Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures
Frank Lassalle's Vineyard
Wiley Canyon

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Frank Lassalle's vineyard in the Wiley Canyon area west of the town of Newhall, 1922 (per the handwritten photo caption). At least one person can be seen among the vines, left of center. (Click to enlarge.)

Viticulture was big business in Los Angeles County up until about this time, when it started to die out. In fact, in the early 1870s, it was thought that wine would be L.A.'s ticket to economic prosperity (see Salvator 1878). That was before the success with oil later in the decade and the conversion of most arable land to citrus a decade after that. Some farmers, expecially those who came over from France and Italy, continued to grow grapes and make wine into the first decades of the 20th Century.

Frank Lassalle (alternately Lasalle) was born May 22, 1870, in France, as Francois Lassalle. He emigrated to the United States in 1890 and established a farm in Wiley Canyon about that time. (There was a Lasalle who ran the meat market in the former Campton's General Store in Newhall around 1900, but we don't know if it's the same person.)

The 1910 U.S. Census for Newhall lists him as a self-employed farmer and shows he had two laborers living with him at his ranch: Peter Sibus, 46, of France; and Pedro Gutierrez, 20, of Spain. Sibus came over in 1907, Gutierrez in 1909. All were bachelors, at least in 1910.

But bachelorhood was not to last for Frank Lassalle. By 1920, he had a wife (Nathalie) and five daughters: Marie, 7; Francine, 5; Rosa, 4; Teresa, 2; and Anna L. (aka Lorraine A.), 2 months. By 1930 he had a sixth daughter, Marguerite.

Frank Lassalle died at age 78 on Dec. 2, 1948. He is buried at Calvary Cemetery, 4201 Whittier Blvd., Los Angeles., where Nathalie (1879-1959) also rests.

Today his grapes are gone, but Frank Lassalle's name lives on at Rancho La Salle, a gated tract of 25 homes built in 1979 along La Salle Canyon Drive, south of Calgrove Boulevard, on a section of Lassalle's ranch.

Genealogical research by Tricia Lemon Putnam.

AP0723: 19200 dpi jpeg from copy print.
Wiley Canyon


Lassalle Vineyard 1922


Fire 1942


Lassalle Ranch 1963


Rancho La Salle Development 1978

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