December 1967 — One of the first Valencia homes in the first Valencia subdivision (Old Orchard I), at 25136 Avenida Rondel, directly across the street from
Old Orchard Elementary School, which opened two years later.
All new single-family homes in Valencia came with a young, non-native shade tree in the front yard — and not much else. Buyers had to plant and maintain their own
lawns and landscaping
in accordance with developer Newhall Land's deed restriction (Codes, Covenants and Restrictions, or CC&Rs).
Photo courtesy of Greg Hammermeister, who grew up in this house (b. 3-31-1960; residing in Orlando, Fla., as of 2014).
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.