[Sign Up Now] to Receive Our FREE Daily SCVTV-SCVNews Digest by E-Mail

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Sunny
Sunny
75°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
November 22
1843 - Rancho Castec (Lebec-Tejon area) granted to French immigrant Jose Covarrubias [story]


Now and Then in the SCV: Commentary by Darryl Manzer
| Sunday, Nov 11, 2012

Darryl Manzer

I’ve got mine. Did you get yours?

Being a member of the Auto Club, I was in that office on Valencia Boulevard and got the brand-new AAA map of the Santa Clarita Valley Area.

At one time, we all knew where everything was, and the whole map could have fit on a 3×5 card.

Of course, this new map will be out of date in about three weeks. So, get them while they are still accurate (or nearly so). My electronic navigation gadget has the same problem.

Today when someone says they’re going to the high school, you have to ask which one of the six. We used to have just one. Same with the junior high. Newhall was a “big deal” because it had two elementary schools: Newhall and the “new” Peachland. Saugus had one, as did Castaic and the little community of Sulphur Springs.

Schools have come and gone in this valley. You can go visit them. Well … the old Castaic Union is now a flat field, but at Heritage Junction in William S. Hart Park, you can see the tiny, one-room adobe school. And you can see Felton School in Mentryville at the end of Pico Canyon Road.

Felton School operated from 1885 to 1932. It was a one-room school that had an addition of the teacher’s office/coat room/library and separate outhouses for the boys and girls. Today it is painted red. That is not the proper color for any building in Mentryville.

The “little red schoolhouse” in Mentryville wasn’t really red.

I see red any time I’m told the historical paint expert said the buildings were painted red in Mentryville. Or green with yellow trim, or some other outlandish scheme. He could have solved the problem by simply asking those of us who lived there. But he wouldn’t have been paid as much.

California Star and Pacific Coast Oil companies became Standard Oil of California and then Chevron. Until the merger with Texaco, the company was headquartered in San Francisco. Now it is located in a place called Texas. It appears the merger caused the company to forget its roots.

Looking at the Chevron website, I see the entire history of Texaco and little of the California operations. Sad. West of the Mississippi River, commercial oil production started right here in Pico Canyon, in Mentryville.

Just to let you in on a company secret from back then: ALL buildings were painted “buff.” In the 1890s that meant gray, or as we may call it, battleship gray.  There is still paint that the Navy buys, plainly marked, “Buff Gray.” The trim for all the buildings was white.

I don’t know how the “expert” got his information. Maybe he gathered some of the local plants and used it as tobacco. Maybe he took a few too many samples of paint that contained lead. I don’t know. But I do know the buildings were not originally red in color.

When my folks and I lived in Mentryville in the 1960s, we got to meet some of the people who had lived there when Mr. Mentry was alive – like the guy who told us about watering the eucalyptus trees every day. He said he earned 25 cents a week for that job.

When it came to colors of the buildings, all of the folks from the 1890s said they looked about the same as they did when we were there. Same color and all. They said it brought back great memories.

Many of them talked about the cottage having different colors inside. One bedroom was the “yellow” room because the fireplace hearth sported yellow tile. The woodwork wasn’t painted. I don’t know when it was painted, but can you imagine all that paint removed so you could see the original hardwood trim around doors, windows and the stairs?

There aren’t many of us left who lived in Pico Cottage (called the “Big House” by some). A few more folks are still alive who lived in houses in Mentryville. How come we were never asked about such stuff?

Well, I’m back in the Santa Clarita Valley and they can ask me any time. I can also get the information from residents long ago, or those who followed us. All they have to do is ask.

We just may have the answers. You see, our map of the valley used to be quite small, so those times are easy for us to remember.

Getting from my current place in North Valencia to downtown Newhall is my challenge. So that new map is very handy.

By the way – watch for the opening of Felton School for tours soon. I’ve been told the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy says it is ready to put the furniture back.

Next time: The haunted house and ghost myths of Towsley and Pico.

Stay tuned. Don’t change the channel.

 

Darryl Manzer grew up in the Pico Canyon oil town of Mentryville in the 1960s and attended Hart High School. After a career in the U.S. Navy he returned to live in the Santa Clarita Valley. He can be reached at dmanzer@scvhistory.com and his commentaries, published on Sundays, are archived at DManzer.com. Watch his walking tour of Mentryville [here].

Comment On This Story
COMMENT POLICY: We welcome comments from individuals and businesses. All comments are moderated. Comments are subject to rejection if they are vulgar, combative, or in poor taste.
REAL NAMES ONLY: All posters must use their real individual or business name. This applies equally to Twitter account holders who use a nickname.

1 Comment

  1. Phillis Brooks says:

    Love reading about the history of our Santa Clarita Valley.

Leave a Comment


Opinion Section Policy
All opinions and ideas are welcome. Factually inaccurate, libelous, defamatory, profane or hateful statements are not. Your words must be your own. All commentary is subject to editing for legibility. There is no length limit, but the shorter, the better the odds of people reading it. "Local" SCV-related topics are preferred. Send commentary to: LETTERS (at) SCVNEWS.COM. Author's full name, community name, phone number and e-mail address are required. Phone numbers and e-mail addresses are not published except at author's request. Acknowledgment of submission does not guarantee publication.
Read More From...
RECENT COMMENTARY
Tuesday, Nov 14, 2017
Honoring our veterans shouldn’t be limited to one day or one weekend. We need to do more to support them for their service and sacrifice to this country we all love.
Friday, Nov 3, 2017
The Houston Texans do have a pretty clean record, considering the criminal activity, arrests and personal low-lives of many NFL players overall.
Thursday, Nov 2, 2017
A Canadian mining company plans to explore for gold at Conglomerate Mesa either by constructing roads in this otherwise roadless area or by flying in the equipment with helicopters. It is hard to imagine either thing happening in this peaceful and unmarred landscape.
Wednesday, Nov 1, 2017
In his monthly message for November, Santa Clarita Mayor Cameron Smyth previews the unveiling of the new Fallen Warriors Monument at Veterans Historical Plaza in Newhall on November 11.
Tuesday, Oct 10, 2017
It was 10 years ago this fall semester that we opened the Canyon Country Campus on Sierra Highway. We are celebrating a decade of academic excellence and community impact. What a difference a decade makes.
Tuesday, Oct 3, 2017
The Trump budget proposes decreasing funding to the Department of the Interior by $1.5 billion. Trump is calling for more drilling in national parks and monuments. He plans to open BLM land to drilling and fracking.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1843 - Rancho Castec (Lebec-Tejon area) granted to French immigrant Jose Covarrubias [story]
Award-winning Deaf culture advocate, producer, choreographer and dancer Antoine Hunter (Dance 02) won an award at the 2017 San Francisco Dance Film Festival (SFDFF) last month.
CalArts Alum Wins “Best Student Film” at 2017 San Francisco Dance Film Festival
Several young adults with special needs from Carousel Ranch’s Ready to Work! (RTW!) program will be joining Martha Aguilar and Kokolita’s in preparing more than 1000 Thanksgiving meals for those in need.
Carousel Ranch Ready to Work Students, Kokolita’s Join Forces to Prepare Thanksgiving Meals
The College of the Canyons Model United Nations Club (COCMUN) received the highest award presented Sunday at a conference in Santa Barbara.
COC Model UN Awarded “Best Large Delegation” at UCSB Conference
The McKeon Leadership Forum is a speaker series that promotes civic engagement and reminds every citizen that a healthy democracy requires personal involvement.
Nov. 30: McKeon Leadership Forum Presents General Richard A. Cody
Tempe Hale (Film/Video MFA 14) and Ambar Navarro (Film/Video BFA 15), both graduates of CalArts Experimental Animation Program, premiered their new music video for Detroit-based artist Stef Chura on DIY Magazine.
Detroit-based Artist Collaborates with CalArtians on Music Video
Carroll of Montana has proven it can play at multiple tempos and be successful.
Lady Mustangs’ Up-Tempo Play Enough to Best Fighting Saints 74-64
Here is a list of two family-friendly holiday events that will be held at NorthPark Community Church:
NorthPark Community Church to hold Christmas Cafe, Cookies With Santa
Here is a list of Santa Clarita arts-related events for the week of Nov. 24 - Nov.26:
Nov. 24-26: Santa Clarita Arts Calendar
1967 - Local voters approve formation of community college and elect COC's first five-member board - Dr. William G. Bonelli Jr., Bruce Fortine, Sheila Dyer, Peter Huntsinger, Edward Muhl [story]
After winning the program's seventh consecutive conference championship and dropping just two matches throughout the regular season, the College of the Canyons women's soccer season came to an abrupt halt on Saturday afternoon.
COC Playoff Run Ends With Loss Against Pierce
FRESNO, Calif. — College of the Canyons sophomore Díani Ellis capped a remarkable Cougar career by establishing a new school record time of 18:32.1 on the 5K course at Woodward Park to place fifth overall at the 2017 California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA) State Championships on Saturday.
COC Women’s Cross Country Ends Season With 8th Place Finish at State Championships
No. 5 College of the Canyons earned its first Bowl Game win of the Ted Iacenda era, downing No. 6 Mt. San Antonio College 28-16 in the 2017 Western State Bowl at Cougar Stadium on Saturday night.
Cougars 2017 Western State Bowl Champions
Castaic Middle School parents, students and teachers are celebrating after a surprise announcement was made that the school won a $100,000 grant from Farmers Insurance as a part of the nationwide “Thank America’s Teachers Dream Big Teacher Challenge.”
Farmer’s Insurance Awards Castaic Middle School $100K Grant After Nationwide Contest
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, Castaic Middle School won a $100,000 grant after participating in the nationwide "Thank America's Teachers Dream Big Teacher Challenge". Plus, a local kickoff to a national holiday tradition brought out the stars. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Monday, November 20, 2017
This holiday season, Westfield Valencia Town Center will be introducing #HowDoYouHoliday 2017 – a combination of services, amenities and experiences designed to make this special time of year enjoyable, meaningful, stylish and even hassle-free.
Santa Claus Fast Pass, Operation Santa Salute, Santa’s Workshop Among Holiday Festivities at Town Center
The city of Santa Clarita has created a platform for our residents to access the most current information on federal and state bills upon which the City Council has adopted formal positions.
Santa Clarita Residents Now Have Access to Current Legislation
The old sports maxim says that defense wins championships.
Lady Mustangs on 4-Game Winning Streak
Timothy Soares scored a career-high 27 points and The Master's University used an overwhelming first half to beat Life Pacific 97-75 Saturday evening on Bross Court.
Mustangs Basketball Improve to 5-1 With Win Against Life Pacific
From Nov. 27 - Dec. 10, residents and visitors in Santa Clarita may come across the “Red Dress Project,” a traveling display of seven red dresses representing seven local women who lost their lives to domestic violence.
Nov. 27 – Dec. 10: Red Dress Project, Promotes End to Domestic Violence
Hart High School took on Rancho Verde High School of Moreno Valley Friday, November 17, 2017 at College of the Canyons in the quarterfinal round of the CIF Southern Section Division III Playoffs. Rancho Verde came out on top 55-27 and Hart ended the season with an 8-4 record.
Hart Ends Season With Playoff Loss to Rancho Verde
Firefighters put out a structure fire in Valencia that began burning a one-story home Sunday night.
Firefighters Extinguish Valencia House Fire
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Thanksgiving weekend, traditionally one of the busiest travel times in America, can also be one of the deadliest on the roadways. To help motorists avoid tragedies, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) will have all available officers on patrol during a Maximum Enforcement Period (MEP).
CHP on Maximum Enforcement Throughout Thanksgiving Weekend
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – California State Parks is encouraging you to head outdoors and visit one of our many beautiful state parks this Thanksgiving holiday period. Our 280 park units which includes beaches, lakes, forests, deserts, off-highway vehicle recreation areas and historic preservation sites are open for Thanksgiving.
State Parks Open During Holiday Weekend
As millions of travelers flood the roads this Thanksgiving, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is partnering with the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) and law enforcement across the state to share an important lifesaving reminder: Buckle Up – Every Trip. Every Time.
LASD Urges Motorists to Buckle Up Ahead of Holiday Weekend
1831 - Local entrepreneurs Sanford and Cyrus Lyon (as in Lyons Avenue) born in Machias, Maine [story]
2003 - U.S. Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon introduces the first of several bills intended to block the 78-million-ton Cemex gravel mine in Soledad Canyon [story]
1957 - Newhall County Library dedicated on Ninth Street; rededicated as city of Santa Clarita's Business Incubator exactly 57 years later (2014) [story]
The WiSH Education Foundation helped students at Sierra Vista Junior High School in Canyon Country with a donation of guitars Friday.
WiSH Foundation Donates New Guitars to Sierra Vista
Rep. Steve Knight (R, CA-25), is sending this letter to constituents about H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, passed by the U.S. House of Representatives 227-205 Thursday.
Knight: House Tax Bill Offers ‘Unprecedented Relief’
Los Angeles County and city of Los Angeles officials have reached a key milestone in their partnership to create 10,000 units of permanent supportive housing for homeless people over the next decade.
LA City-County Partnership to Create Supportive Housing for Homeless
'SpongeBob SquarePants: The Broadway Musical' officially opens at the Palace Theatre in New York on Dec. 4, but this weekend, NY-based CalArts alumni gather for a preview event.
Dec. 4: ‘SpongeBob SquarePants – The Musical’ Opens on Broadway
Tonight on SCV NewsBreak, SCV Sheriff's announced the arrest of a Saugus probationer on drug and probation violation charges. Plus, a look at some more fun, holiday events happening this weekend. Watch these stories and more on tonight's edition of SCV NewsBreak.
SCV NewsBreak for Friday, November 17, 2017
Seventy dancers from CalArts will present a massive ensemble performance outside the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Downtown Los Angeles on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 15 and 16 at 8 p.m.
Dec. 15-16: CalArts Dancers Plan Massive ‘Impromptu’ Performance
REDCAT, CalArts’ downtown center for contemporary arts, in partnership with the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts, will present the first-ever symposium on "Kandors," the last major project of renowned Los Angeles artist and CalArts alumnus Mike Kelley (Art MFA 78) on Saturday, November 18 from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Nov. 18: REDCAT Symposium on Mike Kelley’s ‘Kandors’