapevine Canyon33 a few miles to the south east. Mentry, in company with J.G. Baker and D.C. Scott,34 obtained a lease of Beale and Baker,35 at an eighth royalty for two years in Pico Canyon known as the "Pico Oil Claim."36 This was the property of the First Star Oil Company that located the "First Pico oil claim."37
    That year of the excavation of the tunnel one of the passengers who alighted from the little train at its terminus was a young man just over thirty, Mr. D.G. Scofield of San Francisco. He had been secretary to the F.W. Mitchell Oil Company in Pennsylvania and had left for San Francisco to go into business with F.B. Taylor who handled lubricants and greases. He "had been in touch with Dr. Gelcich, a chemist of Los Angeles, who had been gathering samples of oil collected from seepages in Southern California. He had analyzed, among others, samples of Pico Canyon oil. ..."38
    Mr. Scofield had evidently come south by boat and would hunt up the small train out of Los Angeles that crossed the wide valley. "Before the completion of the San Fernando Tunnel the traveler was lucky if he obtained passage to San Fernando on other than a construction train."39
    When the little puffing engine came to a stop at the end of the line, Mr. Scofield, as he alighted, faced the confusion of the gouging out of the San Fernando hills for a tunnel. He would transfer to the stage and be hauled up the rough grade by the sturdy six-horse team, first, only as far as the adobe toll house where young Tom Dunne would collect the toll. Then, with a lurch, the stage would rock to the summit of the dusty road, where it would take him through the bleak, high shoulders of sandstone. As it left the narrow cut, the view of rolling hills dotted with live oaks, and sharp, high peaks in the distance, of dense mountain brush and rugged canyons, must have been as beautiful then as when the early travelers first saw it, as beautiful as it is now.
    Mr. Scofield would leave the stage at Lyon Station and look over the small deserted refinery that early Star Oil Company had put up near by four or five years before.40 He would meet Sanford Lyon himself who had put down that first well. Then, either on horseback or in a lumbering wagon, he would head west for the wild, brush-tangled slopes of Pico Canyon. It was his interest in the few oil wells he had heard were there, that had made him take the long trip from San Francisco.

1876, December 29. Los Angeles Evening Express.
    "When the yield of oil began to fall off in Pennsylvania, several experienced oil operators sought this district as a probable find of supply, but while most of them left without doing anything, several of them remained to test it. Of these, the most persevering as he was also the most enterprising, was R.C. McPherson who purchased 200 acres on the oil belt running east and west between the Pico well and More well and organized the San Francisco Petroleum Company.
    "The San Francisco Petroleum Company was incorporated last December (1875). President, J.H. Mahoney of Livermore, Alameda County; Vice-President, L. Goodwin of San Francisco. Secretary, Wendall Easton, San Francisco and R.C. McPherson, Superintendent. This corporation owns 200 acres of free-hold territory in the center of the proven oil district.... Mr. McPherson went east and purchased a complete outfit of boring tools and machinery of latest improvements."
    There were two men in the Pennsylvania oil fields to whom D.G. Scofield had written in 1875 not long after his visit to the Pico field. He had promised to report to them what he had found in the way of oil development in California. One of the men was W.E. Youle, a young driller twenty-eight years old who was working on Oil Creek for the Mitchell Oil Company, of which Mr. Scofield had been secretary.
    Mr. Youle said, "Sometime in 1875 he wrote me of oil indications in California; said he was then securing territory near Newhall which was located some thirty miles from Los Angeles. He believed success could be made and that a little later he might start a well or two."41
    The other oil man to whom Mr. Scofield wrote, was J.A. Scott who had a large refinery at Titusville.42 In January of 1876, then, Mr. Scott took the trip to California to look over the work done in Pico Canyon.

1876, January 26. Los Angeles Evening Express.
    "We yesterday enjoyed the pleasure of a somewhat lengthy conversation with Mr. J.A. Scott of Titusville, Pennsylvania, who arrived in Los Angeles a week or so ago and who has subjected the San Fernando oil to a very elaborate series of tests. As a result of his examination he pronounces the San Fernando oil to be unsurpassed in quality.
    "This oil refined by Mr. Scott is entirely without offensive odor and is as clear as crystal. It emits a light of unusual brilliancy, an ordinary lamp yielding as much illumination as a six-foot gas burner.
    "Mr. Scott at his eastern works turns out about 200 barrels of refined petroleum a day.43 He proposes to represent at the Centennial44 his own oils and our San Fernando oil refined by his own process."
    As 1876 began its exciting year of oil development in Pico canyon, General Don Andres Pico died in his town adobe facing the Plaza.45 It is hoped he was aware of the awakening interest in the canyon that bore his name. Just twenty-one years before he had taken some of its oil seepage to be the first in California to experiment with oil for refining purposes.46 In 1865 he had owned stock in the first Star Oil Company.47

1876, February 14. Los Angeles Evening Express. Editorial:
    "General Andres Pico. On the death of Don Andres Pico, Los Angeles has lost one of her most distinguished and widely known citizens. ... Don Andres has been essentially a historical character of California and enjoyed the rare privilege of having been a leading and trusted citizen under two systems of government.
    "With the departure of Don Andres another link is gone in the living chain which attached the California of the present day to the California of the primitive days when her children led a quiet, pastoral life, charging their minds with little but the care of their flocks and herds.
    "A few more years and the living relics of that period will have passed away and their memory will only be preserved in the imperfect annals of an epoch which becomes of greater interest the farther it recedes into the past."

1876, March 29. Los Angeles Evening Express.
    "Col. R.S. Baker returned today from a visit to the Pico oil wells which he owns and is now developing. He has three wells there and they have already been sunk to a depth of about 150 feet. One of these wells is now yielding at the rate of 12 barrels of very superior oil a day. They are located about five or six miles above Lyon Station in the canon. They have been sunk by the rude and difficult process of spring boards, a mechanism which does not admit of attaining great depth.
    "Mr. McPherson, the Pennsylvania expert, is located some miles below the Pico wells. Col. Baker is very sanguine of the future of the San Fernando petroleum territory and we entertain little doubt that a petroleum region as productive and extensive as the deposits of Venango and Butler counties Pennsylvania is in our midst. Col. Baker has spent at various times some $18,000 on the development of the San Fernando oil region and is delighted to note the favorable out-look which can now be decerned [sic] on every hand."

1875-76. The well "Sanford Lyon had brought in by hand power" in 1869 that yielded "a ten barrel well at the depth of 250 feet of a superior grade of green oil ... attracted the attention of Messrs. Scofield and Taylor who soon after leased from Gen. E.F. Beale and R.S. Baker lands adjoining this well and soon brought to the surface a wealth of the green fluid."48 C.A. Mentry, J.G. Baker and D.C. Scott had already leased the Pico Oil Claim49 on which was Sanford Lyon's first well, put down by the Star Oil Company.50
    "In 1876 Messrs. Bryant and Scofield organized the California Star Oil Works Company."51 They evidently decided to carry on the name of the original Star Oil Company.

1876, May 24. Los Angeles Evening Express.
    "The articles of incorporation of the Star Oil Works Company were filed this A.M. Directors, A.J. Bryant,52 Mark McDonald, Robert C. Page and Charles Jones of San Francisco and Robert Denton of Los Angeles. Capital stock $1,000,000; 10,000 shares $100 each.
    "The Star Oil Works Company has been in successful operation for some time and is now supplying our market with a refined oil which is in general use and which is a far better illuminating fluid than any imported oil we have seen yet. It gives a very brilliant light, is completely free from odor and is inexplosive [sic].
    "The San Fernando oil as reduced by the Star Oil Works will soon drive from the Pacific Coast all Eastern importation and if the supply is ample, as we have every reason to believe it will be, we shall soon build up a commerce from these wells that will supply the islands of the Pacific and Asia as well as the Pacific Coast with all the oil they may require.
    "The San Fernando Petroleum Company has also filed articles of incorporation. It starts out with a capital of $10,000,000 and the following trustees: J.H. Mahoney, R.C. McPherson,53 Henry Abbott, Robert C. Page54 and Grove Adams, all of San Francisco."
    "A company consisting of C.A. Mentry ... D.C. Scott and Christopher Leaming55 ... in 1876 sold their interests to the California Star Oil Works Company of San Francisco."G This was the Pico Oil Claim Mentry and Scott had leased in 1875, from the original Star Oil Company57 on which was Sanford Lyon's first well.

1876, July 31. Los Angeles Evening Express. Editorial:
    "After a long season of doubt in the eyes of many, occasioned by the non-success of a few feeble efforts made by men of no experience, the grand fact is demonstrated beyond a doubt, that there is oil in the San Fernando region, and in the judgment of practical and scientific men from Pennsylvania, it not only exists in large quantities but is of a very superior quality.
    "Within the last few months, many of our leading oil men from San Francisco have been quietly going over the ground making examinations and securing territory. Men from Pennsylvania more alive to the importance and more able to appreciate the value of what they see, are anxiously trying to acquire what to our citizens appeared but a short time ago, valueless hills, and the probabilities are, that within a short time the great mountains at the back of San Fernando will be teeming with a busy population and the stories we have heard of the almost fabulous fortunes made in the Pennsylvania oil region will be realized by some of our people.
    "Already two companies, the Union58 and the Newhall, with a capital of $5,000,000 each, have been formed in San Francisco for the purpose of sinking wells, ... and as the property of the Union company adjoins Pico #I with its splendid flowing well, it is but reasonable to expect success.
    "Even to the minds of the most doubting, a stream of oil shooting into the air twenty-five feet high must carry conviction and when it is remembered the well is only down 160 ft. the people of Los Angeles may congratulate themselves upon the good time that is coming. Near the flowing well on the Pico are several wells of less depth, most of which yield a good supply of oil by means of pumping and steps are being taken to increase their depth."
    The group of local Los Angeles men who, in 1865, Sanford Lyon organized into the first Star Oil Company, were men of prominence in the town, Colonel R.F. Baker, General E.F. Beale, General Don Andres Pico and F.P. Foster. They were, however, men of no experience in such a new and unfamiliar business venture as the developing of an oil field. They had put up the refinery at Lyon Station in 1870-71 [1873-74?] but were forced to close the works because "they failed to treat the oil with success."
    Now, with the forming of a new company, "they passed into the possession of the California Star Oil Works Company, an association of San Francisco capitalists."59
    D.G. Scofield who was manager of the new California Star Oil Works,59 and Alex Mentry who remained to work for him60 had both had much experience in the Pennsylvania oilfields. Although the California formation was tricky and quite different61 from what they had worked in, their knowledge stood them in good stead.

1876, July 31. Los Angeles Evening Express. Editorial (continued):
    "The Star Oil Works have in complete working order at Lyon Station a refinery and are turning out from 25 to 40 barrels of refined oil a day. From the wells to the refinery, a distance of about six miles, a line of pipes was commenced to carry the oil from the wells to the refinery, but as the company are about to remove the present one and also construct larger ones at the town of Newhall, on the line of the Southern Pacific Railroad, the enterprise for the present is abandoned."
    The Star Oil Work's [sic] refinery referred to as being "in complete working order at Lyon Station" by July 31st, 1876, "and producing from 25 to 40 barrels of refined oil a day," must have been the reconstructed earlier refinery of the first Star Oil Company. It was evidently rebuilt by D.C. Scott61 and Mr. Wood, for the new California Star Oil Works Company, and became then, W.W. Orcutt said, "the first practical refinery,"62 for oil, in California.

1876, July 31. Los Angeles Evening Express. Editorial (continued):
    "Within the past two weeks the oil belt has been traced in a northwesterly direction from San Fernando and adjoining the Sespe Ranch. Some fine locations have been made and active steps taken for the development of what will one day be to Los Angeles what the mines of Nevada have been and are, to the city of San Francisco."
    This, then, was the beginning of the first commercial oilfield in California.64 Its oil, the greater part of 1876 went sloshing in barrels on heavy, great-wheeled wagons pulled by tugging horses, up the rough turnpike road over the San Fernando Pass. For twelve years, since General Beale had put the deep cut through the rocky summit, the road had continued to bear the brunt of travel from the north and the south. Now, however, in the latter part of that year, the time had come when the heaviest of the traffic was to sidestep the hard grade altogether.


NOTES.

1. Los Angeles in the Sunny Seventies. Ludwig L. Salvator. 1876. p. 93.
2. By name Ramon Parero, usually given Paredo but corrected by relatives of Parero still living in Newhall, to Mr. A.W. Lyon of Newhall.
3. The canyon from which Don Andres Pico and his nephew Romulo, had taken brea [asphaltum] in 1855 with which to experiment for light and heat.
4. Los Angeles Evening Express. Dec. 29, 1876.
5. There are still canyons called Wiley and Rice to the south of Pico Canyon.
6. Los Angeles in the Sunny Seventies. Ludwig Louis Salvator, 1876. p. 93.
7. Article by A.W. Lyon, son of the late Sanford Lyon, in Los Angeles Daily News, May 3, 1940.
8. Of the Northern Picos. Ana Begue de Packman.
9. Sixty Years in Southern California. Harris Newmark. p. 110.
10. Los Angeles in the Sunny Seventies. Ludwig L. Salvator, 1876. pp. 93-94.
11. Colonel Baker later owned the San Vincente Rancho of 30,000 acres, the whole of the Santa Monica district. He married the widow of Don Abel Stearns, Dona Arcadia Bandini Stearns. Sixty Years in Southern California. Harris Newmark, pp. 143-215.
12. Los Angeles Evening Express. Dec. 29, 1876.
13. W.E. Youle. Sixty-three Years in the Oilfields. p. 23.
14. Date of well drilled by Sanford Lyon given by A.W. Lyon, son of Sanford Lyon. Los Angeles Daily News. May 3, 1940.
15. The Ojai Valley development in 1865.
16. Mrs. Luisa Lopez Dunne McAlonan. MSS. Charles J. Prudhomme.
17. Ibid.
18. Charles J. Prudhomme MMS. Interview with Mrs. Luisa Lopez Dunne McAlonan. 1926. The site of the Lopez Stage Station is now covered by the City Reservoir to the west of Sepulveda Boulevard, near its junction with the San Fernando Road.
19. Charles J. Prudhomme MSS. 1926.
20. A.W. Lyon of Newhall.
21. Cerro Gordo. W.A. Chalfant. Thc Quarterly Historical Society of Southern California. June 1940. p. 55.
22. The City That Grew. Boyle Workman. pp. 191-192. He made quite a fortune and put up the Nadeau Hotel, first four-story building in town.
23. Sixty Years in Southern California. p. 385. Harris Newmark.
24. Bandits, Borax and Bears. Edmond Leuba. Translated from the French by Allen Chickering. California Historical Quarterly. Vol. 17, No. 2. pp. 99-102. Material discovered by Miss Laura Cooley, Los Angeles Library.
Searles Lake, northwest corner San Bernardino County west of Slate Range. Named for John Searles who took the trip with Jacob Kuhrts in 1857.
25. Don Francisco Vasquez, the brother of the bandit Tiburcio Vasquez, and his brother-in-law, "well mounted travellers" whom Edmond Leuba, the Frenchman, had invited to have lunch with him and his companions, on the stream bank.
26. The San Fernando Pass must first be crossed to reach Soledad canyon.
27. The first time this name for Lyon Station has been mentioned in the source material found.
28. The refinery the first Star Oil Company, composed of local men, put at Lyon Station in 1870-71. [Note: Standard Oil Co. records indicate the years were 1873-74.]
29. Senator Charles McClay of Santa Clara, George K. Porter, San Francisco, and his cousin Benjamin F. Porter. Isaac Lankersham, Isaac N. Van Nuys, San Francisco. Ranchos Become Cities. W.W. Robinson.
30. Ana Begue de Packman.
31. The Valley of San Fernando. D.A.R.
32. The Boom of the Eighties. Glenn S. Dumke. p. 20.
33. Illustrated History of Los Angeles County. Lewis Publishing Co. Chicago 1889.
34. Thomas A. Scott, an official of the Pennsylvania railroad, was interested in the first oil development in the Ojai Valley 1864-65. "Thomas Scott had two young nephews, Thomas R. Bard and D.C. Scott." W.W. Orcutt, Petroleum Reporter, Souvenir Number. 1926.
35. Gen. E.F. Beale, Col. R.C. Baker, Los Angeles.
36. Illustrated History of Los Angeles County. Lewis Publishing Co. Chicago. 1889. Written fourteen years later when Mentry was living and the early records were still available.
37. Los Angeles Evening Express. Dec. 29, 1876.
38. Sixty-three Years in the Oilfields. p. 5, W.E. Youle, 1926.
39. Sixty Years in Southern California. Harris Newmark, p. 496.
40. Sanford Lyon knew Mr. Scofield well. A.W. Lyon, son of the former.
41. Sixty-three Years in the Oilfields, W.E. Youle. 1926. p. 22.
42. Ibid, p. 23
43. The largest modern refineries today turn out on an average from fifty to two hundred and fifty thousand barrels of refined petroleum a day.
44. 1876 Centennial at Philadelphia.
45. 203 Main St., Los Angeles Evening Express, Feb. 14, 1876.
46. W.W. Orcutt. "There is a legend from the San Fernando Mission," etc. Petroleum Reporter, Souvenir Number, 1926.
47. Los Angeles Evening Express. Dec. 29, 1876. Review of oil history.
48. Los Angeles Sunday Times. Jan. 3, 1886. Review of oil history.
49. Illustratcd History of Los Angeles County. Lewis Pub. Co. Chicago, 1889.
50 "... A shallow well was drilled at the head of Pico Canyon. The driller was Sanford Lyon. ... Some years after completion of well, C.A. Mentry was placed in charge as manager." Standard Oil Bulletin, August, 1918.
51. W.W. Orcutt, Petroleum Reporter. Souvenir Number, 1926.
52. A.J. Bryant, Mayor of San Francisco 1876-1880. San Francisco Municipal Report. Appendix for 1880-81.
53. J.H. Mahoney, president of the San Francisco Petroleum Company. R.C. McPherson, its superintendent.
54. Robert C. Page, a director of the Star Oil Works Company.
55. One of the owners of the first Pico Canyon claims.
56. Petroleum in California. Lionel V. Redpath 1900. Written when Mentry was living and early records were still available.
57. Illustrated History of Los Angles County. Lewis Pub. Co. Chicago. 1889.
58. Not to be confused with the present Union Oil Company.
59. Los Angeles Evening Express. Dec. 29, 1876.
60. W.E. Youle. Sixty-three Years in the Oilfields, 1926. p. 23.
61. Ibid., pp. 32-33.
62. Nephew of Thomas A. Scott.
63. The late W.W. Orcutt, former President of the Union Oil Company of California. Petroleum Reporter. Souvenir Number 1926. Section 11 p. I. "It was not until 1876 that the first practical refinery was built at Newhall by D.C. Scott and Mr. Wood. This refinery was located near the old cemetery (Lyon Station. V.S.R.) one mile east of the town on the present highway. The capacity of the refinery was twenty barrels per day and the oil was put in wooden barrels and hauled by team from the wells. The layout of this plant can be recognized from the roads, guides and the position of the stills as located by the remains of the old bricks." (1926)
64. W.E. Youle. Sixty-three Years in California. 1926 p. 23.

RETURN TO TOP ]   RETURN TO MAIN INDEX ]   PHOTO CREDITS ]   BIBLIOGRAPHY ]   BOOKS FOR SALE ]
SCVHistory.com is another service of SCVTV, a 501c3 Nonprofit • Site contents ©SCVTV • Additional copyrights apply