header image

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

Santa Clarita CA
Mostly sunny
Mostly sunny
Today in
S.C.V. History
March 2
1938 - Great Flood of 1938 causes massive destruction and death across the greater Los Angeles region [story]

Commentary by Darryl Manzer
| Sunday, Mar 22, 2020

Dear Tombstone,

You and I are nearly the same age. I started about five years before you did in 1876. I’m told you became a town in 1881 or so.

We were both born of a mineral in the ground. You had silver. Lots of silver. I had, and still have, oil … black gold. We both also have native peoples, the Apache for you and the Tataviam for me. Likewise, at one time, both of us had “ownership” by Spain and then Mexico.

Many of the historical figures in your past, Wyatt Earp, Doc Holiday and the Clantons, have connections to at least one of mine, the silent movie star, William S. Hart. Hart was a friend of Wyatt Earp. Hart and another silent star, Tom Mix, were pallbearers at Mr. Earp’s funeral.

Now, I have to say that if it weren’t for your past, there would have been a lot fewer Western movies filmed in my environs. I can’t say how many times some actor playing the part of Wyatt, Morgan, Virgil, Doc and many others graced the various movie sets and ranches in and near me. Tom Mix built two of the buildings on my Main Street. Don’t know if he ever used them in a portrayal of you. My guess is that he or someone else did.

I do know that any number of movies and TV shows filmed in my town limits had various scenes of Tombstone, at least my version of it. I can tell when it isn’t really you because you don’t have the California live oak trees that are shown in those flicks. Saw one recently that had a couple of palm trees. Haven’t seen them on any of your streets.

Hugh O'Brian

Well, OK, not the real Wyatt Earp. You had the real Wyatt Earp and the OK Corral. We had Hugh O’Brian and Melody Ranch.

It is hard to believe I was once a part of the “Wild West.” I don’t have signs on Main Street like you have on Allen Street, your “Main,” that tell of gun battles and folks being killed. I have a close neighbor, Castaic, that had a “range war.” The men killed in that war didn’t go to a “Boot Hill” or even my cemetery, Eternal Valley. No, they were buried near where they were shot and only recently has their final resting place been found.

I do have some plaques in the sidewalks of my “Old Town” that honor many of the Western movies and recording stars who may have been in films, recorded music and in some way told your story. For instance, Hugh O’Brian, who played Wyatt Earp on the TV show, “The Life and Times of Wyatt Earp,” is on that Walk of Western Stars. Sam Elliot, one of the Earp brothers in the 1993 film, “Tombstone,” even has a plaque on that walk. So does Harry Carey Jr., who was shot down in that movie. He was born right over the hills in Saugus.

So, it seems we are in fact “Sister Cities,” although I would prefer to say “Brothers.” We once had about the same population. Today I have grown far beyond the 1,400 folks you have today. Little is left of what looked like a Western town on my Main Street. Your Allen and Fremont Streets look much the same as they did in the 1880s. Well, you paved your streets, but since then you’ve covered your Allen Street with dirt to make it look old.

You have stagecoaches, horses and mules on your streets, and I have cars. Lots of cars. You have shots being fired on your streets every day. I do, too, but when I hear shots, the sheriff deputies show up in force to find the cause. You can set a watch by when you hear shots. Could I ask you just how many hundreds of blanks are fired on a weekend in your streets and theaters?

We both have had problems with water. Some of yours comes from some 20 miles away in the Huachuca Mountains. Isn’t that because you had at least two fires that destroyed your buildings not long after you started? I have some deep wells, but a huge project to supply water to Southern California now supplies some of my water. I know you also had a problem which stopped the mining under you. When the mines filled with water and could no longer be pumped, they closed. So sad. Of course, they still make money for you, since folks can tour the mines a short walk off your Toughnut Street.

I hope this finds you well in these tough times. Please stay safe and avoid getting that dreaded virus that is all around us. Your motto, “The town too tough to die,” shall be proven right again. Both of us have stores and restaurants closed until the virus passes. We are both “too tough.”

With that, I close and await your reply.

With warmest regards,



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 for a spell. Darryl has traveled far and finally landed near the town “too tough to die,” Tombstone, Arizona, calling it home for the past two years with the exception of summers, camp-hosting at Refugio State Beach near Goleta. His older commentaries are archived at DManzer.com; his newer commentaries can be accessed [here]. 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. Clarice Griffith says:

    Always love your thought provoking articles. Makes me miss HOME. Continue the great work, stay healthy & safe.

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...
Tuesday, Mar 2, 2021
Picture this…the sun has just set on another brisk spring day.
Monday, Mar 1, 2021
Spring is upon us, and with it comes longer days, greener hillsides, and warmer temperatures that invite outdoor exploration.
Monday, Feb 22, 2021
Helping our students stay on track to complete their goals remains our top priority. To that end, we are offering a wide variety of classes this spring designed to do just that.
Tuesday, Feb 2, 2021
We are closing in on a year since the coronavirus pandemic forced shutdowns and restrictions here in Santa Clarita and around the globe.
Tuesday, Feb 2, 2021
The Santa Clarita Veteran Services Collaborative has continued to actively serve our veteran community throughout the COVID–19 pandemic which began one year ago.
Tuesday, Feb 2, 2021
There are a variety of virtual opportunities available for residents of all ages with the Santa Clarita Public Library.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
After receiving athletic protocol updates from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), the Los Angeles Department of Public Health (LADPH) and California Interscholastic Federation (CIF), the William S. Hart Union High School District has put together a complete athletic program following all state and county guidelines.
Hart District Announces Outdoor Sports Practices, Competitions to Resume Immediately
The ability to transform data into information and insights that can elevate a business and influence decisions is at the core of the newest major being offered in California State University, Northridge’s David Nazarian College of Business and Economics.
CSUN Students Can Now Earn Degree in Business Analytics
Three teachers from the William S. Hart Union High School District have been named by NASA and the SETI Institute to fly on NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA).
NASA Selects Three Hart District Teachers for SOFIA Flight
Los Angeles County Parks is looking for highly-talented independent instructors to bring valuable expertise and learning to the community through the Contact Class Program.
L.A. County Parks Hiring Instructors for Summer 2021 Season
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health confirmed Tuesday 91 new deaths and 1,407 new cases of COVID-19, with 26,212 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Tuesday COVID-19 Roundup: SCV Cases Total  26,212; L.A. County Remains in Most Restrictive Tier
The Santa Clarita Parks, Recreation, and Community Services Commission will hold its study session virtually Thursday, March 4, at 6:00 p.m.
March 4: Parks, Recreation & Community Services Commission Study Session
After its cancelation last year due to the emergence of COVID-19, the College of the Canyons Scholarly Presentation will return this spring in a new virtual format.
COC’s Scholarly Presentations Return Virtually March 11
The Santa Clarita Public Library is excited to present Sidewalk Stories at the Old Town Newhall Library!
Old Town Newhall Library Now Offering Sidewalk Storytime
Santa Clarita Planning commissioners are expected to make a decision Tuesday regarding the proposed expansion of Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital via multiple construction projects that include building a second inpatient tower.
Proposed Henry Mayo Expansion Project Back Before Planning Commission
Picture this…the sun has just set on another brisk spring day.
Santa Clarita City Manager’s Monthly Message – March 2021
1938 - Great Flood of 1938 causes massive destruction and death across the greater Los Angeles region [story]
Santa Clarita Valley educators were next in line to receive their COVID-19 vaccine shots at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital Monday, more than two months after the hospital received its first batch of vaccines for hospital frontline workers.
Henry Mayo Now Inoculating Educators with COVID-19 Vaccine
Los Angeles County Public Health officials on Monday confirmed 32 new deaths and 987 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, as Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital in Valencia reported two new deaths since Friday.
Monday COVID-19 Roundup: 2 New Deaths at Henry Mayo; Vaccine Eligibility Expands
The Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center at Bella Vida has announced its March 2021 lineup of outdoor drive-in events.
Bella Vida Senior Center Sets March Outdoor Drive-in Events
In partnership with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station, the city of Santa Clarita will launch its “Guard That Auto” campaign this spring to combat an increase in grand theft auto over the past year.
Santa Clarita, Sheriff’s Station to Launch ‘Guard That Auto’ Anti-Theft Campaign
The Saugus High School academic decathlon team will advance to the state competition after placing in the top 10 in the county competition.
Saugus High Advances in State Academic Decathlon
Spring is upon us, and with it comes longer days, greener hillsides, and warmer temperatures that invite outdoor exploration.
Mayor’s March Message: Enjoy Spring in Santa Clarita
The city of Santa Clarita, in partnership with the Santa Clarita Sister Cities program, invites local students to submit artwork, poetry, essays/creative writing, photographs, or music for the 2021 Sister Cities International Young Artists and Authors Showcase.
Young Artists Invited to Submit Works in 2021 Sister Cities International Showcase
In a rush to bring children back to California schools after a year of closed campuses, Governor Gavin Newsom and lawmakers said Monday the state will offer $2 billion to school districts willing to reopen next month.
Newsom, Lawmakers Cut Deal to Reopen California Schools by April
The race to get a COVID-19 vaccine in Los Angeles County despite vaccine shortages is cutthroat and most people don’t even know they’re in the competition.
COVID-19 Vaccine Shortages Highlight Health Inequities in L.A. County
The California Department of Motor Vehicles has learned of a text message phishing scam related to REAL ID and reminds customers that it will never ask for personal information related to driver’s license number, Social Security number, or financial information through email, text, or over the phone.
DMV Warns Customers of REAL ID Phishing Scam
1990 - President George H.W. Bush and Sheriff Sherman Block dedicate new North County Correctional Facility in Castaic [story]
ribbon cutting
1890 - Jenkins ranch hands Dolores Cook and George Walton of Castaic slain by rival William Chormicle and W.A. Gardener [story]
Dolores Cook
1950 - Ex-Mrs. William S. Hart appears in court to challenge will that leaves Hart Park & Mansion to L.A. County [story]
Winifred Westover
%d bloggers like this: