header image

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

Inside
Weather
Santa Clarita CA
Mostly clear
Mostly clear
55°F
 
Calendar
Today in
S.C.V. History
September 16
1872 - Mitchell adobe home in Soledad Canyon area first used as schoolhouse; genesis of 1879 Sulphur Springs School District [story]
Mitchell adobe


Now and Then in the SCV | Commentary by Darryl Manzer
| Wednesday, Jul 16, 2014

darrylmanzer_blacktieIt seems as if all of the controversy has gone on vacation – except that the California Supreme Court has agreed to hear the legal issues of the proposed development along Highway 126. There seem to be some concerns about water and traffic and … the list goes on forever. Let’s just say the start of construction is on hold again.

Now I have been reading a few of the comments about what I write. Most are polite, and those that aren’t I just ignore. We can disagree, but let us be civil of tongue and always gracious. If you’re going to tell me to go to a very warm place for all eternity, at least be polite enough to make me think I’ll enjoy the journey.

Every so often, someone jumps into a conversation and states a whole bunch of “facts” about the history of our little valley that aren’t quite made of, shall we say, “whole cloth.” I can name a few, in the past, that were so wrong. But they were what we learned, and for years they stood uncorrected.

One glaring example is Fremont Pass. We were actually taught in school that what we now know as Beale’s Cut was named Fremont Pass. Don’t know why. John Fremont had come through our valley before the Civil War and left years before any digging in that pass even started.

It goes along with the rest of the legend of “Fremont the Pathfinder.” He only found a lot of stuff because he had guides who knew the land and someone to write press releases extolling his virtues in finding a way to get to someplace somebody already knew how to get to.

I read “facts” about schools and places and things, and most of the “facts” just aren’t so.

Like the “fact” that the city of Santa Clarita wants all of those new houses along Highway 126 because it means more taxes from the homeowners. That “fact” is busted. Why? The city limits stop at Interstate 5 on the west side, except for a tiny bit in Towsley Canyon called Rivendale – which can’t be developed. Otherwise, if it is west of I-5, it isn’t in the city of Santa Clarita.

Some of these things I hear and read are almost funny and even sad. Like some of the following tidbits:

You're probably not old enough to remember when Spanish galleons plied the Rio Santa Clara - or when Hart High grad John Fremont passed through Beale's Cut.

You’re probably not old enough to remember when Spanish galleons plied the Rio Santa Clara – or when Hart High grad John Fremont passed through Beale’s Cut.

Hart High School was built on what used to be a Paiute Indian village. No, it was built on land donated by William S. Hart. And no, I don’t care what some folks told you; they couldn’t have attended Hart High in the 1930s and early ’40s. It started in 1945 and graduated the first class in 1949. I think our Tataviam friends wouldn’t like it if someone said their valley was once Paiute.

Saugus Elementary was where Saugus High School first started after the elementary school was moved. Nope. Not a speck of truth in that myth. Saugus Elementary closed because of concerns about air pollution from the Keysor-Century plant east of the campus on the other side of the tracks. Saugus High School was built on the site of a dairy in Bouquet Canyon – hence the nickname of that school. (I shall not write it here.)

The Santa Clara River flowed above ground from the ocean to at least where Saugus is today. Spanish ships could sail up the river. I love that myth. There were times when enough water flowed that some of the railroad ties could be floated upstream by horses or mules pulling them one at a time. This happened, as near as we know, in the area of Lang Station.

The river flows underground, and as more water is pumped from wells that supply nearly 50 percent of our water in the SCV, we could be in a real crisis. You might be able to see water in the river even now, in the middle of summer, down by the Los Angeles-Ventura County line along Highway 126.

So how does someone learn the real facts about the SCV without having to spend too much time looking stuff up? Well, a lot has already been accomplished for you.

Before you tell the story you heard your friend Earl say was from someone who lived here since 1983 and he heard it from someone from the 1960s who heard it from … see how thing can get twisted? All you have to do is go check the facts at SCVHistory.com. It’s full of pictures and text. (Plus you’ll find most of the articles I’ve written for our local papers and SCVNews.)

You can also go to Heritage Junction at William S. Hart Park. That is the headquarters of the Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society. Maybe, just maybe, you’ll want to become a local history nut like many of the rest of us. We can only hope.

You can go visit there and roam around the old Saugus Train Station every Saturday and Sunday from 1 p.m. To 4 p.m. There is a place to look on the web about it at www.SCVHS.org. All kinds of neat stuff there. In August you can learn about the Harvey Girls.

So let’s stop spreading the urban or suburban myths. Go visit Heritage Junction. Read stuff on SCVHistory.com and most of all, learn about the rich history of our valley.

Yes, we had gold in the colors of yellow and black. We mined for copper and borax. There was a dam that failed and flooded the valley all the way to the ocean. Movies have been filmed here since 1910 and still are today. All this and right in your home town.

It just can’t get any better. Now go enjoy the day in the beautiful and historic Santa Clarita Valley.

 

 

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 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. Good article! I am interested in one thing. Apparently, the fountain at Rancho Camulos (on Route 126) was constructed in 1852 and it was gravity-fed from the Santa Clara River (no pumps). The river was either much higher than it is now or I don’t understand the engineering. Any ideas as to where I can find out more about this?

  2. Thanks for the info and the pointer to SCVHistory.com. Truth isn’t as glamorous as sound bites but it is more satisfying in the long run :)

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 2, 2021
According to the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics, youth drug abuse is a high-profile public health concern that is on the rise.
Wednesday, Sep 1, 2021
You simply have to drive through our community to appreciate the natural beauty of Santa Clarita
Thursday, Aug 26, 2021
The recent events in Afghanistan and their mental health ramifications for our military community remind us that there are challenges beyond the pandemic.
Tuesday, Aug 17, 2021
I am still haunted by a case I had in 1986 when I was a newly minted animal cruelty investigator in Houston, Texas. I had received a complaint from a resident about her neighbor, who had dozens of animals inside her home that were ill and often dying.
Tuesday, Aug 3, 2021
As you drive around Santa Clarita, do you ever wonder what work is being done at your neighborhood park? Or when the new Sheriff’s Station will be complete? Maybe you want to go ice skating at The Cube or find out what issues are going before the City Council. There are several ways you can discover what’s going on in your city.
Monday, Aug 2, 2021
Santa Clarita is known throughout the state and the nation as a beautiful, safe community.

Latest Additions to SCVNews.com
1872 - Mitchell adobe home in Soledad Canyon area first used as schoolhouse; genesis of 1879 Sulphur Springs School District [story]
Mitchell adobe
Students across L.A. County may soon have access to more mental health services with the expansion of the Community School Initiative. 
Student Mental Health Services Expansion To Be Explored County Wide
Supervisor Kathryn Barger has read a motion to accept a portion of Sloan Canyon Road near Castaic High School into the county system of highways in an effort to ensure roadway safety and prevent future crashes. 
Supervisor Barger To Address Sloan Canyon Traffic Safety
Los Angeles County Public Health officials on Tuesday confirmed 37 new deaths and 1,930 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, with 34,936 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Wednesday COVID-19 Roundup: Public Health Issues New Vaccine Order; 34,936 Total SCV Cases
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Station deputies are looking for the scoop after multiple Baskin- Robbins ice cream shops were burglarized overnight Tuesday, including two locations in the Santa Clarita Valley.
2 Suspects Arrested In Connection To Baskin-Robbins Burglaries
The city of Santa Clarita invites non-profit organizations interested in learning more about the 2022 grant cycle of the Community Services and Arts Grants Program to a meeting on Thursday, Sept 23.
City Invites Non-Profits To Informational Meeting On Non-Profit Grant
The city of Santa Clarita is presenting the 2021 Parent Resource Symposium, titled “Social Media: The New Gateway Drug” later this month. 
Upcoming Parent Symposium To Show Dangers Of Social Media
A storm’s a-Bruin in the city of Santa Clarita for the start of the American Collegiate Hockey Association season.
UCLA Hockey To Play At The Cube In Valencia
Angeles National Forest officials announced Wednesday the current forest-wide emergency closure order has been extended till midnight of Sept. 22.
Angeles National Forest Extends Closure Until Sept. 22
The Los Angeles County Department of Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services is pleased to announce the launch of a new website that links jobseekers and businesses to free workforce development services available through the County’s network of America’s Job Centers of California.
L.A. County Launches New Website For Jobseekers And Businesses
Gov. Gavin Newsom survived efforts aimed at removing him from office after a majority of Californians voted “no” in Tuesday’s recall election, according to preliminary election results.
Gavin Newsom Defeats Recall Efforts
1970 - SCV voters recall two Hart School Board members who didn't let Canyon students protest the Vietnam War [story]
voting
A majority of ballots counted as of Tuesday evening favored keeping the governor in office as county election officials across the state continued tallying ballots Tuesday night in the election to determine whether to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom.
Early Returns: California Voters Rejecting Recall of Gov. Newsom
Los Angeles County Public Health officials on Tuesday confirmed 27 new deaths and 1,725 new cases of COVID-19 countywide, with 34,885 total cases in the Santa Clarita Valley.
Tuesday COVID-19 Roundup: Correctional Facilities Continue to See COVID-19 Outbreaks; 34,885 Total SCV Cases
Reports of an aircraft crash landing at Pitchess Detention Center in Castaic prompted a full response from law enforcement and first responders Tuesday, with initial reports indicating the plane’s occupants were not injured.
Aircraft Crash-Lands Near Pitchess Detention Center in Castaic
In an email sent to parents Tuesday morning, Hart High School Principal Jason d’Autremont called for an end to a destructive social media trend that involves students filming themselves “trashing” school bathrooms.
Hart Principal Calls for End to ‘Bathroom Trashing’ Social Media Trend
In partnership with the Community College Consortium for OER, College of the Canyons has received a second grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation to expand and extend the Open for Anti-Racism program supporting faculty in California Community Colleges.
COC Receives Grant to Support Anti-Racism Through Open Educational Resources
1924 - SCV Deputy Ed Brown killed in shootout with Gus Le Brun [story]
Deputy Ed Brown
The Santa Clarita Master Chorale is proud to announce its annual benefit event - Cabaret and Cabernet - will be held Saturday, Oct. 16, at 5:00 p.m., in the Bridgeport Clubhouse.
Oct. 16: Santa Clarita Master Chorale’s Annual Benefit Fundraiser
The Los Angeles County Library is kicking off its 42nd Annual Bookmark Contest for grades K – 12, which celebrates reading and creativity. Submissions will be accepted through Saturday, Oct. 30.
Entries Being Accepted for L.A. County Library’s Annual Bookmark Contest
Officially open to the public, Baskin-Robbins – the world’s largest chain of specialty ice cream shops – has unveiled another edition of its new store concept in Canyon Country that helps to instantly spark moments of ice cream joy.
Newly Reimagined Baskin-Robbins Store Concept Comes to Canyon Country
The American Cancer Society is holding a Relay Rally on Saturday, Sept. 18, from 12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m., at Westfield Valencia Town Center.
Sept. 18: American Cancer Society’s Relay Rally
The Golden Valley Grizzlies (1-1) were without their starting quarterback Jaxson Miner in Friday’s game against the Rio Mesa Spartans (1-2). Yet, the outcome of the game wasn’t inevitable from the start.
Golden Valley Loses Home Opener to Rio Mesa 20-19
The Route Fire, which shut down parts of Interstate 5 in Castaic Saturday afternoon, was held at 462 acres, with firefighters able to achieve 63% containment by Monday morning.
Route Fire Held at 462 Acres, 63% Containment
%d bloggers like this: