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

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Cloudy
Cloudy
64°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
September 21
1974 - COC's new Cougar Stadium opens for first game of football season; Harbor beats COC, 26-21 [story]


Now and Then in the SCV | Commentary by Darryl Manzer
| Sunday, Jan 6, 2013
Darryl Manzer

Darryl Manzer

Have you been to downtown Newhall lately? I, for one, think it is looking pretty spiffy of late. It has stores and theaters with real live actors. There are some great places to eat now, too – Egg Plantation, El Trocadero and the Way Station, to name some.

The new landscaping is cool, too … trees and benches to sit on, with clean sidewalks and even hitchin’ posts for your favorite horse.

To go with that favorite horse you might want to get your Western Wear at Bobbi Jean’s place, OutWest. Next door is Fresh, a great place for women to find that perfect outfit, as is One Savvy Girl across the street. J. Serraino joined the neighborhood recently, and Ma Maison is moving in next door to Fresh.

Is this starting to read like an campaign? I mean, if Newhall is so great, how come I want to write about it like it needs the free advertising?

Image: J. Serraino

Image: J. Serraino

Newhall is the “mother” of everything else in the Santa Clarita Valley. Without Newhall there wouldn’t be anyplace else. Newhall set the standard for our way of life. Only we don’t know or can’t remember how great it was and could be.

Sure, there may have been a building boom and tract homes rolling all over the surrounding hills, but the being and the character of the area came from the little township of Newhall. It was, for many years, the core of our valley. Our roots are in the attitudes and history of Newhall.

Bobbi Jean Bell (right) offers apparel, artwork and more at OutWest on Main Street.

Bobbi Jean Bell (right) offers apparel, artwork and more at OutWest on Main Street.

Oil workers from Mentryville came to Newhall for supplies and a few drinks, too. (Mentryville was a “dry” town.) Rumor has it that a few of those workers met and married girls who worked at the Derrick Saloon. If you lived in what is now called Canyon Country but then was called Saugus, you came to Newhall.

Four elementary school districts graduated kids to Placerita Junior High and on to William S. Hart High School. Even if you lived in the far northern reaches of Castaic, your high school diploma read, “William S. Hart High School, Newhall, California.”  It was the center of the valley.

Madison Schwartz takes care of your women's fashion needs at Fresh.

Madison Schwartz takes care of your women’s fashion needs at Fresh.

I’ve been able to watch the SCV grow from looking out the windows of many airplanes as they flew into Burbank. Like a slow-growing fungus that was creeping north from Newhall, the creature filled the place. Valencia was just a start. Stevenson Ranch and Westridge added to the growth. Why, some folks came to the SCV and said they lived in Valencia or Stevenson Ranch or even “Cas-TAY-ick.” (It’s pronounced “Cas-steak.”) They didn’t know – and some still don’t – that Newhall started it all.

Oh, the stories you hear during breakfast at the Egg Plantation on Walnut Street in Newhall! Patrons sitting there saying how they wouldn’t be caught dead in downtown Newhall. Hello? You were SITTING one block off Main Street with pieces of a great omelet dripping off your chin and you didn’t realize you were IN downtown Newhall? Did someone miss a geography lesson? Can’t read signs or a map?

Photo: Egg Plantation

Photo: Egg Plantation

Some of the same people who decry huge malls with chain stores and restaurants won’t or don’t go to Newhall even to look or shop. I wonder if they could find it since it isn’t right off the 5 or 14 Freeway.  These are the same people who say how bad Newhall is when they are having dinner at one of those chain places. They just don’t seem to get it.

Maybe they have never seen a small town. They might not know the friendly ways and attitudes of the store owners in one. Maybe they just want to complain and not do anything about it. I don’t know. But they do stay away in droves. (Remind me to check on how many folks are in a drove, OK?)

Along about 1964, some friends and I would have loved some hitchin’ posts in front of the hardware store. Some trees for the parade on the Fourth of July would have been great, too. But you couldn’t have had a Farmers Market or those wonderful Thursday night parties that close down Main Street. Then it was four-lanes-of-traffic busy. I miss that in a way.

I remember the day we picked up our cattle branding iron at Tom Frew’s blacksmith shop in Newhall. I still have it. Well made. Right in Newhall. Not much need for a blacksmith now – or is there?

Maybe all of you should come to visit the mother township of the SCV. Come home to Newhall. It was out in the sticks from day one. Still feels that way. No shopping mall flash. No chain restaurants, thank goodness.

You might step into the Egg Plantation, or Way Station or even the good old Vu bar and find your true love. Never know. Small towns have that effect on you, once you get to know them. And while the valley has grown, that small town remains surrounded. But it does remain.

Slightly changed, but only for the better.

 

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.

3 Comments

  1. AND-in the Newhall neighborhood, you can still enjoy the sound of roosters crowing, as there is no pesky homeowners association.

  2. Cheryl Dellepiane says:

    I just love Old Town Newhall with all of its wonderful shops (especially OutWest), restaurants and wine bars (especially Pulchella), theaters, and special events. And, of course, the new library is magnificent. Just one complaint–my husband and I took some friends from Burbank to see “A White Christmas” (wonderful, by the way) at the Canyon Theatre Guild last month. We were mortified by all of the trash (cups and food wrappers, cigarette butts etc.) along the sidewalk and in the planted areas in front of the theater. I hadn’t recalled this being the usual case, so I was wondering what was up with that!

  3. Thank you, Darryl, for sharing your passion for Old Town Newhall, it’s history and current life. As business owners on Main St. we love to hear the stories from residents of their memories of shops and restaurants, favorite places whose doors closed long ago. We look forward to the return of SENSES, the third Thursday in March, as well as other events AND new businesses relocating or opening. We look forward to more postings, Darryl, as these events occur!

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
Thursday, Sep 21, 2017
There is a common insect that most people are not aware of because you never see it. It is mostly active underground. However, if you know what you are looking for, its traps are in many places and are very obvious.
Saturday, Sep 16, 2017
While not perfect, SB 54 kept intact our ability to maintain partnerships with federal law enforcement officials who help us in the fight against gangs, drugs and human trafficking. It also retains the controlled access that the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement has to our jails.
Thursday, Sep 7, 2017
Local residents have the right to record things their congressional leaders and legislative staff members say to residents of the 25th District and any of Rep. Knight's town hall meetings and legislative decisions.
Tuesday, Sep 5, 2017
Speaking with one of our Santa Clarita sheriff’s deputies recently, he was telling me about the hardest part of his job.
Friday, Sep 1, 2017
Santa Clarita Mayor Cameron Smyth invites residents to join him for the Santa Clara River Rally cleanup on Saturday, September 23.
Thursday, Aug 24, 2017
McConnell’s herd was among the Republicans who have been yelling about repealing an replacing Obamacare for over seven years, and now he says Trump is expecting a change too soon?

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
There is a common insect that most people are not aware of because you never see it. It is mostly active underground. However, if you know what you are looking for, its traps are in many places and are very obvious.
You Won’t See Them | Commentary by Evelyne Vandersande
1974 - COC's new Cougar Stadium opens for first game of football season; Harbor beats COC, 26-21 [story]
A “fabulist” coming-of-age novel about a queer mixed-race boy in the bayous of Louisiana, written by California State University, Northridge English professor Martin Pousson, has won the 2017 PEN Center USA Fiction Award.
CSUN’s Martin Pousson Wins PEN’s Literary Award for Fiction
Public notification that the Santa Clarita Community College District (College of the Canyons) Early Childhood Education Center on the Valencia campus is participating in the USDA Child and Adult Care Food Program.
COC Valencia Participates in USDA Child and Adult Care Food Program
Public notification that the Santa Clarita Community College District (College of the Canyons) Early Childhood Education Centers are participating in the United States Department of Agriculture’s Child and Adult Care Food Program.
COC Canyon Country Participates in USDA Child and Adult Care Food Program
The Santa Clarita Valley Service Center has moved from its previous location in Newhall to a new location in the Santa Clarita Plaza, and will host a grand opening celebration Thursday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Sept. 21: SCV Service Center Grand Opening, Resource Fair
The Los Angeles County Fire Department’s Urban Search and Rescue Team, known internationally as USA-2, has been deployed to Mexico to assist with the aftermath of a 7.1 magnitude earthquake near Mexico City.
L.A. County Fire Sends Search and Rescue Team to Mexico
The city of Santa Clarita invites nonprofit organizations interested in learning more about the city's 2018 Community Services and Arts Grants Program to a meeting on Wednesday, September 27 at 12 p.m.
Sept. 27: Info Session for Nonprofits Seeking City Grants
The Santa Clarita Valley Economic Development Corporation has published an ebook free to entrepreneurs titled '10 Characteristics of a Successful Startup.'
SCVEDC’s 10 Characteristics of a Successful Startup
A Lebec woman charged with murder and kidnapping the children of her half-sister was sentenced 13 years in state prison on Tuesday.
Murder, Kidnapping Suspect Pleads Guilty, Gets 13-Year Sentence
Crime Prevention Unit deputies from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station conducted probation searches in several locations Wednesday, and arrested two people for outstanding warrants.
SCV Deputies Arrest 2 in Neenach Probation Search
Deputies from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station wrote 48 citations during Tuesday's bicycle and pedestrian safety operation in Newhall.
SCV Deputies Write 48 Citations in Bike-Pedestrian Operation
California Governor Jerry Brown has until October 15 to sign bills passed at the end of the just-concluded legislative session, including measures authored by Assemblyman Dante Acosta (R-Santa Clarita).
Brown Signs Acosta Motorcycle License Law; Other Bills Await Action
Santa Clarita-based Princess Cruises has presented its first donation from the Princess Animal Welfare Sponsor to the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center in the amount of $25,000.
Princess Cruises Donates $25K to Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center
Habitat for Humanity San Fernando/Santa Clarita Valleys has become one with its sister organization Homes 4 Families, and the new organization continues its mission to build affordable housing for veterans.
Habitat SFV-SCV Changes Name to Homes 4 Families
Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. announced today that Patricia Espinosa, Michael Bloomberg and Anand Mahindra will co-chair the Global Climate Action Summit from September 12-14, 2018 in San Francisco.
Brown Names Co-Chairs of 2018 California Global Climate Action Summit
The Master’s University men’s golf team finished tied for sixth out of 12 teams overall with a 3-over 579 at the CA State Intercollegiate in Ventura Monday.
Master’s Men’s Golfers Middle at Cal State Intercollegiate Match
After dropping the night’s opening set, the Master’s volleyball team slammed down the pedal and refused to let up, beating the University of Antelope Valley 3-1 Tuesday night.
TMU Volleyball Team Sends UAV Pioneers Packing
California’s largest irrigation district on Tuesday rejected funding a contentious $17-billion water project that would replumb the West Coast’s largest estuary.
Major Water District Throws Wrench Into California’s Water Tunnels Plan
California State University, Northridge’s College of Engineering and Computer Science and the David Nazarian College of Business and Economics will co-host the fifth annual Art of Innovation Conference on Friday, Oct. 13 from 8:15 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Oct. 13: CSUN ‘Art of Innovation’ Conference Peers Into Future
Tickets are now on sale for James Hand with the Carolyn Sills Combo on Saturday, September 30 and INCENDIO in Concert! on Saturday, October 7, both groups appearing at The MAIN in Old Town Newhall.
Tickets on Sale for Upcoming Shows at The Main
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today filed suit against the Trump Administration over its plan to begin construction of border wall projects in San Diego and Imperial Counties.
California AG Sues Feds Over Proposed Border Wall
State schools chief Tom Torlakson, AG Xavier Becerra and Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg will lead a 'Beyond Safe Havens' panel discussion on Friday on how to help students and parents fearful about federal immigration policies.
Sept. 22: ‘Beyond Safe Havens’ Conference on Schools and Immigration
1954 - C-46 cargo plane crashes at Saugus Drunk Farm; Civil Air Patrol chaplains parachute to safety [story]
On the heels of releasing its draft environmental impact report (EIR) for the Lyons Avenue and Dockweiler Drive extension, the city of Santa Clarita is setting its sights on an alternative that would leave Lyons Avenue alone and filter traffic to Railroad Avenue via 13th Street.
City Eyeing Alternative to Lyons Extension
Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger is hosting the inaugural Santa Clarita Valley Transportation Summit.
Sept. 21: Santa Clarita Valley Transportation Summit
Preview of Santa Clarita arts-related events for Sept. 18-24.
Sept. 18-24: Santa Clarita Arts Calendar
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson strongly encourages sixteen- and seventeen-year-old students to pre-register to vote with the beginning of High School Voter Education Weeks from September 18–29.
Sept. 18-29: High School Voter Education Weeks
No. 20 College of the Canyons will host No. 11 Long Beach City College at 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23, at Cougar Stadium.
Sept. 23: Cougars Football Hosts Long Beach City College
College of the Canyons hosted its annual Western State Conference (WSC) tournament a on Monday, coming away with a second place finish behind conference leader Santa Barbara City College at El Cariso Golf Course in Sylmar.
Cougars Golf Takes Second Place at COC Annual Tournament
A potential water rate hike prompted Santa Clarita Water Division officials to call for a public meeting Tuesday evening for its Budget and Rates Committee.
SCWD to Discuss Possible Water Rate Hike at Public Meeting
California State University, Northridge art history professor and archeologist Owen Doonan was honored earlier this year by the Explorers Club — an international multidisciplinary professional society that helps advance field research and preserve exploration — for his international excavations in Turkey and a related exhibition, “Stone Sounds: Echoes from 4000 Years at Sinop Kale.”
CSUN Professor Honored by Explorer’s Club
The California State University has selected 23 students, one from each campus, to receive the 2017 CSU Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Achievement.
CSUN Mechanical Engineering Student One of 23 Recognized by CSU
A group of Newhall School District parents upset the elementary school calendar doesn’t match up to the high school one plan to attend this week’s board meeting, continuing a “walk-out” threat.
NSD Parents Upset Over School’s Calendar; Threaten Walk-Out