Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures

NCWD Demolishes 53-Year-Old Wooden Water Tank, Largest in State.

Erected by Needham in Happy Valley, 1910; Moved by Perkins to Pine Street in 1931.

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Ancient Tank Dismantled After 50 Years.

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Newhall's ancient redwood water tank is no longer a landmark of the community.

The tank, which was in use in the community for more than half a century, was demolished last Thursday morning. The Newhall County Water District had advertised for bids to dismantle the tank, but no one submitted a bid.

The district hired Bill Ghione, Newhall, to pull it down. He was assisted by district personnel.

Falls in Hour.

Ghione and the men assisting him started dismantling the tank at 8:30 a.m., and by about 9:30, it lay on the ground in a circle. Cables were used to encircle the substructure and pull the tank down.

O.L. (Red) Martin, district manager, commented that the tank "laid down just like dominos."

The district is salvaging the lumber and plans to sell it to pay for dismantling costs, Martin said.

To Present Souvenirs.

Souvenirs from the tank will be presented to Mrs. Nellie Needham Miller, daughter of Henry Clay Needham, and A.B. Perkins. Martin said a valve from the tank would be given to Mrs. Miller. The tank was pegged together with wooden pegs, one of which will be given to Perkins.

The 387,000-gallon water tank was constructed of redwood and steel bands. Needham erected it in 1910. The original location was on Maple street in Happy Valley.

In 1919, Needham sold the water company to Perkins, who acted as secretary-manager of the then-Newhall Water Company until 1953, when the stock was sold to the present county water district. The district began operations in 1954.

Tank Largest.

The redwood tank, which was the largest redwood stave tank for water in the entire state, was moved to the location on Pine Street in Railroad Canyon in 1931, according to Perkins.

The tank was just under 20 feet high and was 60 feet in diameter.

In recent years, the tank was used as a supplementary tank by the district, according to Martin. He said it went into use automatically when the water usage was heavy.

It was estimated that some 35,000 gallons of water escaped daily from the leaky tank recently. Wooden pegs and rags plugged up many holes, and others were beyond plugging.

A new steel tank, which replaced the ancient tank, was erected on a mountain top between Placerita Canyon and San Fernando Road. The new tank holds more than 750,000 gallons.

Work is expected in begin soon on another tank to be located in Happy Valley. The contract was awarded to Consolidated Western Steel for the 300,000-gallon tank.

Martin said work was just waiting on property clearance. He said they hoped to have the tank, designated as tank number four, active by the last of September or the first of October.

With the dismantling of the redwood tank and the construction of the Happy Valley tank, the district will have four tanks in operation, Martin said. He said the district was currently producing close to two million gallons a day.

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