Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures
Chuck Morey & Irene Ahlheim
Canyon Country, California

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Chuck Morey and Irene Ahlheim at the Canyon Country Jo Anne Darcy Library, 18601 Soledad Canyon Road, shortly after it opened in November 2001. They're standing in front of a plaque that summarizes historic activity at Solemint Junction (roughly where the library is located) and mentions Morey's Chevron station and Ahlheim's Redwood Village Restaurant.

Morey ran the Standard/Chevron station at the southeast corner of Soledad Canyon Road and Sierra Highway (aka Solemint Juction), near the Solemint Store, from 1976-1982. Leased by Standard Oil Co. (which changed its name to Chevron in 1977), the gas station property had been the site of an earlier Texaco station that burned down.

Photo by Jo Ellen Rismanchi, who spearheaded the plaquing in 2001. She notes (pers. comm. 2017) that the full opening of the 14 Freeway by the mid-1970s diverted traffic away from both Sierra Highway (Mint Canyon Road) and Soledad Canyon Road, which had been the main arteries to the Antelope Valley and beyond to Las Vegas. Thus, operating a service station in a location that targeted long-distance travelers was problematic when the long-distance traffic dried up. Morey shuttered his first Canyon Country location and went on to operate two more Chevron stations that catered to local traffic: one near Tip's restaurant at Via Princessa and Sierra Highway, and the second at Soledad and Whites Canyon, which would eventually be replaced by Walgreen's Pharmacy (19266 Soledad).

Plaque reads:


Solemint Junction, combining Soledad Canyon and Mint Canyon (now Sierra Highway), was a 19th and 20th Century crossroads to Mojave Desert mines. Commerce sprouted in 1938 with Alfred Clark's landmark Solemint Store and C.M. MacDougall's café, followed by others who catered to Las Vegas-bound travelers: The Mint Canyon Café, Bill Oren's Signal Oil Station, Dan Bledsoe's Texaco, Chuck Morey's Chevron, Log Cabin Motel, Les' Crossroads Tavern, Redwood Village Restaurant and Ranch House Bar. Dillenbeck's market served residents until the 1990s. The U.S. Postal Service adopted the name "Canyon Country" in 1968.

[Dedicated by]
City of Santa Clarita | Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society

JE0101: 9600 dpi jpegs from prints by Jo Ellen Rismanchi.

Additional photos of Irene Ahlheim submitted by her daughter, Monique (2019):


More: Solemint Store

Story: Solemint's Early Neighbors

Story: Solemint: A Happening Place


Freak Vegetables x4


Freak Fish


Postcard 1944


Hoopers Restaurant


Library Opens 1971


CC Jo Anne Darcy Library Opens 11/17/2001


Chuck Morey, Irene Ahlheim 2001

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