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Today in
S.C.V. History
June 12
1868 - Ravena post office (with one "n") established in Soledad Canyon [story]
Ravenna depot

Now and Then in the SCV | Commentary by Darryl Manzer
| Sunday, Sep 13, 2015

darrylmanzer0215Pardon me, but I’m still getting a chuckle from a recent reply to one of my commentaries that said I might not know about the west side of our valley.

I know a little about those communities over there. I used to cut and bale hay in what is now the parking lot of Ralph’s.

I well remember the fight to create the city of Santa Clarita. There was also an attempt to create a separate county, “Canyon County.”

For a city to annex a neighborhood or area, it has to have an adjacent boundary. Thus the thoughts that Santa Clarita wants to “cherrypick” the Castaic Junction and Hasley Hills areas are a bit strange. Those places don’t touch any part of the city.

But a lot of the annexation question is this: Would the city of Santa Clarita really want to annex the west side? Castaic, Val Verde and even Hasley Hills have infrastructure problems that the city cannot afford to fix but would have to, if those places entered the city. The norms and standards for streets and such would have to become part of a budget that at some point was estimated to cost nearly $1 billion. Yep, one billion. Sewers, streets, sidewalks, streetlights, stoplights and all of the other required services are expensive.

Back when the city of Santa Clarita was forming, all of those places were going to be included in the new city. It was the county government that said they couldn’t be a part of the city of Santa Clarita back then.

There wasn’t anything west of The Old Road when the City of Santa Clarita was formed. It was thought at the time that after construction was complete on new tracts and neighborhoods, they would be included and annexed into the city. Didn’t happen then.

And considering the recalcitrant attitudes of some on those on the vaunted west side, the city of Santa Clarita might not want to annex them after all. Maybe those folks should form a city of their own. Good luck.

The city of Santa Clarita has enough problems without taking on more from west of the interstate – little things like a drug treatment home at the end of a residential cul-de-sac in Happy Valley. Not bad except for the needles and bottles and residents who make noise all night long.

agresticfountainI do know that neighborhood would like to call their former neighbor some real choice names. (I’m sure they have and will continue to do so.)

Which makes another point about annexation. Why would the city of Santa Clarita want to annex a place that starred in a TV show about “weed?”

You know, if you go to a store in the Valencia Marketplace – sandwiched between The Old Road and Interstate 5 – you’ll get a receipt that says you’re in “Stevenson Ranch.” Well, you aren’t. That part of town is Valencia. The clue is in the name, “Valencia” Marketplace. Cross the street to the west and you’re in the “ranch.” I herded cattle there, but I doubt anyone living there today has done so. Houses covering the ridgelines and painted various shades of dirt is how I look at the place.

And since I told my editor I wouldn’t write about how useless those town councils seem to be and how they represent such a small portion of the residents, I will abide by that – mostly.

I do that because the last time I heard of a vote for “annexation” into the city of Santa Clarita by any of the residents on the entire west side, it was long before there were any homes south of the 126 and west of the 5. Votes in the Town Council count for nothing.

In Pico Canyon, long before the city, all told there were maybe 10 voting citizens and nine kids. The question of being a city wasn’t on our minds at all.

Our address was Route 1 Box 74 in Mentryville. There were four other boxes on that route.

It was Rural Route 1 of Newhall Post Office. Yes, our address was the town of Newhall. Isn’t it odd that the Newhall Post Office is in the Valencia Marketplace where you can get a receipt printed, “Stevenson Ranch?”

And then they added Zip codes and area codes. But that is another story.



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, where he serves as executive director of the SCV Historical Society. He can be reached at dmanzer@scvhistory.com. His older commentaries are archived atDManzer.com; his newer commentaries can be accessed [here]. Watch his walking tour of Mentryville [here].


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  1. I’m glad you feel so obligated to tell us how you are or were such a big part of this community but my family was here even before you. I have lived on the west side all of my entire life. You can chuckle all you want but we seem to do just fine over here on the “West ” side!

  2. Yet, Mr. Manzer, you forget that the areas of Stevenson Ranch and West Ranch are amongst some of the richest enclaves in the area and even the county. To annex them would bring more tax dollars and funding to the City of Santa Clarita that we otherwise are ignoring and missing out upon. It’s nice that you claim to know the area west of the freeway, but not so nice that you have no clue. The Valencia Marketplace might have Valencia in the name, but those tax dollars go straight to the county… or do you not know the west side as well as you claim to? I’d believe so with this uninformed opinion piece…

  3. Hahaha, we here over on the east side get a kick out the squabbling going on here. You all should realize the real “old” money is tucked away in canyon country. It’s called Sand Canyon. Quietly rich as opposed to “wanna be rich “on the west side of town. Hummmm, just saying!?

  4. West side, yes I wondered why some of your neighbors in Stevenson Ranch ended up at the food stamp offices of Lanark St, Van Nuys instead of the office at Camp Plenty.

  5. Josh says:

    The vote was on the official ballot in November 2009, it was not a Town Council or City Council vote. It was an Advisory Vote to let the County Supervisor know the wishes on governance by the majority of the people to be affected.
    So while you may know a lot about hay and horses back before running water etc. You may not know every little thing, about every little thing. Then again, no one would expect you to, which of why you should accept when something is pointed out to you.

  6. Cathy says:

    If I remember correctly, L.A. County wasn’t going to let the City of Santa Clarita take over the west side of the freeway (Stevenson Ranch and Valencia) because of Magic Mountain. They used the 5 freeway as the boundary line. Since M.M.(Valencia) is such a big tax dollar generator, the County would never let it go to the City of Santa Clarita.

  7. Leilani Gee says:

    Weeds was a dope show! (No pun intended haha) Stop being a hater :)

  8. Sorry but there are drug addicts and drug dealers in the north, south, West , and east… wake up and smell the weed!!!!!! =)))

  9. Gary Ventsam says:

    Hell its still Newhall and Saugus south of Lyons was the place up on snob hill. How’s those apples

  10. Wow, rude! I’ve been in this area for most of my life (I’m over 50). I’ve seen most of the valley develop. I remember when most of what we see today was just open fields and rolling hills. Every area has developed. Why slam the west side? There are many people living on the west side contributing to the success of the entire Santa Clarita Valley. Stop being rude!

    • Brian Durand says:

      How do they contribute by buying their clothes at the mall. Santa Clarita was a much better place to live when there was only 3 high schools hart, Saugus, and canyon. With all this home building and squeezing as many houses as you can into a small place is making it ridiculous for people to do anything with in Santa Clarita especially driving. You see construction I see destruction. If you’re over 50 and you lived here for most of your life as you say let’s call it 40 years. Then you should fully understand how people made numerous mistakes causing this overpopulated mess we currently live in. This place has it evolved into a wonderful place for rich people to retire young people have no room to survive in Santa Clarita whatsoever without significant help from mommy and daddy which I find ridiculous without young people you have no community young people are the ones that are going to be running this show once the people that made all these mistakes are no longer with us. At least all the people that are making these mistakes will have banked enough cash to ensure their children live comfortably after they pass. Sometimes we create stronger people when we cut that cord

  11. Dangg Gina says:

    I’m just glad all of us have pride in our neighborhoods. Now just BE neighborly, Please.

  12. Little houses on the hillside, little houses made of ticky tacky. Little houses on the hillside and they all look just the same????

  13. Joe Solomon says:

    So many trolls all over.

  14. We’ve lived here for 50 years. This valley has really changed. It was a population of 33,000, and we paid 23,500$s for our house.still in it. I’ve watched it change and I can honestly say I’m proud of every square mile of development. Thanks to the many people that supervised its growth, our retirement is very secure. Our home has appreciated over20xs it original cost in spite of going through 2 earthquakes. Life in Santa Clarita is good and we’re thankful.?

  15. brian says:

    Awesome town huh, from the above posts why are most of Santa Clarita Valley residents so insecure?

  16. I’m just thankful I live in Santa Clarita. With all the chaos going on in the world, thank you God for sticking me here.

  17. Does this “sctv” page even read what what they post? Or just ket everyone post on their page??

  18. This has to be one of the dumbest commentaries I’ve read. If you prefer to hate on any part of this community then simply MOVE.

  19. Straight outa Stevenson’s Ranch

  20. Little houses little houses little houses on the hillside

  21. Manifest destiny! Bring em in, I say!

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