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S.C.V. History
January 23
1882 - Author Helen Hunt Jackson arrives at Rancho Camulos; inspiration for "Ramona" novel [story]
HH Jackson

Now and Then in the SCV | Commentary by Darryl Manzer
| Thursday, Jul 17, 2014

darrylmanzer_blacktieFrom 1974 until 1988, there was an active movement to create a new county out of the SCV. It was voted on twice, and both times it was defeated by those outside of the SCV.

It was to be called “Canyon County” and start at the Ventura county line on the west, and run east and north to Acton. The northern boundary would have been Gorman, and the southern at or near the present-day boundary of Santa Clarita near the I-5 and Highway 14 split.

The odd thing about the proposed new county was that it didn’t include the Antelope Valley. That was to remain in Los Angeles County.

Now, I don’t know why the folks in the AV weren’t included. Getting to the L.A. County offices would have meant driving through Canyon County. Strange at best.

Northern Los Angeles County, including the Antelope Valley and the SCV, has always been the stepchild of the rest of Los Angeles County. Some might even say the bastard stepchild – with red hair.

Going to a meeting of the county supervisors still takes an entire day for those of us north of that lesser valley to our south called San Fernando. Our one supervisor is also on a lopsided 4-1 vote on the board. We get about as much representation at times as the original 13 colonies got from England.

Would the voting for Canyon County have passed if the Antelope Valley had been included? I don’t know. It sure would have been wild times if it had passed.

NASA's SOFIA infrared observatory - a modified 747 that cruises at 45,000 feet - overflies its home in Palmdale.

NASA’s SOFIA infrared observatory – a modified 747 that cruises at 45,000 feet – overflies its home in Palmdale.

There is another move in the AV to combine Palmdale and Lancaster into one city called “Palmcaster” or maybe “Lancdale.” Not sure about that, but if any two cities should combine, it is those cities or maybe all 23 communities in the AV.

The SCV and the AV haven’t always been the best of friends, but imagine if we ever really got together and voted on a county of our own. How about a city of Canyon? If we’re going to break from L.A. County, we might as well do it right. Go big or stay home.

City or county, it could be an economic powerhouse. Aerospace, transportation hub, agriculture, manufacturing, military bases, you name it. Think of what could be Canyon County and how it could be a very dynamic combination of the two valleys.

For those of you in the SCV, I’ve got to ask: When was the last time you went to the AV and just looked around? Ever been to Charlie Brown’s in Littlerock? The AV Mall? Or maybe up to Boron and then over to Barstow?

Have you seen the Poppy Reserve in full bloom? How about a drive up Bouquet or San Francisquito Canyon roads to Lake Elizabeth and Lake Hughes over to Palmdale?

Driving north on the 14 as you start down the hill into the AV, have you ever stopped at the overlook and taken in the view? Nearly 60 miles to the mountains in the distance. On a clear day you can see Barstow.

I don’t know about you folks, but I’m still amazed that more than 500,000 of us here in North L.A. County send all kinds of money to the county tax collector and get so little back. It just isn’t right.

Lancaster poppies: What's not to like?

Lancaster poppies: What’s not to like?

Los Angeles County is just too big, and we lack the representation we deserve. It isn’t that our supervisor is bad; it is that he has so many people.

If you’ve been reading me for a while, you know that I’ve said that little Trigg County, Ky., has seven elected officials like our county supervisors, plus an elected head of the seven. The population of Trigg County is around 13,000. The ratio of folks to elected supervisors isn’t good here.

Maybe with our own county, we could change that makeup a little. I would hope.

There is a final point to make here. Just what city would be the county seat? It should be central in the county and have parking for city services and for folks attending a meeting of the county supervisors. About the only town that meets the criteria is Acton.

Acton has an identity problem that can be solved with making it the place for the new county. Meetings at the ’49er. Just don’t tie your horse to the railings of the stores downtown.

Now, that would be a great county seat. It may be the last like place that would have those signs in the statehouse.

Of course, our current statehouse is full of those equine types. What they send out from there could keep a lawn fertilized for a long time. It just wouldn’t have to pass through first. Maybe those south ends of a northbound herd could help us become our own county. Let’s do it.


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].


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  1. Wake up everyone we need to unite so that out tax dollars actually get used in the city we live in.

  2. Mark n Lia Hammond says:

    If we don’t have to deal with LA County building codes anymore….we’re in!

  3. Carl Boyer Carl Boyer says:

    I could understand why people forgot about county reform when we got our city, but now that we have a mature government, why doesn’t our do-nothing council do something about forming Canyon County?

  4. Andy Ryan Andy Ryan says:

    I completely agree! Just like the whole “six Californias” debate–one government can’t meet the needs of such a large and diverse area, much like LA CO. I would definitely vote to form Canyon County out of the greater SCV and AV.

  5. Andy Ryan Andy Ryan says:

    I completely agree! Just like the whole “six Californias” debate–one government can’t meet the needs of such a large and diverse area, much like LA CO. I would definitely vote to form Canyon County out of the greater SCV and AV.

  6. That would be nice if the AV and SCV could break off of LA county.That would mean no more LA sex predators, criminals being released up here and no more LA county section 8! The AV would return to the Valley that was the reason I moved up here 30 years ago.

  7. That would be nice if the AV and SCV could break off of LA county.That would mean no more LA sex predators, criminals being released up here and no more LA county section 8! The AV would return to the Valley that was the reason I moved up here 30 years ago.

  8. Dan Donihue Dan Donihue says:

    Seems like a great idea. Who will take the lead?

  9. Dan Donihue Dan Donihue says:

    Seems like a great idea. Who will take the lead?

  10. I have been saying this for 30 years.

  11. Day Man Day Man says:

    Dimitri Maxwell

  12. Madpenguin says:

    Some of these comments are laughable. Get rid of Sec 8? You’ll never get rid of it. That would be discrimination and that is “technically” against the law. But who knows with that bumbling idiot Parris in office, there is no telling how many more laws he’s willing to break.

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