Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures

Second Newhall School

Newhall, California

Click image to enlarge | Download archival scan

Real photo postcard showing the second two-story K-8 Newhall School, about 1909. Two boys walking or playing near flagpole. View is roughly to the north.

The school was built in 1890 when the first (1879) two-story Newhall School burned down. The second school was built on the approximate site of the first, in the middle of a large lot on the north side of 9th Street between Walnut Street (originally called Fir Street) and the alley to the east. Today it is the site of a shopping center.

The history books tell us the second school building suffered the same fate as the first in 1914, although we have yet to encounter a contemporary news report — which is peculiar. The Los Angeles Times and Los Angeles Sunday Herald covered local news quite extensively at the time. (The Signal came along later, in 1919.)

Precise location of 2nd Newhall School. Fir became Walnut Street. Click for full 1892 map.

The first local history, compiled in 1940 by Newhall librarian Mary Brunner and friends, provides an altnerate fate: Brunner writes that the 9th Street site was "too small to allow for expan­sion," so an alternate site was secured for a bigger school — in 1911.

The notion that the 9th Street site was too small seems odd; as stated, and as shown on the map (inset), it was a large lot.

Whatever the case, and whether 1911 or 1914, the third two-story Newhall School was built on the north side of 10th Street (now called Lyons Avenue) just east of Kansas Street, where a Jimmy Dean's restaurant was built much later. That school lasted until 1928.

As for the date of our photo postcard, we have two clues. One, a photographer came through town in 1909, photographed a number of local features (including Beale's Cut), and tried to peddle the pictures to the locals as real-photo postcards, with some success. Two, and more concretely, the particular indicia on the back — KRUXO (paper) with 4-leaf clovers in each corner — is known to have been used from 1908-1910. (Source: Philatelist and postcard dealer Ron Playle, 1937-2018, Playle's Auctions, accessed 2019.)

There is actually a third clue: The porch on the front of the school. It was a later addition, so this view is later, rather than earlier, in the building's life.

The postcard side is unfranked, but it is addressed; perhaps the card was mailed inside an envelope. The addressee is Miss Leona M. Braun of Minneapolis. The sender is "Albert," who writes:

Newhall tho small does not neglect the education of the young. Perhaps latter [sic] I will send you a view of the town. I have none at hand now. There are a few fine landscape views around here but I have none at hand.

Albert's awareness of other "fine landscape views around here" supports our conjecture that this postcard was made by the unknown photographer in 1909.

Click image to enlarge | Download archival scan. Note that the archival (original) scan bears the words, "Newhall, Iowa / 10 [dollars]" written in pencil. Sometime in the last century, a postcard vendor was mistaken.

LW3640: 9600 dpi jpeg from original RPPC purchased 2019 by Leon Worden.
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