Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures
Arthur B. Perkins at Work
Newhall Water Company

Click image to enlarge

We don't know who this is, but he has something to do with the photo of Perkins. Click for full view.

Arthur B. Perkins works on a water apparatus (water well?) near the Signal newspaper building on 6th Street (between today's Main Street and Railroad Avenue), probably late 1940s or early 1950s.

Hand-written description on back of 3x4-inch photograph reads:

The start of #2 Perkins & Sons next [to] the Newhall Signal. Shows Richard's Ford & Pop's Dodge. Richard was working just outside picture. Trueblood said this shows a small town plutocrat using the advantage of capitalism.

Fred Trueblood was the owner of The Newhall Signal and Saugus Enterprise from 1938 until his death in 1960. It certainly sounds like something he'd say, but that is all we really know about this photograph.

It comes from an anonymous photo album purchased at a flea market by Sharon Divis. Inscribed in the front of the album is: "Property of Dolores Manda / Received Christmas 1942 from Grandma and boys." Judging from the photos, Dolores probably received the album when it was new and empty in 1942.

The Signal, June 17, 1953. Click to enlarge.

The person associated with the Perkins photo is a man, not a woman (although Dolores could have been a man's name when he was born). Pasted on the adjacent album page is a small, 2x3-inch Polaroid photograph (inset above) showing a man standing next to an AIRCO welding supply truck filled with oxygen tanks, probably in the San Fernando Valley. He is identified only as "Me" in the same handwriting as the Perkins caption. If you know who he is, please tell us.

As for Perkins (1891-1977), the local entrepreneur and historian arrived in 1919 to manage the Newhall Water Company, which Henry Clay Needham and M.W. Atwood started in 1913. Over the years "Perk" bought stock in the company and was one of the two largest shareholders when the company and its water system were sold to the nascent Newhall County Water District in 1953 for $130,000. Today Perkins' water system is part of the Santa Clarita Valley Water Agency. We'd imagine the pipes have been replaced a few times since then.

This is the only photograph in the album that is for-sure Santa Clarita Valley. Most for-sure aren't.

Detail from photo above.

Detail from photo above. Click to enlarge.

Detail from photo above.

DI5001: 9600 dpi jpeg from original photographs courtesy of Sharon Divis.


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Perk at Work ~1950


Water Tank Demolished 1963


Recycled Water Main 2017

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