HEADLINES

Time Ranger & SCV History: Meteors, 'Lost World,' Nude CalArts & Teen Punks

Posted on: 05/18/2017 00:00

(By John Boston) Top of a May morning to you, o Santa Clarita bunk huggers. C’mon out. I’ve got fresh lattes, herbal teas, coffee, protein drinks, hair of the dog that bit you and donuts waiting. Plus, not to rush you, but with all these thousands of horses standing around, we don’t want the reins to get tangled.

We’ve an interesting trek into yesteryear ahead and doesn’t the syntax of that just stop you? On one hand, we’ve never been, so it would be ahead. On the other, we’re going back in time, so it would be behind.

Deep thoughts. Deep thoughts.

Shall we mosey into legend?

 

(PHOTO CAPTION: This just might be a world record. Couldn’t tell you. But I’m sure you’ve heard of those 20-mule borax teams? In the early 20th century, muleskinner Pablo Araujo used to guide epic mule teams through Newhall and up to San Francisquito Canyon, carting materials and heavy equipment for the construction of the St. Francis Dam. Araujo would frequently drive teams that had — are you sitting? — 54 mules hitched to just one wagon.)

 

WAY, WAY BACK WHEN

• Prior to the government of Mexico giving Antonio del Valle most of the Santa Clarita Valley in lieu of back wages in 1839, the Camulos Ranch was owned by a General Moreno. Moreno supposedly owned all the land in an 80-mile diameter centered at Camulos, to the Pacific Ocean and into the San Fernando Valley. The original road, before the Americans built the precursor to 126, used to go behind the Camulos Ranch house, not in front of it as it is today.

• We were attacked by objects from outer space. But it wasn’t until May 24, 1934 when Joe Rudell found a 13.5-pound meteorite. The “rock” was about 4 by 6 inches, very dark and much heavier than any stone of the same size. It also was not affected by a variety of acids poured onto it.

•When the gold rush of 1842 hit this valley, there were soon about 100 miners digging and panning here. A drought reduced that figure to about 50. With the rains of 1843, the number surged again and the average miner was taking home about $2 a day in dust and small nuggets. By the end of 1843, about 2,000 ounces had been removed.

In 1844, another gold camp was founded in San Feliciano Canyon. Jose Salazar, who would soon be the next husband of Dona Jacoba del Valle (she was married to Antonio del Valle, who died in 1841; she inherited half of the Santa Clarita Valley) was rather wealthy himself. He took in about $43,000 in dust in less than two years. The widow del Valle had a way of surrounding herself with powerful men. Her son-in-law, Ignacio, would inherit the other half of the Santa Clarita Valley and he was also the future mayor of Los Angeles. Jacoba’s next hubbie, Jose Salazar, was co-Alcalde of Los Angeles.

(SMALL SIDEBAR: Alcalde originally was a derogatory term, meaning snitch.)

Read more here: John Boston’s Time Ranger & SCV History: Meteors, ‘Lost World,’ Nude CalArts & Teen Punks 


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