The first homes in Valencia opened in 1967 in the first subdivision — Old Orchard I — seen here in the late 1960s.
Homes were arranged along cul-de-sacs joined together by foot paths known as "paseos" that led to a park and neighborhood school.
In keeping with the name "Valencia," the town was intended to have a Mediterranean atmosphere as seen in the paseo kiosk that is decorated
with travel posters to Mediterranean tourist destinations (last photo). The poster that is tacked over it advertises William S. Hart Park and Museum;
if you were expecting Magic Mountain, the Newhall Land-owned amusement park didn't come along until 1971.
The "street" photos show the Avenida Rotella entrance to the subdivision from Lyons Avenue, which is visible at left.
The directional sign to the school site and model homes (first photo) suggests 1967-68; any later and Newhall Land would be marketing homes in Old Orchard II,
followed by the Valencia Hills subdivision in 1969-1970. Old Orchard Elementary School opened in the fall of 1969.
Photos courtesy of Kathy Voice, an Old Orchard I Homeowners Association board member (2017).
Valencia began in 1965 with the opening of the Old Orchard shopping center at the northwest corner of Lyons Avenue and the new Orchard Village Road.
The shopping center was actually a component of The Newhall Land and Farming Co.'s first residential subdivision, Old Orchard I — a self-contained,
triangular-shaped community of tract homes on cul-de-sacs with an elementary school (opened 1969-70), park, clubhouse, senior apartments and a newfangled paseo system to tie
them all together.
The first tract homes were built in 1967 and 1968 and had an initial price tag of $25,000. They were followed in 1968 and 1969 by more homes that were sandwiched between Orchard Village Road on the west and High School (1946) and Placerita Junior High (1961) on the east.
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