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

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Clear
Clear
61°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
November 17
1969 - Construction begins on Magic Mountain amusement park [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
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
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’
Back in rainy Vancouver for the NAIA Cross Country National Championships on Saturday, the TMU Mustangs men's cross country team will look for more monumental firsts.
TMU Cross Country Poised for Podium Finish
The Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce invites local business owners and managers to a Chancellor’s Circle Breakfast briefing on 2018 employment laws in California at College of the Canyons' University Center on Friday, December 1 at 7:30 a.m.
Dec. 1: New State Employment Laws Outlined at Chancellor’s Breakfast
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
As part of the city of Santa Clarita's median turf removal project, nine medians on Orchard Village Road will be refurbished from November 2017 until approximately August 2018.
Orchard Village Road Medians to be Improved
'The Republican tax cut bill was written to help the rich at the expense of the middle class,' Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said after Thursday's vote on HR-1 in the House of Representatives.
Feinstein: House Tax Bill Would Aid Rich at Expense of Middle Class
The city of Santa Clarita, in partnership with Parkway Motorcars, will host a free Thanksgiving Dinner at the city’s Newhall Community Center on Monday, November 20 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Nov. 20: Community Thanksgiving Dinner in Newhall
The next meeting of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is set for Tuesday, November 21, starting at 9:30 a.m.
Nov. 21: County Board of Supervisors Meeting Agenda
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’
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station deputies arrested a man at a Park and Ride lot in Newhall after finding marijuana and cash in his vehicle early Tuesday morning.
Man Arrested for Marijuana at ‘Park and Ride’ Gets Ride to Jail
The city of Santa Clarita will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony to dedicate the new River Village Trailhead at Bouquet Canyon Road and Newhall Ranch Road on Thursday, November 30 at 10 a.m.
Nov. 30: Ribbon-Cutting to Dedicate River Village Trailhead
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed the county's first two influenza-associated deaths of the 2017-2018 flu season.
Two Flu Deaths Confirmed in LA County
Officers from the California Highway Patrol's Newhall station arrested a man in Valencia in Valencia after chasing his vehicle from Bakersfield Thursday afternoon, according to authorities.
CHP Arrests Driver in SCV After Chase from Bakersfield
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station Narcotics Bureau deputies arrested a Saugus probationer on drug and probation violation charges Thursday morning.
Saugus Probationer Arrested for Drug Possession
1969 - Construction begins on Magic Mountain amusement park [story]
Boeing announced its investment in Santa Clarita-basted Gamma Alloys, a leader in aluminum alloys focused on developing advanced metal-matrix composites for use in aerospace, automotive and other industries.
Boeing Invests in SC-Based Aerospace, Defense Company
CSUN Men's Basketball head coach Reggie Theus has announced the signings of transfers Jordan Bell, Josh Jefferson and Amel Kuljuhovic to national letters of intent.
Matadors Add Three Recruits During Early Signing Period
The Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations (LACCHR) on Thursday released its annual account of hate crimes reported throughout Los Angeles County in 2016.
Report: Number of County Hate Crimes Remains High
Preparations are underway at the Michael Hoefflin Foundation as it gets ready for the 2017 Family Holiday Baskets.
Michael Hoefflin Foundation Requesting Donations for 2017 Family Holiday Baskets
Fifty-seven games including 15 matchups with 2017 NCAA Tournament teams highlight the 2018 CSUN Baseball schedule.
Matadors Release 2018 Baseball Schedule
The CSUN men's volleyball team wraps up a busy 17-day span this weekend, traveling to Westwood for the annual UCLA Fall Invitational.
Matadors Head to Westwood for UCLA Fall Invitational
The Williams S. Hart Museum located in Hart Park in Santa Clarita will host an Open House, “Exploring the Art at Hart,” on Sunday, November 19, 2017 from 11:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Nov. 19: Hart Park Open House, Exploring Art at Hart
The Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation in cooperation with the Friends of Castaic Lake, will be hosting the 24th Annual Castaic Lake Winter Magic and Lighted Boat Parade, Saturday, Dec. 2nd at Paradise Cove, lower lagoon.
Dec. 2: Castaic Lake Winter Magic, Lighted Boat Parade
Santa Clarita Mayor Cameron Smyth will participate in the Santa Clarita Sierra Club’s first-ever “Mayor’s Family Hike” on Sunday, Nov. 19.
Nov. 19: Inaugural “Mayor’s Family Hike”
In anticipation of the busy holiday shopping season, Princess Cruises is launching its annual Cyber Sale, with two can’t-miss offers to the more than 360 worldwide destinations the cruise line visits.
Nov. 17-29: Princess Cruises Holiday Cyber Sale
Santa Clarita Elementary School will hold a Winter Wonderland Holiday Boutique, Saturday, Dec. 2, from 9:00 a.m - Noon.
Dec. 2: Santa Clarita Elementary Winter Wonderland Holiday Boutique
Two people were killed and two more were critically injured in a Wednesday evening crash on the northbound 5 freeway just south of Vista Del Lago, officials said.
Two Killed in Late Night Crash Near Pyramid Lake
STOCKTON – In this Caltrans News Flash, you get an up-close look as Caltrans transitions from 4-inch wide stripes to 6-inch wide stripes on the state highways, providing motorists with a better view of the road in darkness or inclement weather such as rain, snow and fog.
Wider Striping Part of Senate Bill 1, Provides Motorists Better View in Darkness
1997 - "Hercules" movie, directed by CalArts grad John Musker, wins four Annie Awards (animation's top honor) [timeline]
The Santa Clarita City Council gave the green light Tuesday night to a feasibility study to determine a location for a new amphitheater in the Santa Clarita Valley.
City Council OK’s Amphitheater Study, Condos
CalArts Graphic Design Coursera classes are the crème de la crème of online learning opportunities, according to Creative Bloq, an online magazine tracking creative trends and developments in design.
CalArts’ Graphic Design Classes in Creative Bloq’s Top 10