Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures

Annual Old West Celebration Program.
Sponsored by Newhall's Old West Inc.

Newhall (and the Saugus ranches) celebrated Independence Day in grand style over three days in 1948, although most of the reveling, including the parade, took place on the legal holiday, Monday, July 5.

Kathleen Burckert, a 17-year-old Hart High senior (see cover), was crowned Queen at a barn dance held June 25 at Robert Newhall Chesebrough's quonset hut at the old Saugus Junction — northwest corner of today's Railroad Avenue and Magic Mountain Parkway intersection. The building became the local roller skating rink in 1960 and still stands in 2018.

Weekend festivities kicked off Saturday night with another "queen" contest and coronation — queen of the Castaic Rodeo. The selection was made, according to The Signal (July 1, 1948), at "Swanee's on U.S-99 a mile south of Castaic. ... At this function there will be given away a palomino horse, a 30-30 rifle, a radio and a pair of cowboy boots." The rodeo was held the next day at the Castaic Saddle Club's arena (which later became the LASD's Jack Bones Equestrian Center). Also Saturday night, the Ridge Route Post of the American Legion hosted a dance at the Lebec (presumably hotel) ballroom.

The Castaic rodeo had some competition. It was one of three rodeos held locally the same day — one at the Rediger Ranch on Lake Hughes Road and another at Cowboy Park in Soledad Canyon (approximately Soledad Canyon Road and Solamint Road).

1948 also launched a tradition that would last into the 21st Century: Fireworks. "Residents of the Upper Little Santa Clara Valley" (a long-winded way of saying SCV) "will have their very first chance to see a big-time fireworks display Sunday night, when Pat Lizza's Golden State Fireworks Company will stage a major exhibition at Bonelli Stadium as the climax of the hot rod racing program there Sunday night. It will be a full-scale pyrotechnic production, done in the style which only Pat Lizza knows how to do."

Golden State Fireworks was a sister company to Lizza's Bermite Powder Co. in what is now the middle of the city of Santa Clarita. Bonelli Stadium came to be known as the Saugus Speedway.

Following Monday morning's parade, the celebration moved to the park adjacent to Newhall School for a barbecue beginning at noon. There was no "Newhall Park" at Newhall Avenue and Dalbey Drive until the following year (pool in 1949, park in 1950).

JD4801: pdf of original program book, collection of Jo Anne Darcy. Download individual pages here.


Old West Program


Newhall Dairy Farms

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