Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures
THE STORY OF OUR VALLEY BY A.B. PERKINS
[CONTENTS][SEARCH]

Editor's Notes

1. The Time of Trees

1. The Tataviam. When Perkins wrote this in the 1950s, the Santa Clarita Valley's Native American tribe was known as the Alliklik or l'Alliklik. In the 1970s-80s it was realized that this name was actually coined by the neighboring Kitanemuk tribe of the Antelope Valley, who used the term derisively ("Alliklik" mimicked the clicking sound of the local Indians' Uto-Aztecan language; it would be like calling them the "Click-clicks."). "Tataviam," meaning "People of the Sunny Slopes," is the name the Tataviam are believed to have used for themselves. [BACK]

2. Perkins said 1934; however, Juan José Fustero's death certificate, on file with the County of Ventura, places his date of death as June 30, 1921. Also, while Fustero often boasted that he was the "Last of the Piru Indians," anecdotal evidence suggests that Fustero was married to a full-blooded Tataviam woman who bore him children (Los Angeles Herald Examiner, 1965). According to Rudy "Standing Bear" Ortega Jr., spiritual leader of the Fernandeño-Tataviam tribe, in the 1990s an estimated 600 Los Angeles County residents could claim at least partial Tataviam parentage. [BACK]

2. Rancho San Francisco

3. By the year 2000, the name "Solemint Junction" (the junction of Soledad and Mint canyons) was little more than a memory; it's the intersection of Soledad Canyon Road and Sierra Highway (in Perkins' day, before State Route 14, Sierra Highway was known as Highway 6. [BACK]

4. The junction of today's Interstate 5 and State Route 126. [BACK]

5. A state historical marker for the Rancho San Francisco is located along The Old Road near Rye Canyon Road. [BACK]

6. Among the artifacts taken to the Peabody Museum of American Ethnology at Harvard University were four ritual staffs (Arlene Benson, The Noontide Sun, pg. 11), one of which the Peabody traded to a museum in Australia in 1954 (Blackburn and Hudson, Time's Flotsam, pg. 45). [BACK]

7. This may be; however, the 1839 deed granting Del Valle the 48,000-acre Rancho San Francisco, as it was then constituted (all former Mission lands were parceled out by the Mexican government to their new, secular owners in maximum 48,000-acre chunks), was signed by then-Gov. Juan B. Alvarado, who was resident at the Presidio in Santa Barbara. [BACK]

8. Lopez was uncle to Jacopa Feliz. He may have been her ranch manager, but he leased a section of the Del Valle rancho and ran his own cattle there. On this leased section, the events of Part 3 of this story would unfold. [BACK]

3. The Placerita Gold Rush

9. Today the plaque is on a rock next to the tree. [BACK]

10. The Placerita Canyon Nature Center was indeed built at the state park; it is located about 1 3/4 miles east of the current State Route 14. [BACK]

11. Perkins apparently believed Fremont Pass and Beale's Cut were not in the same place. This has long been a subject of dispute. As for the marker(s), which have been stolen many times since their original placement, one marker is supposed to identify Beale's Cut, while another (usually) stands near Beale's Cut and refers to the site of the former Newhall (auto) Tunnel a quarter-mile away. [BACK]

12. In 1903, what would later be known as the Saugus Post Office was called the Surrey Post Office. [BACK]

4. Early Transportation

13. Known, after 1863, as Beale's Cut. (Perkins, however, may have been among those who believe Banning's crossing point and Beale's were not the same.) [BACK]

14. This does not refer to William S. Hart, rather to an old name of Lyon's Station. [BACK]

15. Known as the Pioneer Cemetery, today this is the Garden of Pioneers at Eternal Valley Memorial Park on Sierra Highway in Newhall. [BACK]

16. Addi Lyon's ranch was located approximately where the Valencia Marketplace shopping center is today. [BACK]

17. Until the El Niño rains of 1997-98 partially caved in its sides. [BACK]

18. The toll house stood directly below Beale's Cut in Newhall. [BACK]

19. Perkins wrote "July 6" here; a double typo. Sept. 5, 1876 was the date Southern Pacific President Charles Crocker drove a golden spike to join San Francisco and Los Angeles by rail at Lang in what is now Canyon Country, a quarter-mile east of the Shadow Pines exit off of State Route 14. [BACK]

20. In the vicinity of today's intersection of Magic Mountain Parkway and Bouquet Canyon Road. This was the original site of Newhall from 1876-78. In that year the town — train station and all — picked up and moved two miles south to what is now Railroad Avenue (which was then called San Fernando Road — but that's another story). A decade after Newhall moved south, in 1887, a new train station was built in the vicinity of Newhall's old location. This was the Saugus Train Station. A small business district grew up around it. In Perkins' day, the area was still referred to as Saugus. In the latter half of the 20th Century, Saugus became a moving target, as residential growth pushed the bulk of the area's population to the north of Bouquet Junction. A reflection of this phenomenon, "Where the hell is Saugus?" bumper stickers enjoyed fleeting popularity. [BACK]

5. Mining

6. Oil in Newhall

21. CSO No. 4, a.k.a. Pico No. 4, was capped in 1990 after 114 years of production. At the time, it was the longest continually producing oil well in the world. [BACK]

22. The Pioneer Oil Refinery is indeed located off of Pine Street in Newhall, although the neighboring businesses have changed since Perkins' time. Ownership of the refinery property passed from Chevron (Standard Oil of California's new name as of 1977) to the city of Santa Clarita in the late 1990s. [BACK]

23. The refinery was initially set up in 1874 behind Lyon's Station. In 1876 it was moved to the current location and expanded. [BACK]

24. Perkins said 1883; however, Standard Oil Co. records show the refinery was shut in 1888. [BACK]

25. Standard Oil records indicate that a steam-driven rig was used in nearby Towsley Canyon as early as 1874. [BACK]

26. See footnote 21. [BACK]

27. Actually, it antedated (by just over a month) the moving of the refinery from Lyon's Station to Andrew's Station (Pine Street), but it certainly made the refinery's expansion all the more imperative. [BACK]

28. In 1995, Mentryville's ownership was transfered from Chevron USA (Standard's successor) to the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority, a joint-powers agency headed by the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy. A state park, Mentryville is open to the public, with guided tours offered at certain times by the Friends of Mentryville. [BACK]

29. Now called Railroad Avenue in downtown Newhall. [BACK]

30. This portion of Spruce Street is now called San Fernando Road in downtown Newhall. [BACK]

31. He is also credited with punching 42 successful wells in Pennsylvania prior to coming to California in 1873. [BACK]

32. The last Chevron-Standard employee to live at Mentryville was Frenchy Lagasse, who lived there with his wife and daughters until the 1994 earthquake. After Chevron donated Mentryville to the MRCA in 1995, Conservancy personnel have lived on-site. [BACK]

33. The Felton School District was absorbed into the Newhall School District in 1933, after again falling short of the five-student minimum. [BACK]

34. Wells were still being punched — successfully — in the Placerita oil field at the dawn of the 21st Century. [BACK]


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