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Santa Clarita CA
Today in
S.C.V. History
October 20
1873 - Santa Barbara lawyers Charles Fernald and J.T. Richards purchase Rancho San Francisco for $33,000 (75 cents an acre) in a sheriff's sale [story]

Now and Then in the SCV | Commentary by Darryl Manzer
| Monday, Dec 1, 2014

darrylmanzer_blacktieRain. You know. That is when there are drops of water falling from the clouds. Now we can get excited. We are getting measurable amounts of rain. We don’t need our “normal” amount of yearly rainfall within the next three days, either, thank you very much.

I’m concerned that many of us have forgotten how to operate a motor vehicle on wet streets. I shouldn’t be so concerned. My insurance is paid up and in effect. With all these months of dryness, a few drops lift the oil and rubber that is in the roadways from the vehicles, and in a few minutes you have yourself a skating rink for your favorite four-wheeled mode of transportation. Why, bumper cars at the old Pacific Ocean Park weren’t as much fun.

I watched a car traveling on Newhall Ranch Road yesterday that was making every effort to stop for the light at Copper Hill. It stopped in time and behind the line, all perfect-like. Well, almost perfect-like. The rear bumper was at the line, and the lady was now facing traffic that was behind her just a half minute before.

She didn’t hit another car or anything, just spun into place like a professional stunt driver would do – after 20 rehearsals and on the third take.

I did notice, as I started moving when the light turned green, that she had a death grip-looking hold on her steering wheel. I could also tell the actions of the car may have scared her just a little, her eyes being transfixed in fear. She’ll probably have to have her driver’s seat cleaned by a professional upholstery cleaner. I’ll bet she doesn’t drive as fast the next time it rains.

Sunday afternoon I spent a couple of hours at the old Saugus Train Station at Heritage Junction in Hart Park. Spent a little time moving some buckets to catch the water from the leaks in the roof, and as an added bonus I finally filled out the application to be a member of the Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society. Earlier in the day I had joined the Friends of William S. Hart Park. Besides supporting the local folks who love the history of our valley, by being a member of the Hart Park Friends I can now get a ticket to the Cow Bop concert at William S. Hart Hall next Saturday.

Last time I was in that venue, I had to listen to the folks from the California High-Speed Boondoggle prattle on about how the train was going to be so great and it will supply jobs to a gazillion people and it won’t be subsidized and it will be fast and … and …

You, too, can join us members of the Friends of Hart Park and come to the concert. Single membership is $25. (Historical Society is $30.) And come listen to Cow Bop. You’ll love ‘em.

What happened to the Newhall Post Office? The one on Lyons Avenue is gone and the sign has been removed from the building. There has been a post office near in or near downtown Newhall since a couple of years after Newhall was founded. Where in the heck did it go? I’m off to the one at the corner of McBean and Creekside in Valencia. Newhall has none. Isn’t this a neat little bit of history passing us by as we were worried about billboards, dumps and traffic circles? Oh, and Christmas decorations going up before Thanksgiving.

Where did the United States Postal Service take our very own Newhall Post Office? There are a lot of folks living in downtown Newhall who don’t have cars and used to be able to walk to the post office … not any more. Maybe this is part of Michelle Obama’s “eat right and get fit” program. I wonder if she ever had to walk more than four miles to a post office from her residence? Maybe if she walked a little more, she would realize her school lunch program portions can’t support life for two dung beetles and a cockroach.

I think our new congressman should look in to this as soon as he is done taking the oath of office. Yes, that oath. The same one the president takes. The same one everyone should pay attention to, even if you are the president and have a pen and a phone.

Steve Knight knows the score. I’m sure he’ll check up on it and find our post office. It can’t have gone far. It is too big to send through the regular mail system. Better check with FedEx and UPS.

So back to the rain. I was reading the “Special Weather Statement” from the National Weather Service. I love the part where it says there could be mudflows and erosion in the former burn areas. Well, we didn’t have many fires this year, but since we’ve had so little rain since the last big fires last year, those old burn areas are still in bad shape. Nothing much has grown to keep the soil from slipping away.

So please, be careful out there folks. We want all y’all to come back again. We need help finding our Newhall Post Office. Thank you.


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. His older commentaries are archived at DManzer.com; his newer commentaries can be accessed [here]. Watch his walking tour of Mentryville [here].

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  1. Michelle Bejarano says:

    I saw a “Post Office” sign in Stevenson Ranch in the shopping center (near Sport Chalet, I think…) and I was wondering if it was a temporary one for the holidays or if it was going to be permanent. Maybe that is where the Newhall one went……?

  2. Susie Evans says:

    OH NO more history gone, just like the little friendly post office in Castaic.

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