Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures

Ore W. Bercaw Desk

Heritage Junction Historic Park

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A piece of Saugus joins another piece of Saugus in Newhall: Margaret and Marlen Seltzer donate a desk that came from the general store in Saugus that was owned and operated by Margaret's father, Ore W. Bercaw, in the early 1900s.

The desk was put on display in the agent's office in the Saugus Train Station after the station moved from Saugus to William S. Hart Park in Newhall in 1980. Ore Bercaw was the station agent in 1906 when the depot stood at the southeast corner of present-day Drayton Street and Bouquet Canyon Road (Railroad Avenue), across the street from the Saugus Cafe.

Earlier that same year, Bercaw opened a general store next to the Saugus Cafe and operated the post office inside it. (The post office was previously inside the depot.) For reasons that are lost to history, the name of the post office — and the town — changed to Surrey at that time. It changed back to Saugus in 1915.

Bercaw built an ice house in Saugus in 1909, followed in 1911 by the Surrey Inn. He also built a garage, ice cream parlor and the family home.

In 1908, Bercaw, along with Saugus Cafe co-owner Martin Wood and somebody named Osborn, contributed $100 each to build the (first) Saugus School on a section of Charles and Anita Kellogg's farm. The school was remodeled and expanded several times in the same location (today's 26111 Bouquet Canyon Road) until 1978 when the property was sold to a shopping center developer.

Daughter Margaret inherited that same civic-mindedness. She taught school in Saugus before marrying Marlen, a Saugus automobile mechanic, in 1942. They settled in Bouquet Canyon. Margaret was active in her church and volunteered as a docent for the SCV Historical Society. She served on the Historical Society board of directors in the 1990s and earned the organization's highest honor, the Founders Award, in 1995. She died in 2004 at age 86.

Color photos show the desk in the Saugus Train Station in 2019. The wooden object (with brass pulls) sitting atop the desk at left is a 3-drawer cash box from the old Newhall Post Office.

CN8004: 9600 dpi jpeg from (undated) original photograph donated 2019 by Cynthia Neal-Harris to the SCV Historical Society. Color photos are digital images by Barbara Martinelli and Leon Worden, 2019.
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