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

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Cloudy
Cloudy
59°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
January 17
1994, 4:31 a.m. - Magnitude 6.7 Northridge earthquake rocks Santa Clarita Valley [video]


Now and Then in the SCV | Commentary by Darryl Manzer
| Sunday, Mar 2, 2014

darrylmanzer021014Rain. Lots of rain with a little bit of lightning and thunder. We also had rocks and mud dropping or flowing on our roads and hillsides. Even our river had water in it. Glorious rain.

The smell of just-washed sagebrush is something that lets me know I’m in my hometown. Sometimes it doesn’t get better than what we just had the past three days.

Friday night I was in the little town of Acton at the northeast end of the SCV. Crown Valley Road had become a river. I was in my Jeep and made it through. By the way, it might be about the closest thing to a car wash my Jeep has had in the last six months. Jeeps just look better with a little dirt and mud as decoration.

For many years I’ve stated that I knew of no deaths occurring in Mentryville or Pico Canyon during the oil boom years. This week I found out I’ve been wrong. It seems an oil worker – they were called miners back then – died on the job, and later, the father of Alec Mentry died in the canyon after walking to Newhall. His body wasn’t found for 12 years. So maybe the ghost stories could have some basis after all. Naw … if so, we’ve got to call Ghostbusters.

For those of you who want to have a tour of the old place called Mentryville, the Santa Clarita Community Hiking Club has asked me to lead one May 3. It will start at 8 a.m. (or 0800 for us former military types) at the parking lot across the creek from Felton School. More on this as it nears.

Mentryville in Pico Canyon, 1885-1891 | Click to view

Mentryville in Pico Canyon, 1885-1891 | Click to view

I also see an old argument about the color of the buildings in Pico Canyon-Mentryville has resurfaced. First let me state, once again: the barn, schoolhouse and chicken house were not painted red until the 1970s. They were gray or, in the idiom of the day, “buff.” Recently an old picture showed the schoolhouse to be a dark color. It wasn’t red. A black-and-white photograph won’t show the color.

But many photographs show dark-sided buildings and homes. Just what was the color? Well, paint was expensive. It also was difficult to transport. Since most of the structures in Mentryville were built of redwood, there was no reason to paint them. Also, many folks knew those same houses would be moved to another oil field, so the places weren’t painted at all. The redwood darkened quickly, and thus the color in the pictures is just … dark.

An example of a dark-sided and unpainted building was the Wolcott barn that was lost in the 1962 fire. It was unpainted redwood. It looked dark brown.

The old foreman’s shack on CSO Hill above the CSO No. 4 oil well was also bare wood. Dark brown redwood.

An important building such as Mr. Mentry’s home or “cottage” was painted, and that can be seen in the photographs. Later, when the current 13-room cottage was built, it was painted the “buff” gray just like that found on ships of the Navy in later years. As a side note, battleships of the U.S. Navy were painted white until 1907.

History is strangely dynamic. I remember when I first found that out. It isn’t just a collection of dates about people, places and things. History is all about people and how they acted and felt and loved and hated. It is a record of cultures past and present.

So when I find out something new or different about a subject I thought I had a vast knowledge of, I’m humbled by a new piece of information that has a significant impact on my former beliefs.

Click to read

Click to read more

Like finding out that Alec Mentry probably died of typhoid fever and not a “kissing bug.”

… or learning the Alec Mentry’s father died while returning from Newhall to Pico Canyon – AND that it was 12 years before the body was found.

… and that another worker died on the job in the oil field.

Heck, I’ve just learned the early oil workers were called miners. I was a miner once. From 1962 to 1965. Right after that, I became an Indian and then a Matador, followed by being a sailor.

Now I’m just retired, with more time to learn more about what I should have known years ago.

Well, maybe I did know a lot of this history. It just wasn’t as important then. Not when there was Jane, Cheryl, Kathie, Diane…

You get the idea.

But I never heard about ghosts and deaths and the like. Guess I just didn’t pay attention to the rattling chains and odd noises. I thought that was normal.

 

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 Tuesdays and 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.

2 Comments

  1. Looks like I’m going to be doing some ghost hunting! Lol

  2. Looks like I’m going to be doing some ghost hunting! Lol

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, Jan 17, 2019
Discipline standards for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) have been a source of concern for several years.
Tuesday, Jan 15, 2019
Most doctors accept Medicare as full payment for their services. But some accept it only for certain services, and others don’t accept it at all. What does this mean for you?
Tuesday, Dec 18, 2018
Imagine going to the grocery store, picking up the items you need for the week, but not knowing how much anything costs until the store sends you a bill two weeks later.
Tuesday, Dec 4, 2018
It is hard to believe that 2018 is already coming to an end.
Monday, Dec 3, 2018
In her December message, Santa Clarita Mayor Laurene Weste wishes residents a safe and enjoyable holiday season, and details some fun family events coming up.
Thursday, Nov 15, 2018
Most people with Medicare will pay the standard monthly premium for Medicare Part B, which will be $135.50 next year, an increase of $1.50 over 2018. Your Part B premium is based on your income. People whose tax returns show income equal to or higher than $85,000 pay higher premiums. These income-adjusted premiums apply to about 5 percent of all Medicare beneficiaries.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
CBRE announced a full-service provider to the entertainment industry leased an industrial building in Valencia for $7.7 million.
Full-Service Entertainment Provider Leases Valencia Building for $7.7 Million
California State University, Northridge biology professor Steven Oppenheimer is celebrating 23 years of collaboration with Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) teachers to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) research done by K-12 students with the debut of volume No. 23 of The New Journal of Student Research Abstracts.
CSUN Professor Celebrates 23 Year Collaboration with LAUSD STEM Students
More than 10 million people worldwide are living with Parkinson’s disease.
CSUN Now Home to Groundbreaking Parkinson’s Treatment
LANCASTER - The University of Antelope Valley is pleased to announce the hiring of Seth Gerdine as its head coach for its new Esports program.
UAV Hires Seth Gerdine as First Head Coach of Esports Program
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors recognized and honored the Kitten Academy at Camp Joseph Scott during its regular meeting at the Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration Tuesday in Downtown Los Angeles.
Barger Lauds Probation Youth Kitten Fostering Program
Discipline standards for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) have been a source of concern for several years.
Villanueva Issues Statement on Review of Discipline Standards
Santa Clarita Valley Realtor Craig Martin, of Realty One Group, commemorates twenty years helping buyers achieve the dream of homeownership, going above and beyond your typical agent.
SCV Realtor Commemorates 20 Years with Home Rewards Program
The 91st Academy Awards nominations in all 24 Oscar categories will be announced in a two-part live presentation on Tuesday via global live stream on Oscar.com, Oscars.org, the Academy’s digital platforms – Twitter, YouTube, Facebook – a satellite feed and local broadcasters.
91st Academy Awards Nominations to be Announced Tuesday
The Santa Clarita Community College District’s Independent Citizens’ Oversight Committee accepted the audit results, which showed that for the 12th year in a row, the district has properly accounted for all bond expenditures.
Santa Clarita College District Receives Best Rating in Audit of Bond Spending
The public is invited to Tomo-Kahni State Historic Park’s 25th anniversary celebration on Saturday, Jan. 26, from 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m., featuring a talk by anthropologist Dr. Bruce Love and a flint knapping demonstration by master flintknapper Gary Pickett.
Jan. 26: Tomo-Kahni State Park’s 25th Anniversary Celebration
The city of Santa Clarita will host a ribbon cutting event on Thursday, Jan. 31, at 10:00 a.m. to celebrate the Pace Bike Share Program launch at the newly opened Pace Bike Share Station at the Iron Horse Trailhead.
Jan. 31: Pace Bike Share Program Ribbon Cutting at Iron Horse Trailhead
NORTHRIDGE - CSUN Men's Basketball (8-10, 2-0 BWC) returns home on Thursday to host Hawai'i in its Big West home opener at 7:00 p.m. The game will air live on ESPN3 while Ghizal Hasan and Alan Zinsmeister are on the call in an audio broadcast on the CSUN Sports Network presented by Dignity Health.
Matadors Return Home for Big West Opener Against Hawaii
Because of the recent rainfall, Los Angeles County Health Officer, Muntu Davis, MD, MPH, is cautioning residents who are planning to visit Los Angeles County beaches to avoid swimming, surfing, and playing in ocean waters around discharging storm drains, creeks, and rivers.
Beach Water Advisory Extended Until Monday
Amgen Tour of California organizer and operator AEG announced the technically-innovative cycling apparel brand ASSOS of Switzerland has renewed a multi-year partnership to provide official race jerseys, VIP and staff apparel, and licensed merchandise for America’s premier cycling stage race.
Jerseys for 2019 Amgen Tour of California Revealed
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Works released the list of road closures due to mud and rock slides from the current storm.
Upper Bouquet Canyon Remains Closed
1994, 4:31 a.m. - Magnitude 6.7 Northridge earthquake rocks Santa Clarita Valley [video]
College of the Canyons' Valencia Campus is on lockdown, according to a notice from the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station posted about 5:15 p.m. Wednesday.
COC Valencia Campus Deemed Safe after Wednesday Evening Scare
Santa Clarita Studios, an independent studio operator, has leased a 109,379 square-foot industrial building in Valencia, CBRE announced Wednesday.
Santa Clarita Studios Leases 109K-Square Foot Industrial Building
"Black Monday," a new comedy series starring CalArts alum Don Cheadle (Theater BFA 86) along with Andrew Rannells and Regina Hall, will premiere Sunday, Jan. 20, on Showtime.
Jan. 20: CalArts Alum Don Cheadle Stars in Showtime’s ‘Black Monday’
CalArts’ 2019 MA Aesthetics and Politics Theorist in Residence N. Katherine Hayles will present her lecture "Human as Alien: From Frankenstein to Ex Machina and Annihilation" at REDCAT in Downtown Los Angeles on Wednesday, Jan. 23, at 8:30 p.m.
Jan. 23: ‘Human as Alien’ Lecture by CalArts Theorist in Residence
The Second Annual Golden Valley High School Golf Tournament to benefit GHVS sports is set for the Sand Canyon Country Club in Canyon Country on Saturday, Jan. 26.
Jan. 26: Golf Tourney to Benefit Golden Valley Sports Programs
The Lancaster JetHawks have named former Lancaster City Manager Mark Bozigian a Special Advisor for the Minor League ball club.
JetHawks Name Lancaster Ex-City Manager to Team Advisor Post
Lancaster - The Lancaster JetHawks, in conjunction with the Colorado Rockies, have announced the JetHawks' coaching staff for the upcoming 2019 California League Minor League Baseball season.
JetHawks Name New Manager, Coaches for 2019 Season
The Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control has launched a test version of its new mobile app, and is seeking user feedback about possible improvements.
County Animal Care Launches Beta App, Seeks User Feedback
A powerful Pacific storm will continue to hammer the West Coast into Friday with strong winds, heavy rain and heavy mountain snow, followed by a weekend of sunshine, the National Weather Service reported Wednesday afternoon.
Heavy Rain Expected Thursday, Sunshine to Return Friday
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a motion by Supervisors Kathryn Barger and Janice Hahn on Tuesday to create a countywide plan for the provision of school-based mental health services through the county's Department of Mental Health.
Supes Call for School-Based Mental Health Sevices Countywide
Amid a continuing teacher strike, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a motion by Supervisors Mark Ridley-Thomas and Hilda Solis that would identify millions in county funds that could be directed to the Los Angeles Unified School District to enhance healthcare for students.
County OK’s Millions in Aid to LAUSD for Student Healthcare
City of Santa Clarita officials have postponed the Newhall Ranch Road Bridge Widening Project ribbon-cutting dedication ceremony scheduled for Friday morning, Jan. 18, due to work delay caused by the recent rainstorm impacting the region.
Newhall Ranch Road Bridge Open; City Postpones Dedication
Congresswoman Katie Hill (D-Santa Clarita) will serve on House Armed Services Committee, per this week’s announcement from the Speaker’s Office.
Hill to Serve on House Armed Services Committee
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved a motion by Supervisor Kathryn Barger directing county agencies to develop a regulatory framework for the safe commercial operation of e-scooters in the unincorporated communities of the county.
LA County Green-Lights e-Scooter Regulation Pilot Program
A Justice Department attorney said in opening statements of a federal grand jury trial Tuesday that a former Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy intentionally covered for his fellow officers when he lied to federal investigators about a 2011 beating in LA’s central jail.
Feds Open Trial in Deputy Coverup of 2011 LA Jail Beating
In his first budget proposal last week, California Gov. Gavin Newsom proposed an unprecedented series of carrots and sticks that would attempt to both induce and force local governments to plan for – and produce – more housing.
Newsom Proposes Sweeping Changes on RHNA, Housing Elements
On day two of the Los Angeles teacher strike, educators in red rallied outside a charter school’s headquarters on Tuesday to highlight their frustration over what they call the privatization of public schools.
First Day of LA Teacher Strike Cost District $15M
1926 - Newhall Community Hospital, est. 1922, opens in larger, more modern hospital building at 6th & Spruce streets [story]
Most doctors accept Medicare as full payment for their services. But some accept it only for certain services, and others don’t accept it at all. What does this mean for you?
Keep Your Medicare Costs Down
An oil painting demo by Lynne Fearman will be held on Monday, Feb. 18, at the meeting of the Santa Clarita Artists Association (SCAA).
Feb. 18: Oil Painting Demo by Lynne Fearman